Rosslyn, Va.-based National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published two new solid state lighting (SSL) standards:

  • NEMA SSL 1-2010, "Electronic Drivers for LED Devices, Arrays, or Systems"
  • NEMA SSL 6-2010, "Solid State Lighting for Incandescent Replacement—Dimming"

With these publications, NEMA establishes harmonized requirements and expectations for SSL. Both are directed toward designers, manufacturers, and users of SSL products.

SSL 1, produced by NEMA’s Solid State Lighting Section, covers electronic drivers for SSL/light-emitting diode (LED) products. Electronic drivers use semiconductors to control and supply dc power for LED starting and operation. Topics covered include ratings, performance, and marking. SSL 1 also provides specifications guidance for electromagnetic immunity, audible noise, and efficiency calculations.

"SSL 1 is the first in a series of NEMA SSL standards aimed at setting the foundation for quality and performance of LED systems, specifically LED drivers," says SSL 1 Working Group Leader Tom Stimac of GE Lighting Solutions. "LED drivers are used in every system today and the ability to verify key performance and quality aspects will be pivotal in achieving high efficiency and quality LED lighting systems."

SSL 6, produced by NEMA’s Lighting Controls and Solid State Lighting Sections, focuses on integrated LED lamps intended for retrofit into systems that previously used incandescent screw base lamps. The standard addresses dimming of these products and the interaction between the dimmer (control) and the bulb (lamp), and introduces requirements to help ensure good diming performance and prevent damage to either component.

"SSL 6 is the first NEMA standard to tackle head-on the importance of dimming energy-efficient LED lamps that will replace incandescent bulbs," says SL 6 Working Group Leader Dr. Robert Nachtrieb, Lutron Electronics. "Building on the solid industry consensus we forged for SSL 6, NEMA will continue to develop standards for other applications of LED dimming."

“NEMA’s development of these standards illustrates the lighting industry’s dedication to the streamlined design and manufacture of energy-efficient SSL technology," says Robert Hick, Leviton, member of both sections and chair of the Solid State Lighting Section. "Standardization of evolving technology is essential to ensuring harmonization across brands, exceptional performance, and customer satisfaction. With future additions to this series, NEMA will continue to identify and eliminate gaps in guidance without discouraging innovation within the industry.”

The contents and scope of SSL 1 may be viewed, or a hardcopy or electronic copy purchased for $50, by visiting www.nema.org/stds/ssl1.cfm. For SSL 6, also $50, go to www.nema.org/stds/ssl6.cfm.

Both standards may also be purchased by contacting IHS at 800-854-7179 (within the United States), 303-397-7956 (international), 303-397-2740 (fax), or global.ihs.com.