By Diane Duenez
Recently, the California Energy Commission proposed three new rules that raised red flags among the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. The commission believes the new rules are out of compliance with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. But what do the manufacturers think?
We reached out to Fulham Company, Inc., a lighting manufacturer based in Hawthorne, California. Edwin Reyes is the Product Director of LED light sources. He told us “CEC Title 24” has two main requirements that have affected both the company and clients. “90 CRI is set for quality of light but it does affect efficacy,” said Reyes. “This means higher wattage will be used in order to meet the lumen output required for the application, resulting in higher energy consumption. The idea is for energy conservation and not the other way around.”
Reyes continued, “The 90 CRI has required U.S. manufacturers to stock product in both 80 and 90 CRI, which has resulted in more inventory and longer lead-times. In addition, 90CRI chips are higher cost and not as commonly available as the 80CRI option.” With needing to meet electrical safety requirement, Energy Star, and now CEC, Reyes says this adds to development time and cost for new product.
Russ Sharer, Vice President of Global Marketing for Fulham, added, “In promoting 90 CRI, CEC has taken a different approach than the rest of the U.S., which is 80CRI. This complicates the provision of products to the U.S., for our customers as much as for us as a manufacturer. For distributors, this means dual sets of inventory depending on the location of the end installation. It also impacts efficiency and cost (given that 90CRI LEDs are used far less than 80CRI and therefore have limited manufacture production runs).”
Besides 90 CRI, Reyes said the flicker requirement by the CEC is also a bit confusing. “The CEC testing requirement for JA-8 will require about 6000 hours of testing for light sources (inseparable or separable from the luminaire), which is a very long time in the lighting industry.” Reyes added, “Of course, as a luminaire using our light source the testing would only take about two weeks if listed as inseparable. Therefore, as a light source manufacturer we pass the testing onto the OEM due to the timing, but the best option is to do testing at our light source level.”
Reyes concluded, “Overall, Fulham is committed on providing the most energy efficient product available at a price that makes sense for the market. Color quality should be driven by application and should not affect energy conservation.”
The CEC to date has not responded to requests for comment.
Tagged with CEC, Fulham, manufacturer, overregulation