With the growth of solid-state lighting and the need for baseline reference standards regarding the use of LEDs in the lighting industry, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) continues to aid in the preparation of such guidelines. Two new documents from NEMA and an update to an existing metric provide further clarity for designers and manufacturers alike.

“SSL 1-2010 Electronic Drivers for LED Devices, Arrays, or Systems,” written by NEMA's Solid-State Lighting Section, discusses electronic drivers for LED products and specifically covers ratings, performance, and marking. The document also offers specification assistance for electromagnetic immunity, audible noise, and efficiency calculations. According to SSL 1 Working Group Leader Tom Stimac of GE Lighting Solutions, this is the first NEMA SSL standard with quality and performance of LED systems and drivers in mind.

NEMA's second document, “SSL 6-2010 Solid-State Lighting for Incandescent Replacement—Dimming,” provides an overview of LED replacement lamps for retrofit applications that use an incandescent screw base. The standard discusses the coordination between the dimmer (control) and the lamp, and outlines measures to aid in good dimming performance that will prevent damage to either component.

The third publication, “SSL 3-2011 High-Power White LED Binning for General Illumination,” is an update to the standard first released in 2010. It categorizes areas (bins) for chromaticity (color), forward voltage measurements, and light output (luminous flux) for LEDs used for general-illumination applications. The standard seeks to set expectation levels for a reasonable number of bins so that manufacturers can adequately meet stocking needs. “Standardization of evolving technology is essential to ensuring harmonization across brands, exceptional performance, and customer satisfaction,” says Robert Hick of Leviton, a member of the SSL 1 and SSL 6 working groups, and chair of the Solid-State Lighting Section.

Each of the documents is available for purchase ($50, $50, and $35, respectively) and can be downloaded from the following NEMA website links: nema.org/stds/ssl1.cfm, nema.org/stds/ssl6.cfm, and nema.org/stds/ssl3.cfm.