Purchasing Energy-Efficient Commercial and Industrial LED Luminaires

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LED luminaires are compatible with many control strategies and systems including occupancy sensors, task tuning, and dimming. When applicable these technologies would facilitate further energy savings.

The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides acquisition guidance for commercial and industrial light emitting diode (LED) luminaires, a product category covered by FEMP efficiency requirements. Federal laws and requirements mandate that agencies purchase ENERGY STAR-qualified products or FEMP-designated products in all product categories covered by these programs and in any acquisition actions that are not specifically exempted by law.

FEMP's acquisition guidance and efficiency requirements apply to LED luminaires used to provide general or ambient lighting in commercial and industrial buildings that meet the product qualification criteria for indoor-troffer (#7), indoor-linear ambient (#8), and high-bay (#9) applications in the Design Lights Consortium's (DLC) Technical Requirements Table V4.2. Commercial and industrial fluorescent and metal halide luminaires are covered by other FEMP product categories. See FEMP’s product overviews for ceiling-mounted fluorescent luminaires, suspended fluorescent luminaires, and industrial (high/low bay) luminaires for the efficiency requirements and acquisition guidance associated with these product categories.

This acquisition guidance was updated in July 2017.

Find Product Efficiency Requirements

Federal purchases must meet or exceed the minimum efficiency requirements in Table 1. These requirements are given in luminous efficacy (LE), which is measured in lumens per Watt (lm/W). A higher number indicates a more efficient product (i.e., more light output per unit of power input).

Table 1. Efficiency Requirements for Commercial and Industrial LED Luminaires
Luminaire TypeMinimum Light OutputLE
Commercial: Linear Ambienta≥ 375 Lumens/Foot≥ 119 Lm/W
Commercial: 1 Foot x 4 Foot Troffers≥ 1,500 Lumens≥ 119 Lm/W
Commercial: 2 Foot x 2 Foot Troffers≥ 2,000 Lumens≥ 111 Lm/W
Commercial – 2 Foot x 4 Foot Troffers≥ 3,000 Lumens≥ 115 Lm/W
Industrial: Low Bay≥ 5,000 to <10,000 Lumens≥ 109 Lm/W
Industrial: High Bay≥ 10,000 Lumens≥ 128 Lm/W
a Includes luminaires with both direct and indirect lighting components.

Light output values come from DLC's Primary Use Technical Requirements for Light Output and Zonal Lumen Distribution (Table 4). Linear ambient luminaire types include luminaires with both direct and indirect lighting components.

Product performance for luminaires using fluorescent lamps must be determined in accordance with Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) LM-79-08: Approved Method: Electrical and Photometric Measurements of Solid-State Lighting Products.

View the Performance and Model Assumptions for Table 2

Performance Column

LE: Calculated by dividing luminous flux by electrical power input, shown in Lm/W.

Input Power: Based on the wattage used by the luminaire with an output of 6,000 lumens, which is typical for this product category, shown in watts.

Annual Energy Use: Based on IES LM-79-08 calculations assuming 3,600 operating hours per year (shown in kWh).

Annual Energy Cost: Calculated based on an assumed electricity price of $0.09/kWh, which is the average electricity price at federal facilities. (Source: Federal Government Energy/Water Use and Emissions in 2015 in Comprehensive Annual Energy Data and Sustainability Performance.)

Lifetime Energy Cost: Calculated as the sum of the discounted value of the annual energy cost and assumed product life of 15 years. Future electricity price trends and a 3% discount rate are based on federal guidelines (NISTIR 85-3273-31) and are from the Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135 and NBS Special Publication 709, Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life Cycle Cost Analysis. 2016

Lifetime Cost Savings: The difference between the lifetime energy cost of the less efficient model and the lifetime energy cost of the required model or best available model.

Best Available Model Column

Calculated based on the most efficient model in the database collected from manufacturers as of February 2017.

Required Model Column

Calculated based on new FEMP designated efficiency requirements. Federal agencies must purchase products that meet or exceed FEMP designated efficiency requirements.

Less Efficient Model Column

Calculated based on the previous FEMP requirement for this product type.

Industrial High Bay LED Luminaire

An industrial high bay LED luminaire is cost-effective at the required efficiency level if priced no more than $175 above a less efficient model. The best available model saves even more money—$260 over 15 years. Table 3 compares three types of product purchases and calculates the lifetime cost savings of purchasing efficient models. Federal purchasers can assume products that meet FEMP-designated efficiency requirements are life cycle cost-effective.

Table 3. Lifetime Savings for Efficient Industrial High Bay LED Luminaires
PerformanceBest AvailableRequired ModelLess Efficient
Luminous Efficacy (LE)148128100
Annual Energy Use486563720
Annual Energy Cost$44$51$65
Lifetime Energy Cost$541$626$801
Lifetime Cost Savings$260$175--

 

View the Performance and Model Assumptions for Table 3

Performance Column

LE: Calculated by dividing luminous flux by electrical power input (shown in Lm/W).

Input Power: Based on the wattage used by the luminaire with an output of 20,000 lumens, which is typical for this category (shown in watts).

Annual Energy Use: Based on IES LM-79-08 calculations assuming 3,600 operating hours per year, shown in kWh.

Annual Energy Cost: Calculated based on an assumed electricity price of $0.09/kWh, which is the average electricity price at federal facilities. (Source: Federal Government Energy/Water Use and Emissions in 2015 in Comprehensive Annual Energy Data and Sustainability Performance.)

Lifetime Energy Cost: Calculated as the sum of the discounted value of the annual energy cost and assumed product life of 15 years. Future electricity price trends and a 3% discount rate are based on federal guidelines (NISTIR 85-3273-31) and are from the Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135 and NBS Special Publication 709, Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life Cycle Cost Analysis. 2016.

Lifetime Cost Savings: The difference between the lifetime energy cost of the less efficient model and the lifetime energy cost of the required model or best available model.

Best Available Model Column

Calculated based on the most efficient model in the database collected from manufacturers as of February 2017.

Required Model Column

Calculated based on new FEMP designated efficiency requirements. Federal agencies must purchase products that meet or exceed FEMP designated efficiency requirements.

Less Efficient Model Column

Calculated based on the previous FEMP requirement for this product type.

Determine When FEMP-Designated Products are Cost-Effective

An efficient product is cost-effective when the lifetime energy savings (from avoided energy costs over the life of the product, discounted to present value) exceed the additional up-front cost (if any) compared to a less efficient option. FEMP considers up-front costs and lifetime energy savings when setting required efficiency levels. Federal purchasers can assume FEMP-designated products are life cycle cost-effective. In high-use applications or when energy rates are above the federal average, purchasers may save more if they specify products that exceed federal efficiency requirements (e.g., the best available model).

Claim an Exception to Federal Purchasing Requirements

Products meeting FEMP-designated efficiency requirements may not be life cycle cost-effective in certain low-use applications or in locations with very low rates for electricity or natural gas. However, for most applications, purchasers will find that energy-efficient products have the lowest life cycle cost.

Agencies may claim an exception to federal purchasing requirements through a written finding that no FEMP-designated product is available to meet functional requirements, or that no such product is life cycle cost-effective for the specific application. Get additional information on federal product purchasing requirements.

Incorporate Federal Acquisition Regulation Language in Contracts

These mandatory requirements apply to all forms of procurement, including construction guide and project specifications; renovation, repair, energy service, and operation and maintenance (O&M) contracts; lease agreements; acquisitions made using purchase cards; and solicitations for offers. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 23.206 requires agencies to insert the clause at FAR section 52.223-15 into contracts and solicitations that deliver, acquire, furnish, or specify energy-consuming products for use in federal government facilities. To comply with FAR requirements, FEMP recommends that agencies incorporate efficiency and energy performance requirements into both the technical specification and evaluation sections of solicitations.

Find Federal Supply Sources

The federal supply sources for energy-efficient products are the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). GSA sells products through its Multiple Awards Schedules program and online shopping network, GSA Advantage!. DLA offers products through the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia and online through FedMall (formerly DOD EMALL). Products sold through DLA are codified with 13-digit National Stock Numbers and, in some cases, a two-letter Environmental Attribute Code (ENAC). The ENAC identifies items that have positive environmental characteristics and meet standards set by an approved third party, such as FEMP.

The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) is a worldwide classification system for e‑commerce. It contains more than 50,000 commodities, including many used in the federal sector, each with a unique eight-digit, four-level identification code. Manufacturers and vendors are beginning to adopt the UNSPSC classification convention, and electronic procurement systems are beginning to include UNSPSC tracking in their software packages. UNSPSCs can help the federal acquisition community identify product categories covered by sustainable acquisition requirements, track purchases of products within those categories, and report on progress toward meeting sustainable acquisition goals. FEMP has developed a table of ENERGY STAR and FEMP-designated covered product categories and related UNSPSC codes.

Commercial and Industrial LED Luminaire Schedules and Product Codes

GSA offers energy-efficient lighting products through Schedule 56 (Buildings and Building Materials/Industrial Services and Supplies).

DLA offers commercial luminaires with the ENAC "DC", and industrial luminaires (high/low bay) with the ENAC "HJ" at the end of the NSN.

The UNSPSC for light emitting diode fixtures (i.e., LED luminaires) is 39111544.

Buyer Tips: Make Informed Product Purchases

LEDs are a relatively new lighting product type that many consumers have not experienced purchasing. Being an “unknown” commodity makes buying or specifying LEDs more challenging. Fortunately, there are many resources that provide performance data, test reports, case studies, and product information that federal buyers can use to make more informed purchasing decisions.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsors a voluntary testing and labeling program for solid-state lighting called LED Lighting Facts. Through this program, DOE partners with lighting manufacturers to improve product quality and ensure consumers that the performance of LED lamps, luminaires, and retrofit kits is accurately represented. DOE and its partners achieve this through verification testing by accredited independent laboratories and using a standardized label with five metrics (light output, watts input, efficiency, correlated color temperature, and color rendering index). Manufacturing partners pledge to use the LED Lighting Facts label and logo in accordance with DOE guidelines.

Another resource is the DLC, an organization that promotes quality and performance for commercial sector lighting. DLC’s members and other stakeholders have established technical requirements for 36 LED lighting applications, including troffers, linear ambient (suspended), and industrial luminaires.

DLC’s technical requirements address other quality and performance issues associated with luminaires such as correlated color temperature, color rendering index, power factor, total harmonic distortion, and lumen maintenance. All troffers, linear ambient, and industrial luminaires meeting DLC’s standard technical requirements are covered by five-year manufacturers’ warranties. LED luminaires meeting these requirements can be easily found in DLC’s Qualified Products List, a searchable online database with more than 120,000 solid-state lighting products.

In addition, luminaire efficiencies are listed in manufacturers' product catalogs, technical specifications, and photometric reports. If luminaire efficiency is not listed, buyers may calculate it using luminous flux (measured light output) and luminaire watts input (measured power input) using the following equation:

LE = (Luminous Flux) / (Luminaire Watts Input)

Designing and Installation Tips: Special Considerations

Efficient design includes providing adequate lighting for the application and tasks using the lighting levels recommended by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. Buyers should follow building code requirements, which may have limits to watts per square foot as well as prescriptive requirements, and take care not to over-light a space, a practice that wastes both energy and money.

Compare efficiencies (LEs) only between like products. Luminaire size and style may be selected for a variety of reasons based on the application, including aesthetics, light output, and light distribution. Comparing the efficiencies of unlike products can lead to selecting the wrong luminaire for the lighting application.

User Tips: Use Products More Efficiently

In addition to selecting the optimal luminaire for the application, building operators should operate lighting only when needed. The use of lighting controls such as occupancy sensors, task tuning, and dimming when daylight is present (where applicable) should be considered to facilitate further energy savings. LED luminaires are compatible with many control strategies and systems.

Unlike fluorescent luminaires that require regular replacement of lamps and ballasts, the components in LED luminaires have very long lives that, in general, do not need replacing. This feature greatly reduces the maintenance requirements and related costs for LED luminaires. These savings should be considered when replacing fluorescent luminaires with LEDs.

Some LED luminaires can last up to 100,000 hours under normal operating conditions—much longer than any other light source. Because of this, facilities engineering and maintenance personnel need to adopt different maintenance approaches. For example, the amount of light emitted by LED luminaires will depreciate over time and eventually reach a point where the spaces in which they are installed become under lit. Typically this occurs when lumen output drops to 70% or less of the original level. It is important to periodically check light levels. When lumen output drops to 25% below initial levels, it is time to start planning to replace LED luminaires.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provided supporting analysis for this acquisition guidance.