EPA Suspends Energy Star Lab Accreditation for Citizen Electronics Laboratory

On March 20, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that it has suspended the recognition of Citizen Electronics Laboratory in Fujiyoshidashi, Japan for Energy Star testing. The EPA found that Citizen Electronics Laboratory falsified some of its data about LED components tested at its lab.

The Energy Star program sets a variety of photometric standards in efficacy and lumen output for specific product types including accent lights, downlights, portable desk lamps, and many other classifications. To obtain Energy Star certification, a lighting product must meet these minimum performance requirements along with other aspects of the program.

Lighting makers have two ways of proving photometric compliance. The first is based on an LM-80 report and TM-21 projections from an accredited testing lab about the LEDs used in the product. That data is usually readily available to lighting makers that purchase packaged LEDs from major distributors. This LM-80 and TM-21 testing demand a minimum of 6000 hours of actual testing, and there are provisions for shorter testing periods for LED makers that develop a next-generation LED using the same basic architecture as a previous product.

The second choice for proving compliance with Energy Star photometric requirements is for a manufacturer to directly test its lighting product performance using the IES LM-84 standard. The EPA said that LED makers that did get their LM-80 data from Citizens Electronic Laboratory could also submit their LEDs for testing at other accredited labs.

In agreeing to be a recognized certification body (accredited lab) the lab must, “Allow EPA, at its discretion, to audit product certification and verification activities.” (See EPA’s laboratory rules and stipulations in “Conditions And Criteria for Recognition of Certification Bodies for the Energy Star Program”). It was during such an audit that the EPA found that the Citizen Electronics Laboratory had falsified some LM-80 data.

DLC Requires Energy Star Certification

A separate, non-profit standards organization without any direct affiliation with the Energy Star program, the Design Light Consortium (DLC) requires labs to be approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program for their LM-80 data to be acceptable for submission to the DLC SSL Qualified Products List (QPL).

For this reason, the DLC issued a statement that it has suspended product submissions that contain LM-80 data obtained from Citizen Electronics Laboratory. The DLC said that products submissions with LM-80 data from Citizens Electronics Laboratory, therefore, no longer qualify for addition to the QPL, effective immediately.

The DLC noted however that it will continue accepting product submissions containing data about Citizen components from tests conducted at another, acceptable laboratory and product submissions using the “Option 2” approach to confirm compliance with the lumen maintenance requirements using LM-84 testing and TM-28 projections.

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