Task 2 - SSL Testing

The International Energy Agency’s 4E Solid State Lighting (SSL) Annex is working to harmonize SSL quality and performance testing around the world. Working with a network of test laboratories, the Annex’s work is focusing on:


(1)     assessing a range of existing SSL test procedures;

(2)     building a testing system that is manageable, robust and acceptable to a broad

     range of stakeholders; and

(3)     increasing the quality and confidence of SSL test results around the world.


In 2012, the Annex completed its first set of tests designed to confirm the competence and equivalence of the "nucleus laboratories", which are the:


  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, USA);
  • National Lighting Test Centre (NLTC, China);
  • Dutch Metrology Institute (VSL, The Netherlands); and
  • National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, National Metrology Institute of Japan (AIST, NMIJ, Japan).


A report that summarises the findings from the nucleus laboratory testing, "Solid State Lighting Annex: Summary Report of Nucleus Laboratory Comparison" is now available for downloading.  


In the absence of a global SSL test method, it has not been possible for the international accreditation system to set up a system for mutual recognition of regional accreditation programmes. Up to this point, it has been difficult for many Accreditation Bodies (ABs,) to carry out SSL Proficiency Testing (PT) as part of their ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. While some ABs like CNAS (in China) or NVLAP (a US programme) carry out SSL PT or comparison test, the test is not within the scope of the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA), and it is not possible for these PTs to be accepted globally. Thus, due to the global fragmentation and disparities in SSL Test methods, accreditation and PT for SSL products has been held back.


It is our hope that in the future a robust programme for SSL PT can be established when there is a new international published test method, possibly the new draft CIE (International Commission on Illumination) standard currently in the final stages of development. However, during this interim period, the Annex is conducting an Interlaboratory Comparison to help reduce the risk and uncertainty of SSL testing so that governments and consumers can have reassurance on global SSL testing quality. The diagram below depicts the anticipated way in which the Annex's 2013 Interlaboratory Comparison (IC2013) can help as an interim solution to address some of the problems of the past while also preparing the market for the adoption of a new international proficiency test.






The application period for the IC2013 is now closed and participants are conducting tests. Please click here to learn more about this IC.


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