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Troy, N.Y. -  1/8/2015

LRC Examines Mogul Base LED Replacement Lamps, Authors New Report

mogul base lampsThe rapidly changing landscape of lighting in the U.S., largely due to the widespread acceptance of light-emitting diode (LED) technology, has opened a universe of new possibilities regarding LED replacement lamps. There are 144 million high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps in the U.S., representing only 2% of the installed lamp inventory. However, HID lamps have a significant impact on energy use, consuming 26% of lighting energy nationwide. HID lamps are used primarily in outdoor applications such as roadways, parking lots and building exteriors, but are also used in commercial interior and industrial applications. Mogul base LED replacement lamps are currently being marketed as equivalent replacements for incumbent HID lamps.

Replacing HID lamps with those utilizing LED technology could potentially provide a substantial reduction in energy use; however, there is a critical need for objective technical information regarding the many LED replacement options currently available. In response, the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been conducting evaluations of LED replacement lamps, most recently, those with a mogul base. For this project, LRC conducted market characterization and performance testing of mogul base LED lamps to support cost-effective retrofits for multiple types of lighting applications, from high bay and post top, to wall pack, yard light, and cobra head.

LRC recently completed Phase 1 of the project, and has authored a new report which provides details of the market characterization and pilot photometric testing of 18 representative mogul base LED lamps alone and in luminaires. LRC also conducted a comprehensive survey of specifiers to identify key considerations for lamp selection and relevant luminaire performance characteristics for various lighting applications (e.g., light output, intensity distribution, size), to support the development of a performance testing plan, the results of which are also included in the report. Phase 2 is now underway, consisting of additional performance testing of mogul base LED lamps in representative luminaire types. The results of Phase 2 testing will be released as they become available.

The report was funded by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) as an assessment of the state of technology development and the potential for emerging technologies to increase the efficiency of electricity use. BPA is undertaking a multi-year effort to identify, assess and develop emerging technologies with significant potential for contributing to efficient use of electric power resources in the Northwest.

“The market is changing so rapidly—and with any new product, it’s important to understand the full range of quality and performance available to consumers,” said John Wilson, Commercial & Industrial Lighting Program Manager at the Bonneville Power Administration. “This research will help utilities in the Pacific Northwest to make smart and reliable investments in energy efficiency.”

LRC found that only 4 of the 18 lamps met the minimum DesignLights Consortium Qualified Products List criteria for retrofit kits when the lamps were placed in area lighting and roadway luminaires. The lamps tested in wall pack and high bay luminaires did not meet the applicable minimum efficacy criteria for retrofit kits.

The report is available free to the public at:

About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC conducts research in light and human health, transportation lighting and safety, solid-state lighting, energy efficiency, and plant health. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. Learn more at

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America's first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.