Post updated April 28
Regarding last post on the Philips prize committee technical review (the right side comments),
a copy of the document below.
As said earlier, it was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
See the original post about the L-Prize for a full rundown of the issues, including more about the testing procedure, the results, and the review comments as in the document copied above:
That post is also kept updated, for overview clarity, with the information here.
Some recent relevant comments on different posts relating to the testing, extra highlighting (capital letters in original) and direct linking added:
To address the points above as to whether the contest was rigged. If the L-Prize bulb clearly FAILED a technical test where there is a clear cut pass or fail outcome that any freshman engineering student can judge, but the technical review committee writes in PASS and explains, in SECRET, without publishing a rules update, that they are lowering the standard so that they can write in PASS, this is clear cut CORRUPTION.
The technical review committee sought to justify secretly altering the uniformity standard stating
“..however, independent data verifies that this distribution is actually much more uniform than a standard incandescent lamp …“
While there can be no justification for secretly lowering the standard to rigg the contest, astoundingly (or not) this statement is false.
Calculating the standard deviation for the L-Prize bulb tested by the DoE and a standard incandescent lamp, using data provided by the Department of Energy shows that L-Prize lamp tested by the DoE was actually less uniform.
See Light Distribution Analysis (alt link)
The production version of the L-Prize (which by the way appears to be a Chinese product) also does not meet the published L-Prize uniformity criteria of +/-10% of average in the zone 0 to 150 degrees.
See data on page 41 of usa.lighting.philips.com document
Also see: Lab plots of light distribution of Philips bulb (alt link)
The stated procedure for the contest was that if the entry failed a required test the entry would fail.
See flowchart on page 15 of L-Prize competition rules.
Southern California Edison (SCE) which was involved in field testing Philips L-Prize entry, decided to lab test 16 of the bulbs.
It turns out 1 of the 16 exhibited a failure mode in which the light turned red by the time it had 1502 hours of run time. This early failure casts doubt on the 20,000 hour (with 95% confidence) lifetime touted by the Department of Energy.
See link on (Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council) web page http://www.etcc-ca.com/component/content/article/48-Commercial/3044-l-prize-lab-evaluation which has link to report
Quoting from the mentioned Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council (ETCC) webpage
This independent lab assessment was initiated in support of both SCE’s L Prize field testing efforts, as well as its energy efficiency incentive/rebate programs.
SCE’s lab testing capabilities present an enormous resource in understanding and developing confidence in the performance of these units. A winning product stands to undergo considerable mileage in terms of usage/acceptance across the United States. As leaders in energy efficiency, it is important that California utilities stay active in monitoring/assessing such technologies.
Regarding the SCE report about the bulb (long pdf document), from the summary:
The technology shows promise in terms of meeting the efficiency and performance criteria set forth in the L Prize.
However, to better assess feasible implementation into incentive
programs, more investigation is recommended in three key areas:
- Lifetime Testing
o The variation of savings realized with these products throughout their lifetime is not well understood at this point.
Long lifetimes are one of the significant advantages of SSL technology, and should be better understood with this product application.
- Dimming capabilities/issues
o It is not currently known how these products perform when used with other dimmers.
o Their observed inability to toggle off with the selected ELV dimmer presents a large barrier, which needs to be overcome for successful implementation.
(When the ON/OFF function was toggled on the dimmer paired with this product, the product was not able to shut off. It encountered visible flickering at a dimly lit state in the OFF position.)
o The issue of green color shift at low dimming is a barrier to investigate/address for successful implementation
- Thermal effects on product performance
o These lamps are specified to use in dry locations, and not within totally enclosed fixtures. The effects of ambient temperatures/humidities on this technology’s performance and lifetime are not well understood at this point.
The conditions these lamps were subjected to in this lab assessment are within a narrow range, when taking into consideration the various climate zones/applications these general-purpose devices may see.
These key areas represent significant barriers,
to acceptance of this technology when compared with baseline CFLs and incandescents.
Further efforts are recommended to fully understand the benefits of SSL technology in this application, and ensure that product utility is not significantly impacted when encouraging customers to purchase products that are more efficient.
It is recommended that the results of the DOE’s evaluation of the first entry to the “60 Watt incandescent” category be closely monitored;
further understanding of this technology may be achieved through more collaboration with DOE testing, as DOE efforts are initiated/completed.
Regarding this bulb,
dimming is also criticized along with other issues in the committee technical review, above.
Regarding LED technology in general,
as this report also takes up, there are indeed several questionable issues relating to lifespan, enduring brightness, ambient temperature effects etc - apart from the light quality itself:
See the Ceolas website referenced rundown.
The "save energy/money in usage" push should not ignore such factors,
or for that matter the life cycle environmental impact, in terms of components in manufacture (more), energy/emissions in production and (overseas) transport, and environmental dumping when not recycled.