FAQ for CEE T8 Lamp Specification

Qualifying Product List and Product Submissions
Changes to the Specification in 2015
Rebates and Incentives
Market Strategy and Scope

Qualifying Product List and Product Submissions

How do products qualify for the CEE T8 Replacement Lamp Qualifying Product List?

To qualify for the CEE product lists, models must meet the T8 Replacement Lamps Specification developed by CEE.

If you have a product that you believe meets the requirements of this specification, you may submit it to CEE using the submission form. Details within the form cover submission information, an acknowledgement of submission, terms of use, and details about where to send the form. Please read all tabs of this form carefully.

Please note that manufacturers must submit their product submissions directly to CEE. Submissions from third-party distributors, retailers, lighting consultants, and so on, will not be accepted.

How often does CEE update the qualifying product list?

CEE updates the lighting qualifying product list on or around the first of every month. Manufacturers should submit data to CEE at least five business days before the next update for a product to appear on the CEE list. Late submissions are added to the following month's list.

What if the model that I’m looking for is not listed, but I think it should be?

If you feel that a particular model should be on the CEE list based on the criteria established by the CEE specification, but it is not listed, it is likely that the manufacturer has not submitted data for that model to CEE, or that CEE has not yet processed this data. Please contact program services at CEE to confirm the status of your model.

CEE relies on manufacturers to supply us with their most up-to-date product information. If you believe a model meets the requirements of the CEE specification, and it is not currently listed, we appreciate your help in bringing this to our attention, as well as to the attention of your manufacturer or manufacturer’s representative.

Can I submit an LED T8 product to the CEE qualifying product list?

Yes, provided that it meets all the requirements of the CEE specification. This specification applies only to products that are intended for use as direct replacements, so only UL Type A TLEDs that operate on existing electronic ballasts meet the requirements for listing. LEDs that require modifications to the fixture or an external driver would not qualify. For detailed information on how to demonstrate that an LED product meets the requirements of this specification, please refer to the submission form.

CEE’s long-standing policy has been one of technology neutrality, although with practical accommodation for different physical properties of products and associated test procedures, such as mechanical versus sensing dishwashers. By encouraging reward and recognition for top performance, independent of technology, energy efficiency and society at large is best served by markets competing on a basis of performance. Accordingly, we have sought to define the performance metrics in our replacement lamp specifications such that it is possible to identify when LED products also meet the requirements of the CEE specifications.

Can I submit an LED T8 product that operates on an external driver or requires hardwiring to electrical mains?

No, only LED T8 products that operate on existing electronic fluorescent ballasts without modification to the fixture meet the definition of a replacement lamp for the purposes of the CEE specification.

How does a product qualify for the CEE list? Do other certifications, such as the DLC, automatically qualify a product to be listed by CEE?

The sole basis for assessing products for listing on the CEE qualifying product list is the CEE specification. If your product meets the requirements of this specification, it may qualify for listing. CEE does not require products to receive DLC certification, nor does it take DLC certification as demonstration that a product meets the requirements of the CEE specification.

Specifically, the purpose of the CEE specification and T8 replacement lamp strategy is to identify the highest performing products that may be used to reduce energy consumption in a mass-market, replacement lamp context. Not all DLC certified products are suitable for use in this context. The CEE qualifying product list includes both fluorescent and LED lamps that may be used in this context, classified according to higher tiers of performance and energy savings.

I’m confused by the lumen maintenance performance criteria. What do I need to submit to demonstrate that my product meets these criteria?

The intent of the lumen maintenance requirement in the CEE specification is to ensure that light output does not degrade significantly, defined as more than 6 percent, beyond threshold performance levels during the average useful lifetime of a product. An approximation of useful lifetime is calculated at 40 percent of the rated lamp life. To meet the requirements of Tier 0, a product must meet lumen maintenance requirements at 9,600 hours; of Tier 1, at 14,400 hours, and of Tier 2, at 20,000 hours.

There are two options to calculate lumen maintenance to show that a product meets the requirements of a CEE Tier:

  • Option one: Include with the product submission a measurement of mean lumen output, defined as lumen output measured at 40 percent of the rated lamp life. To meet the requirements of the CEE specification, the product mean lumens divided by the product initial lumens should exceed 94 percent. This information should already be publicly available on the specification sheets for fluorescent products.
  • Option two: Include with the product submission a measurement of efficacy in lumens per watt measured at 40 percent of the minimum required lamp life. For example, to meet the Tier 2 requirements of the CEE specification, a product must maintain at least 94 lm/W—94 percent of 100—at 20,000 hours. A full table of the efficacy requirements and hours per tier is shown on the product submission form and performance specification. This option is an acceptable pathway for calculating lumen maintenance for LED products, because of the information that is available based on typical LED lifetime and lumen maintenance tests per IES LM-80 and acceptable extrapolations per IES TM-21.

Once a product has demonstrated that it meets lumen maintenance requirements, it will be documented on the CEE qualifying product list simply as “Meets Lumen Maintenance Requirements at X Hours,” where X = 9,600, 14,000 or 20,000, depending on the tier with which the product complies.

Can I be sure that all the products on the CEE list meet all applicable safety certifications for sale in my area?

Users of the CEE qualifying product list are responsible for ensuring that any product they buy, sell, or install has met the requirements for sale in their respective area. CEE expects products to be tested in accordance with the appropriate IESNA and ANSI standards and meet safety guidelines as applicable to the jurisdiction in which a product is intended for use, which may include certifications and guidelines developed by OSHRA, NRTL, UL or cUL, and CSA. CEE does not itself test or certify any equipment for product safety.

Does CEE have a qualifying product list for 2’ lamps, 3’ lamps, T5s, LED troffers, or retrofit kits?

At this time, CEE only maintains specifications for 4’ linear T8 replacement lamps in the commercial lighting area. See below for more information on how CEE developed the Commercial Lighting Systems Initiative strategy.

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Changes to the Specification in 2015

How is the new T8 Replacement Lamp Specification different from the High Performance and Reduced Wattage T8 Specifications?

CEE updated the Commercial Lighting Systems Initiative at the beginning of 2015. As part of this review, the commercial lighting specifications were also updated. Major changes took effect:

  • The new specification defines T8s as a replacement lamp strategy. As a result, performance specifications and qualifying product lists for ballasts have been retired.
  • The new specification no longer differentiates separate requirements for High Performance and Reduced Wattage lamps: instead, it holds all products to the same quality requirements, and ascribes higher tier levels to those products with improved efficacy and longer life.
  • The new specification is technology neutral, meaning that LED T8 lamps that operate on existing fluorescent ballasts, such as UL Type A TLEDs, can be submitted for qualification.
  • The form factor is now limited to 4’ linear T8 lamps, meaning U-lamps have also dropped off as a product category.

What happened to the qualifying product lists for ballasts? What does this mean for my ballast project, program, or product?

As described above, the revised specification redefined T8s as a replacement lamp measure only. Due to higher federal minimum energy efficiency standards that met both the CEE performance specification and the requirements of NEMA Premium,® CEE decided to retire its specification and qualifying product lists for ballasts. CEE continues to host a legacy ballast list from January 2015 as a courtesy to members who wish to grandfather in projects for incentive purposes, accessible on the Qualifying Products List library card.

We recommend that if programs are continuing to use the T8 Replacement Lamp specification in a retrofit context, such as incentives for lamp + ballast replacements, they include language that simply requires ballasts to meet current federal energy conservation standards.

What’s the difference between BEF and BLE, and how can I tell if ballasts comply with the US DOE energy conservation standards?

Ballast efficacy factor (BEF) was the metric previously used in federal energy standards for ballasts, incorporated as the performance metric in previous CEE specifications, and used to achieve NEMA Premium® branding. BEF compares the light output of a lamp driven by the ballast being measured with the light output of the same lamp on a reference ballast and divides it by the lamp input wattage. Due to the reliance of this metric on photometric measurements, BEF was seen by the industry as an imperfect and difficult to replicate indicator of performance.

New DOE standards took effect in late 2014 that changed the required efficacy metric to ballast luminous efficacy (BLE). BLE takes the ratio of ballast output power to input power and multiplies it by a correction factor related to the frequency of a ballast. For high frequency ballasts, this correction factor is equal to one and BLE is therefore equal to the ratio of output to input power.

As manufacturers begin to report BLE in compliance with federal conservation standards, it is possible to calculate BEF to establish comparisons with the old CEE and NEMA Premium® specifications, if so desired, by multiplying the BLE by a transfer equation. By so doing, CEE finds that the new BLE standard corresponds to the old BEF requirements of CEE and NEMA Premium®.

What happened to U-bend lamps?

Please refer to the list of specification differences from the previous CEE specifications and qualifying product lists.

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Rebates and Incentives

If I see my model on a CEE qualifying product list, does that mean I qualify for a rebate?

Not necessarily. Each rebate program is different. The efficiency program for your location determines which models qualify for its rebates, and based on their goals and business model they may adopt the CEE Qualifying Products Lists as their basis for qualification. Please contact your local program administrator to confirm product qualification.

If you are unsure who your local program administrator is, we recommend you look at your most recent energy bill. Typically rebate programs are run by your local utility. Visit your utility's website to find out what rebates are being offered in your area.

I applied for a rebate and I haven’t heard back, or my request has been rejected. Can CEE intervene?

CEE does not administer rebate programs, and we do not mediate between program administrators and their customers. The only people who can answer rebate questions are the staff at your local program administrator.

Why is the CEE qualifying products list featured on my utility's website?

CEE is a nonprofit organization with membership across the US and Canada. Many CEE members are utilities that offer rebate programs. CEE works with its members, the ENERGY STAR® program and others to develop efficiency specifications that utilities may choose to adopt in their incentive programs. Use of these specifications and participation in the incentive program is voluntary.

Qualifying product lists are one service that CEE provides to its members. Some efficiency programs link to these lists on their websites to provide their customers with the most recent listing of efficient products. However, CEE is not responsible for the administration of any rebate programs.

What is a replacement lamp program?

Given the size of the installed base of 4’ linear lamps, an energy efficiency replacement lamp program attempts to encourage the purchase of an energy efficient replacement lamp generally procured either as part of emergency or planned maintenance activities. Incentive programs vary with respect to where the incentives are offered. For example, some programs incentivize customers at the retail shelf or to distributors upstream of the customer.

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Market Strategy and Scope

How does the T8 Replacement Lamp specification fit into the overall CEE Commercial Lighting strategy?

T8 replacement lamps are an initial target of the broader CEE Commercial Lighting Initiative. The full Initiative update responds to changing market conditions and program baselines by establishing a framework that looks at commercial lighting program design at the portfolio level, from programs that target savings from one-for-one lamp replacements to those that target deeper savings during full lighting system design, such as in the case of new construction or major renovation. The T8 replacement lamp specification is intended to support the piece of the Initiative targeting one-for-one lamp replacements. Additional strategies supporting fixture and lighting system level savings will be developed by the Committee in the coming months and years.

What does Tier 0 mean, exactly?

By consolidating the CEE specifications for High Performance and Reduced Wattage T8s lamps and implementing a tiered approach based on efficacy, CEE is maintaining a platform for program administrators to continue to promote high quality lamps that meet federal minimum standards at Tier 0, while providing an advance signal to the market of the inevitable phaseout of incentives for these products.

How does CEE choose to develop a specification or qualifying product list for a technology? How can I get CEE to provide a list for my product?

CEE works with its members to identify opportunities with the greatest concentrated potential for energy savings that would result from adoption of a consensus approach. This approach often takes the form of a technical performance specification.

CEE typically undertakes new Initiatives based on strong member interest in a product or technology. If you have a type of product for which CEE does not currently have an initiative or maintain a qualifying products list, we encourage you to contact individual program administrators about your opportunity.

Why should I submit my product for listing on the CEE qualifying product list if I already have other certifications, such as DLC?

Many CEE members have been promoting various LED lighting products in recent years. Their experiences and concerns have helped inform CEE work. Manufacturers generally accept testing requirements and performance metrics consistent with the information requirements promoted by CEE.

CEE typically assembles and provides a qualifying products list for our specifications at no cost to the manufacturer to make it easier for programs and trade allies to find products that meet the CEE performance tiers. Given the high level of market recognition that CEE qualifying products list for T8s has accrued over the past decade, manufacturers may find it to their advantage to submit their products for the CEE qualifying product list in order to enjoy additional consideration of their product as a T8 replacement lamp through these established channels. CEE efforts to increase sales and uptake of these products in the mass-market would be complementary to the efforts of others.

To avoid any misconceptions, we would like to clarify that CEE is not a consumer-facing brand and does not permit products to be marked with our logo. As such, no additional manufacturer costs with respect to product packaging and marketing should be incurred.

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