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Formed in 2003 to foster industry-government partnership to accelerate the technical foundation, and ultimate commercialization, of solid state lighting systems. The Alliance was designated in 2005 as the “industry partner” by the U.S. Department of Energy for its Solid State Lighting (SSL) program. The SSL Program is being undertaken to research, develop, and conduct demonstration activities on advanced solid state white lighting technologies based on inorganic and organic light emitting diodes (LEDs and OLEDs).
Once only used for indicator lights, SSL technology is now found in a variety of specialty and niche applications, including automotive brake lights, traffic signals, exit signs, and flashlights. In the use of colored light, SSL is already a viable alternative to conventional sources in many architectural and entertainment applications - from the lighting of exterior facades to stage sets and retail displays. As white LEDs continue to advance, they too will become capable of such higher-luminance applications. SSL is also growing in adoption in the white illumination market for specialty applications.
Research to achieve further technology advances is under way, driving toward development of efficient, full-spectrum, white light SSL sources that will replace low efficiency incandescent and even fluorescent lamps for general illumination. According to the DOE, lighting accounts for 8% of all energy consumption in the United States and 22% of electricity nationwide. LEDs have the potential to reach 200 lm/W, compared to the efficacies of incandescent lamps at 15 lm/W and fluorescent tubes at 90 lm/W. If solid-state lighting replaced all existing lights, the DOE estimates customer savings of $115 billion by 2025 and a 10% reduction in greenhouse emission gases.
The physical behaviors exhibited by solid state materials are substantially different from traditional lighting technologies. NGLIA promotes the understanding, implementation, and adoption of semiconductor light sources in specialty and general lighting systems. The industry will continue to evaluate new technologies and adopt those that fall within the category of solid state lighting. The solid state lighting industry is tasked with integrating solid state light sources in existing lighting practices and the creation of new practices to fully exploit the technologies’ potential. Therefore, the industry will include all related downstream use including applications, control, and power necessary for effective use of solid state light sources. This also includes building and maintaining a center of expertise, creating definitions of terms, and coordinating activities with the NEMA Solid State Lighting Product Group, the NEMA Lighting Systems Division, and recognized policy and standards setting organizations (e.g. IEC, IESNA). NGLIA recognizes many topics as being of specific concern for solid state lighting including, but not limited to, the following topics: reliability and lifetime, interconnects, efficiency and environmental impact, color standards, user indices, and interpretation, power and control systems, luminaires, lamps and their design, metrology, optical systems, software, human factors, field installation and electrical and building code requirements, compliance and safety, thermal issues, market barriers, product certification, economics, and complete lighting and light distribution systems and their design. Solid State Lighting introduces a whole new level of flexibility in lighting solutions such as control of intensity, color, and other technical parameters; therefore, this scope will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.