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Modeling the impact of thermal effects on luminous flux maintenance for SSL luminaires

Abstract

Meeting the longevity requirements of solid-state lighting (SSL) devices places extreme demands on the materials and designs that are used in SSL luminaires. Therefore, understanding the aging characteristics of lens, reflectors, and other materials is essential to projecting the long-term performance of LED-based lighting systems. Overlooking these factors at either the design or product specification stage can result in premature failure of the device due to poor luminous flux maintenance and/or excessive chromaticity shifts. This paper describes a methodology for performing accelerated stress testing (AST) on materials intended for use in SSL luminaires. This test methodology, which consists of elevated temperature and humidity conditions, produces accelerated aging data that can be correlated to expected performance under normal luminaire operating conditions. The correlations can then be leveraged to produce models of the changes in the optical properties of key materials including transmittance versus wavelength of lenses and reflectance versus wavelength for housings and other reflectors. This information has been collected into a lumen maintenance decision support tool (LM-DST) and together with user supplied inputs (e.g., expected operation conditions) can provide guidance on lifetime expectations of SSL luminaires. This approach has been applied to a variety of materials commonly found in SSL luminaires including acrylics, polycarbonates, and silicones used for lenses and paints, coatings, films, and composites used for reflectors.

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