New standards emerge for LED drivers and SSL dimming

Two new solid-state lighting standards from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) cover electronic drivers for LEDs and dimming of solid-state lighting used for replacing incandescent lights.

SSL 1 from the NEMA Solid State Lighting Section, covers topics that include ratings, performance, and marking. SSL 1 also provides specifications guidance for electromagnetic immunity, audible noise, and efficiency calculations. NEMA says it is the first in a series of its SSL standards aimed at the quality and performance of LED drivers.

This standard provides specifications for and operating characteristics of non-integral electronic drivers (power supplies) for LED devices, arrays, or systems intended for general lighting applications. It covers drivers operating from multiple supply sources of 600 V maximum at a frequency of 50 or 60 Hz.

SSL 6 from the NEMA Lighting Controls and Solid State Lighting Sections focuses on integrated LED lamps intended for retrofit into systems formerly using incandescent screw-base lamps. The standard addresses dimming of these products and the interaction between the dimmer (control) and the bulb (lamp), and introduces requirements that promote dimming performance and prevent equipment damage. It also includes interface recommendations for dimming control of integrated LED lamps that replace general-service incandescent lamps operating at 120 V and operating with the majority of installed incandescent dimmers. It doesn't cover LED lamps intended for operation at 12 V.

The contents and scope of SSL 1 may be viewed, or a hardcopy or electronic copy purchased for $50, at For SSL 6, also $50, go to

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