|Since the passing of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the U.S. government has mandated greater energy independence which has acted as a catalyst for accelerating and facilitating research efforts toward the development and deployment of market-driven solutions for energy-saving homes, buildings and manufacturing, as well as sustainable transportation and renewable electricity generation. As part of this effort, an emphasis toward advancing solid-state lighting technology through research, development, demonstration, and commercial applications is assisting in the phase out of the common incandescent light bulb, as well as developing a more economical lighting source that is less toxic than compact fluorescent lighting. This has led lighting manufacturers to pursue SSL technologies for a wide range of consumer lighting applications.
An SSL luminaire’s lifetime can be characterized in terms of lumen maintenance life. Lumen maintenance or lumen depreciation is the percentage decrease in the relative luminous flux from that of the original, pristine luminous flux value. Lumen maintenance life is the estimated operating time, in hours, when the desired failure threshold is projected to be reached at normal operating conditions. One accepted failure threshold of SSL luminaires is lumen maintenance of 70% -- a 30% reduction in the light output of the luminaire. Currently, the only approved lighting standard that puts forth a recommendation for long-term luminous flux maintenance projections towards a specified failure threshold of an SSL luminaire is the IES TM-28-14 (TM28) standard.
TM28 was derived as a means to compare luminaires that have been tested at different facilities, research labs or companies. TM28 recommends the use of the Arrhenius equation to determine SSL device specific reaction rates from thermally driven failure mechanisms used to characterize a single failure mode – the relative change in the luminous flux output or “light power” of the SSL luminaire. The use of the Arrhenius equation necessitates two different temperature conditions, 25°C and 45°C are suggested by TM28, to determine the SSL lamp specific activation energy. One principal issue with TM28 is the lack of additional stresses or parameters needed to characterize non-temperature dependent failure mechanisms. Another principal issue with TM28 is the assumption that lumen maintenance or lumen depreciation gives an adequate comparison between SSL luminaires. Additionally, TM28 has no process for the determination of acceleration factors or lifetime estimations.
Currently, a literature gap exists for established accelerated test methods for SSL devices to assess quality, reliability and durability before being introduced into the marketplace. Furthermore, there is a need for Physics-of-Failure based approaches to understand the processes and mechanisms that induce failure for the assessment of SSL reliability in order to develop generalized acceleration factors that better represent SSL product lifetime.
This and the deficiencies in TM28 validate the need behind the development of acceleration techniques to quantify SSL reliability under a variety of environmental conditions. The ability to assess damage accrual and investigate reliability of SSL components and systems is essential to understanding the life time of the SSL device itself. The methodologies developed in this work increases the understanding of SSL devices through the investigation of component and device reliability under a variety of accelerated test conditions. The approaches for suitable lifetime predictions through the development of novel generalized acceleration factors, as well as a prognostics and health management framework, will greatly reduce the time and effort needed to produce SSL acceleration factors for the development of lifetime predictions.