The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has released the Procedure for Determining Luminaire Efficacy Ratings for Commercial, Non-Residential Downlight Luminaires, LE 5A-1999. The standard was developed to assist federal and state government, electric utilities, and lighting manufacturers in performing a standardized test method for determining the luminaire efficacy rating (LER) of incandescent, compact fluorescent, and low-wattage HID downlights.

It allows manufacturers to have a uniform method of determining the energy efficiency of their products. "LE 5A is the last of a three-series standard involving LERs," says Ted Yahraus of Indy Lighting, who chaired the NEMA task group responsible for its development. "It fulfills the Department of Energy mandate of arriving at a method to rate the energy efficiency of lighting systems."

A copy of LE 5A-1999 may be purchased for $35 by contacting Global Engineering Documents by phone at 800/854-7179 (within North America) or 303/397-7956, or by fax at 303/397-2740. The website is