Philips Solid-State Lighting Solutions has announced it has been awarded a $250,000 contract by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a federal agency that develops and promotes measurement, standards, and technology. Philips Solid-State Lighting Solutions will develop and create a new test system to improve methods for calculating and measuring the quality of a light source.

Philips Solid-State Lighting Solutions actively participates in the creation and advancement of standards for solid-state lighting. In working with associations dedicated to the improvement of lighting and technology, the company helps to change and create new metrics and measurements for LED sources. Among many standards initiatives underway, Philips Solid-State Lighting Solutions will develop the tools needed to create new methods and measurements to better characterize the color-rendering properties for all light sources, including LEDs.

There are many known limitations to the current metric, CRI or Color Rendering Index. This development is important because it will allow manufacturers to adopt an accurate and consistent ratings system that helps lighting professionals better evaluate and compare lamps and luminaires.

"We recognize that today's existing measurements are limited, particularly when examining LED sources, which are fundamentally different than conventional light sources and therefore must be tested differently," says Kevin Dowling, VP of Innovation, Philips Solid-State Lighting Solutions. "We believe that standards are critical to the growth of the LED illumination industry, as they will eliminate any confusion or misinformation and encourage designers to specify LED systems with confidence. We're very eager to help tackle the challenge of creating a new color quality rating as part of our on-going work in standards creation."

Under the contract, Philips Solid-State Lighting Solutions is charged with developing light sources capable of producing a broad range of spectral power distributions within the visible spectrum for testing, evaluating, and/or establishing colorimetric and photometric metrics. This spectrally-tunable light source will be capable of simulating various types of existing lamps and conceivable white LED light sources, allowing for an accurate measure of how a light source would render colors.