Cree  has developed a new LED luminaire testing service meant to identify design flaws and accelerate time to market, the company announced on Sept. 28. The TEMPO  service, which stands for Thermal, Electrical, Mechanical, Photometric and Optical, is available to all manufacturers, not just those who use Cree’s LED components.
Cree’s Director of Applications Engineering Mark McClear says the TEMPO service is an example of Cree’s commitment to “leading the LED revolution,” as the company’s motto states.
“We’ve seen every way these [LED luminaires] can fail, and we know a lot more than a third party testing lab, so Cree is trying to help our customers avoid these mistakes on the front end so they can get products to market sooner,” he says.
Cree offers three different TEMPO service options: the TEMPO 21, the most comprehensive of the three, which includes 21 tests and a consultation with a Cree application engineer, as well as two quick turnaround services, the TEMPO SPOT service, which measures flux, efficacy and chromaticity for luminaires and replacement lamps, and the TEMPO FLASH, which measures flux, chromaticity and throw for torches and other portable lamp designs.
McClear says these services tests aspects of the luminaire that the manufacturer might not be set up to do.
“Measuring light output is very difficult and most of our customers don’t have that expertise or haven’t made that investment,” he says. “With Cree’s SPOT test, we’ll tell you within a couple days how much light is coming out of it and send it back to you.”
The TEMPO 21 service includes several unique tests not available anywhere else, including a chemical compatibility analysis, an X-ray of the printed circuit board to prevent soldering issues and a dimmer compatibility check. The TEMPO 21 service also reviews the product against Energy Star® criteria, allowing manufacturers to double check their product’s quality before submitting it for Energy Star® testing.
The TEMPO 21 service also provides a report summarizing the test results, which can be used as a sales and marketing tool.
“Showrooms and box stores are being bombarded with low-quality products and they don’t know what to ask, but with the TEMPO 21 test, you get a comprehensive, easy-to-read document that answers the question, ‘How do you know if it’s any good?’” McClear says.
The TEMPO 21 testing service will run about $1,200, McClear says, while SPOT testing will cost $300. Testing is currently available at Cree Technology Centers in Research Triangle Park, NC, and Santa Barbara, CA, but McClear says the services will also soon be available in Munich, Shanghai and Taiwan.