Solid-State Lighting

Over the last decade, the U.S. lighting market has undergone a number of regulatory and technological “shocks” that revolutionized the way we think about lighting our homes and workplaces. The rapid evolution of solid-state lighting (SSL), also known as light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, represents the most significant technological disruption that the lighting industry has experienced in generations.

The introduction of SSL raises an entirely new set of questions, concerns, and technical considerations for lighting designers, building owners, and efficiency program managers. The resulting confusion has left the industry vulnerable to the risks posed by substandard products, fly-by-night manufacturers, and exaggerated claims.

MEEA develops and maintains knowledge and cutting edge resources to facilitate the adoption of advanced lighting in homes, facilities, and utility programs across the Midwest to realize their full energy saving potential.

Midwest LUMEN

The Lighting Utility Midwest Exchange Network (Midwest LUMEN), formerly “Midwest LEDers”, is the region’s only collaborative network for utility employees who manage lighting efficiency programs. Members meet throughout the year to strengthen programs through peer-to-peer consultation, collaboration, and informational presentations.



To join Midwest LUMEN, or for more information on any of our SSL resources, please contact Rose Jordan at rjordan@mwalliance.org or 312.673.2487.

SSL Resources

Upcoming Events and Webinars: MEEA organizes and promotes workshops around the region, covering a range of topics and providing technical guidance and real-world case studies to end users, the lighting industry, and others. View the MEEA Calendar for upcoming events and webinars.  

MEEA SSL Reports: Experience a snapshot of current plans for SSL across the Midwest through MEEA’s Solid-State Lighting Plans and Perceptions Survey. From 2010 to 2013, MEEA surveyed program administrators and other industry stakeholders to reveal industry trends and promote key findings.

Training and Public Outreach: MEEA staff members are available to provide the ‘LED 101’ training necessary to newcomers in the SSL arena. Contact Rose Jordan at rjordan@mwalliance.org for more information.

National Solid-State Lighting Resources

U.S. Department of Energy: U.S. DOE’s comprehensive program on SSL provides industry, efficiency program administrators, and the public with many free resources including:

  • CALiPER: The Commercially Available LED Product and Evaluation Reporting Program (CALiPER) performs independent laboratory testing of commercially-available SSL products and publishes comprehensive reports.
  • Conferences and Workshops: Each year, DOE hosts SSL workshops around the country that provide attendees with cutting edge information about the technology. Separately focused on low-level research and development, manufacturing developments and challenges, and market impacts, these workshops offer information suitable for a wide range of audiences.
  • MSSLC: The Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium is a group dedicated to sharing information among members and the public on integrating SSL into street and area lighting applications. Additionally, the group has developed a number of resources, including a model specification for LED roadway lighting. Membership is open to municipalities, utilities, and other efficiency organizations.
  • GATEWAY Demonstrations: Solid-State Lighting GATEWAY Demonstrations provide real-world results for SSL projects, producing detailed case studies of projects put into place across the country. The program has explored a number of uses for SSL, including outdoor area and roadway lighting, lighting in the hospitality industry, commercial office spaces, and museums.
  • LED Lighting Facts: Lighting Facts is a voluntary program of U.S. DOE that is designed to recognize products produced by manufacturers that have committed to using industry-recognized testing methods and to publically reporting product results. The website provides a searchable product database that allows users to filter results with a number of performance criteria.
  • L Prize: The Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize) competition is designed to spur innovation in solid-state lighting by offering a cash-prize to the first manufacturer who develops and mass-markets LED lamps that meet a set of high standards. The first winner of the L Prize in the 60 W replacement category, which MEEA helped to test, is now on the market. The current competition is soliciting submissions in the LED PAR38 category.

U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR®: The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program has developed performance specifications for, and maintains a qualified product list of, light bulbs (lamps) and light fixtures (luminaires) for residential uses. ENERGY STAR qualification serves as a fundamental requirement of many utility incentive programs across the nation.

DesignLightsTM Consortium: The DesignLights Consortium is an initiative by partners in the energy efficiency industry to develop performance specifications for commercial solid-state lighting products. The consortium also maintains a qualified product list covering a wide range of commercial applications.

Illuminating Engineering Society of North America: The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) is a lighting industry organization made up of manufacturers, lighting designers, and others in the field. IES has published several photometric testing and evaluation methodologies for solid-state lighting.