GSP-ESC: Developing a Calculator to Assess the Efficiency of the LED Lighting Technology in Victoria, Australia


Essential Services Commission (ESC) is an independent regulator that promotes the long- term interests of Victorian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services.

ESC is administering the Victorian Energy Upgrades Program (VEU) which awards energy efficiency certificates for proving energy savings under lighting upgrade activities, including the replacement of old and inefficient lights by efficient LED lights.

There are a variety of criteria and test standards that efficient LED lamps need to meet before they become eligible for the upgrade activities under VEU programs. One of these requirements is IES LM-80 standard test.

IES LM-80 is a standardized testing method for measuring the lumen depreciation of LED modules or chips over a period of time and under certain set conditions. The latest version of IES LM-80 test is IES LM-80-15. 

IES LM-80 is used to estimate the photometric and colorimetric performance of LED lamps over time. The LEDs are tested at a specific drive current and ambient temperature.

The test is run at three different ambient temperatures: 55°C, 85°C and a temperature chosen by the LED manufacturer (usually 105°C). The LED samples are operated at these temperatures and at a specific drive current for a period of minimum 6000 hrs.

Once the IES LM80 test has concluded, the measurements are used to determine a depreciation curve for the luminous flux at each temperature. The data is extrapolated using the IES TM-21 method to determine and predict the lifetime of the LED lamps. The end point of the extrapolation is typically 70% of the initial light output (L70).

IES LM-80 is not helpful on its own and does not of itself define how to extrapolate lab-measured LED lifetime test data to enable future lifetime prediction. That’s why IES TM-21 comes in. IES TM-21 details how to extrapolate short-term LED component test data to predict future performance.

US EPA has a spreadsheet calculator based on IES TM-21-11 method (previous standard method) which is attached and is available at the website to perform the calculations for IES TM-21.

The problem is that the current calculator is based on the previous standard IES TM-20-11 method and a calculator has not been developed yet for IES TM-21-19 new standard method. But this tool can be used as an example for developing a calculator for new IES TM-21-19 method.

ESC wishes to engage RMIT students in a project aiming to develop a IES TM-21-19 calculator which could be used for calculating the predicted lifetime of the LED lamps.



Main Deliverable


Estimated Timing


Project Plan

Students discuss with ESC and RMIT academic supervisors about a detailed project plan.

February 2021


Literature Review, Data Collection and Analysis

Students work under their academic supervisors to review relevant literature and collect relevant data under the facilitation of ESC.

March 2021


Development of a a IES TM-21-19 calculator which could be used for calculating the predicted lifetime of the LED lamps

April 2021


Comments on the draft model/calculator

Discussion with ESC about the newly developed calculator.

May 2021


Presentation of final caculator

Revise the calculator and present the final one to ESC

June 2021


  • Students work under the supervision of RMIT academic supervisor.

ESC appoints a contact person to help students access to data and info. There should be regular (fortnightly/monthly) meetings between students and ESC to discuss the project progress.

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