Sorting out recognized standards testing and certifications can be difficult. Some of them are applied to various electronic equipment, while others are only for lighting products. Standards testing and certifications are also related to regional, national, or international areas. Here is a helpful guide to determine which ones should be important to distributors and buyers alike.
International Standards Testing and Certifications
The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an American safety and consulting company that was founded in the late 19th century. It establishes and tests safety standards for electrical devices and components. It has offices in forty-six countries.
Underwriters Laboratories is one of the most recognized certifying bodies in the world. UL is the industry standard for safety certification in the United States.
The CB (Certification Body) tests standards for electrical and electronic products. These standards are defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). It is an established arrangement for the shared acceptance of test reports for electrical and electronic equipment. This is also known as the IECEE Certification Body (CB) Scheme.
The benefits of this arrangement are as follows:
It provides the potential of performing only one test and certification to get one or more national certification marks.
It eliminates trade barriers produced by various certification conditions. This reduces costs and setbacks.
Every National Certification Body (NCB) will accept test reports issued by one another. As a result, the manufacturer does not need to get a product re-tested if they want to use a specific certifying body’s test mark on their product.
North American Standards Testing and Certifications
Electrical Testing Labs (ETL) is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) by Intertek. Intertek is an independent electrical testing organization. It tests products using the UL Standards for Safety. The ETL Listing is a well-known listing in the United States and Canada.
Many of the products on our site is ETL or cETL listed. Rest assured, a product that has this certification is the exact same thing as UL certification. ETL tests our lights to the same UL standard as the UL Labs would.
The Compliance, Standards, and Accountability Group (CSA) is a Canadian standards development association that certifies products to a wide range of standards certification from many different organizations. Products tested include electrical and electronic equipment.
The Energy Star program The Energy Star program was originally set up by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Along with the U.S. Department of Energy, the program promotes energy-efficient products and buildings. It is a voluntary program that informs consumers of products that have met efficiency standards. Products include:
Heating & Cooling Systems
To receive the label, products are tested by a third party in an EPA-certified laboratory before going to market. These certified products are later tested at random to confirm that they still meet Energy Star standards.
The DesignLights Consortium (DLC) is a non-profit group that “promotes quality, performance, and energy-efficient commercial sector lighting solutions” in the United States and Canada. It consists of members that include regional, state, utility, and energy efficiency programs.
Products are required to undergo tests at a DLC-approved lab. Those products that pass the DLC certification process are added to a searchable Qualified Product List (QPL). The DLC only lists commercial-grade lighting products such as high bays, wall packs, and roadway luminaires. DLC-listed products can provide the potential for rebates from utility companies depending on the programs offered at the local level.
Note: There are Some Important Differences Between Energy Star and DLC
DLC is strictly for lighting products, while Energy Star is applied to many other types of products.
Energy Star is normally, but not exclusively, used for consumer products. DLC is used for commercial products only.
There are no products that have both ratings, only one or the other. There is no overlap between the two. For example, recessed lighting is within the jurisdiction of Energy Star; thus, DLC does not rate this type of product.
You won’t see both an Energy Star and a DLC label on the same lighting product, they either have one or the other.
Energy Star always has the right to claim jurisdiction over a particular product.
European Standards Testing and Certifications
The CE (European Conformity) certification certification signifies the CE mark placed on the back of products that are approved for distribution and sale in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Union (EU). CE-certified products might also contain a four-digit ID number. This ID number represents the process and governing body responsible for the certification. CE certification requires RoHS compliance.
RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliance is a directive that restricts the use of ten hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products. Some of these materials include mercury, lead, and cadmium. Products must not exceed the established ppm (parts per million) threshold set for each of the ten hazardous materials.
Saudi Arabian Standards Testing and Certifications
The Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organization Certificate of Conformity (SASO CoC) is required by Saudi Arabia for any goods exported to that country. It ensures that they comply and conform to the relevant technical regulations.
About the Author
Dwayne Kula is President of LED Lighting Supply. On any given day, Dwayne is writing content for the site and helps manage the marketing initiatives that are on-going. He has a Software Engineering degree and still dabbles in writing software for the company as needed. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, working out, playing the occasional game of golf and exploring New England.