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Asia On The Mark Issue 26 (Summer 2008)

LED lighting technology and properties

With improving technology, applications of LED light have gone a long way in the past few decades from being simply used as indicators or signal lights to becoming the source of backlight for mobile phones, automobile interior lighting, brake lights and backlighting for LCD TVs and notebook computers, etc. In the last two years, LED technology is becoming mainstream in the lighting industry with applications covering architectural, outdoor area, commercial and residential lighting. The following table shows the product categories:

Application Product
Architectural lighting Garden lights, floodlights, step lights, terrace lights, etc.
Outdoor area lighting Street lights, pole lights, etc.
Commercial lighting Advertising and display lighting, etc.
Residential lighting Down lights, ceiling lamps, wall lamps, shelf lamps, cabinet lamps, floor lamps, desk lamps, etc.
Other applications Headlights, etc.

Safety requirements for LED lighting products

The existing UL lighting safety standards have no clear requirements for LED lighting. In view of the increased applications arising from improved LED lighting technology, UL started in 2005 drafting a safety standard for LED lighting products — Subject 8750, which specifies assessment requirements for basic structures of LED lighting products to supplement the existing lighting safety standards. According to the plan, this will become the official UL 8750 Standard and will be the main reference for safety evaluation for lighting products using LEDs as the light source.

Classification of LED lighting products according to UL Standards

There are three basic product classes, i.e. LED lighting products, LED light bulbs and LED power supplies. The following table summarises the respective UL safety standards and specific remarks relevant to each class of products and their applications. This table is for reference only. The actual classification of the product will depend on its intended use and environmental location.

Product application Safety standard Remarks
LED lighting products
Indicator lights UL 48
Work lights, cabinet lights, desk lamps, floor lamps, wall lamps, etc. (all with power plugs) UL 153 & Subject 8750 Covers portable lighting products, connected to a branch circuit rated 120 V 15 AMP or 20 AMP
Christmas tinsel lights UL 588
Emergency lighting and exit signs UL 924
Lights for display cabinets and mirrors UL 962 & Subject 8750
Stage lights UL 1573 & Subject 8750
Step lights, down lights, ceiling lights, hanging lamps, wall lamps, street lights, pole lights, etc (all without power plugs) UL 1598 & Subject 8750 Covers fixed lighting products, used in a non-hazardous location and connected to a branch circuit rated 600 V or less
Nightlights UL 1786 & Subject 8750
Low voltage garden lights (without power plugs) UL 1838 & Subject 8750
Tube lights UL 2388
LED light bulbs
LED Indicators UL 496
LED light bulbs (ANSI Base), with built-in drive circuit UL 1993 & Subject 8750 E27 Base is European standard and is not applicable to the U.S. market. E26 Base is the standard for the U.S. market.
LED light bulbs (non ANSI Base), with built-in drive circuit UL 496 & Subject 8750
LED arrays or modules, without drive circuit Subject 8750
LED power supplies
Power supplies (may have a LPS safety circuit) UL 60950-1 Output to LPS safety circuit, and the suitability of the enclosure for LED module and its control circuit shall be evaluated under end product application
Power supplies (without a Class 2 safety circuit) UL 1012 Appropriate enclosure is required to protect the LED module and the LED control module
Power supplies (with a Class 2 safety circuit) UL 1310 Output to Class 2 safety circuit, and the suitability of the enclosure for LED module and its control circuit shall be evaluated under end product application
Driver (may have a Class 2 safety circuit) UL 935 & Subject 8750 Output to LPS/Class 2 safety circuit, and the suitability of the enclosure for LED module and its control circuit shall be evaluated under end product applicatione
Power supplies for low voltage garden lights (specially for low voltage garden lights) UL 1838 Appropriate enclosure is required to protect the LED module and the LED control module

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In this Issue
Standards Developer’s Drive for International Harmonization
Renewable Energy Expo in India
UL NEBS FASTRACK On-site Witness Test Accreditation
Protecting the Interest of Responsible Manufacturers
Risk Management in Safety Product Design and Development
Safety Standard Requirements for LED Lighting Products
Safety of High Tech Controls
UL Nanjing office strengthens FUS services for North China
UL University “Educating the people who make the world a safer place”
UL University
UL Standards
News Bites


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