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American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Update

July 16, 2018

By: John O’Farrell / UL Senior Engineer

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) was founded in 1907 to support engineers advancing agricultural, biological and food systems. Agricultural and Biological Engineering is the discipline of engineering that applies engineering principles and the fundamental concepts of biology to agricultural and biological systems and tools, ranging in scale from molecular to ecosystem level, for the safe, efficient and environmentally sensitive production, processing, and management of agricultural, biological, food, and natural resources systems.

The ASABE has a wide variety of interests. One topic where these interests intersect with UL’s is horticultural lighting. In July 2017, the ASABE, in association with ANSI, published the standard ANSI/ASABE S640 “Quantities and Units of Electromagnetic Radiation for Plants (Photosynthetic Organisms).” Since plants use light very differently from humans, a different set of units are needed from the familiar lumen and candela.

The ASABE is currently working on a draft measurement standard ANSI/ASABE X642 “Recommended Methods for Measurement and Testing of LED Products for Plant Growth and Development.” This is expected to receive final approval by August 2018. The Design Lights Consortium (DLC) has referenced this document in its DRAFT Testing and Reporting Requirements for Horticultural Lighting. Any lab wishing to submit data to the DLC for horticultural lighting equipment will need to comply with ASABE X642.

UL’s safety standard for horticultural lighting equipment is UL 8800. This includes photobiological safety testing to IEC 62741. UL performance testing laboratories are capable of making the measurements to IEC 62741 as well as performance testing in alignment with ANSI/ASABE S640. Our performance testing will comply with the requirements set out by ASABE X642 once that has been approved. For additional information, email [email protected].