String lights have always been a popular consumer product. In recent years, however, we’ve noticed the use of year-round string lights significantly increase. They have become one of the most trendy and decorative illumination sources for patios and other outdoor gathering places on the market.
Our Decorative Lighting Strings Standard has traditionally been covered under UL 588, the Standard for Seasonal Holiday Decorative Products. Unfortunately, this Standard only applied to string lights with an installation and use not exceeding 90 days.
Since year-round string lights are used and wired similarly to other parallel-connected lighting strings currently covered under UL 588, it made technical sense to cover them under this Standard as well.
As all-year use string lights are intended for a longer installation and use than previously permitted by UL 588, we’ve developed additional requirements including:
- Increased minimum American wire gauge (AWG) size
- Increased insulation thickness of the wire
- Additional flexing
- More rigid strain relief testing
- Different safety instructions and markings
Consensus on the new requirements was reached by the UL 588 Standards Technical Panel (STP) and was published September 15, 2017. To distinguish these products from Seasonal Use Lighting Strings, a new category, String Lights for All-year Use, was created under DGZW.
Please note that series-connected string lights are not included in this revision of UL 588 based on the similarity to lighting strings currently covered under UL 588 that are limited to seasonal and holiday use and the potential risk of confusion in the market and possible misuse of seasonal-use lighting strings.
This offering allows you to have better control of the testing and certification work that needs to be completed in order to ensure that your year-round string lights are compliant with industry standards. Our integrated assessment procedures streamline the entire certification process, enabling you to stay on budget while meeting your shipment deadlines.
Once certified, you’ll be able to use the UL Gold Hologram security label on your product packaging. This enables product traceability across the supply chain and gives customers the opportunity to instantly verify compliant products in the field, a feature that no other certification body offers. In other words, our Gold Hologram clearly differentiates your products on a consumer level and protects against counterfeit marks — protecting your brand and reputation.
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