As humans, we’ve been identifying and differentiating things using emblems, icons and signature marks for hundreds of years. In terms of purpose, a significant part of symbolic design through the centuries has been driven by the objective of establishing and communicating identity in a visual manner.
Sometimes, the reinforcement of identity provides a sense of comfort and security in that we are reassured that a certain product is better than others in some way such as quality or safety.
Just like consumers associate the “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval with safety or quality, the LED lighting industry has certain benchmarks which are relevant to brand directors, and lighting designers. Since many LED products have varying safety, environmental and performance standards, it’s important to be certain about product reliability and the easiest way to do this is through recognized LED lighting certifications that can be relied upon. While looking at LED lighting certifications is important, it’s important to understand what they actually mean for consumers:
One of the basic certifications that most lighting manufacturers attempt to get is LM79 or LM 80 offered by DLC(DesignLights Consortium).
DLC offers certifications issued for commercial LED lights based on their color rendering capabilities, light distribution and output, lumen maintenance, longevity or the ability to withstand stress, and the duration of the warranty perio. Simply put, commercial lighting products that carry the DLC label are held to industry-recognized standards of quality and energy efficiency.
What the DLC stamp of approval does, is provide a degree of certainty for lighting decision makers since DLC performs an audit function of sorts–on things from construction quality to energy efficiency to warranty–things that would need to be checked when buying LED lighting.
However, just because a product is not DLC listed, doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy it. There are a couple of reasons why a product might not be DLC listed: it could mean the product either failed to meet the standards set forth by DLC, it simply hasn’t applied for the qualification or simply hasn’t yet completed the application process. In the case of Omnify Lighting, we hold all our lighting products to a far more rigorous and stringent benchmark than that established by DLC(our LED chip comfortably passes the standards in the LM-79 and LM80 tests set by DLC)
RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances and sets standards for electrical and electronic products and all LED lighting products sold in the EU must be RoHS compliant. RoHS and other efforts reduce hazardous materials in electronics, motivated in part to address the global issue of consumer electronics toxic waste. Simply put, RoHS compliance means the product(such as those in the Omnify range) does not exceed maximum levels for six restricted materials including lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. From the consumer perspective, the RoHS marking is a guarantee that their LED lights don’t contain unacceptable levels of any of the listed restricted materials.
Title 24 (California)
Apart from the lighting performance and safety guidelines laid down by nationally-recognized bodies, several jurisdictions across the United States have formulated their own regulations that have to be followed by business owners operating within the state limits. For instance, the California Energy Commission has laid down the Title 24 lighting guidelines to help business owners find out the lighting devices in the market that are most energy-efficient. The Title 24 guidelines are modified regularly to keep pace with the developments in the market and the latest energy-efficiency insights.
The CE mark is mandated for certain products sold within the European Economic Area, enabling freedom of movement in the European market.
This marking means that the manufactured product meets EU safety, health and environmental standards that have been stipulated by legislation. Products demarcated with CE are not necessarily produced in Europe, but the marking means they can legally be sold there.
All LED lights sold in Europe must carry the CE mark, which is often awarded by authorized third party organizations.
UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is an American safety and consulting company offering services in 104 countries worldwide. Established in 1894, UL first gained recognition by drafting safety standards and conducting safety analysis for electrical devices and components as the rise of residential electricity transmission made electronics ubiquitous in American households.
As an LED lighting certification, UL Listed means that UL has tested representative samples of the product and determined it meets UL’s requirements based on its published Standards for Safety. The safety certification may also include additional information, meaning the product is UL Listed for Canada and the U.S. The small “C” in the UL certification icon stands for certified for Canada and the small “US” stands for certified for the United States.
The UL logo used alone on packaging means the product and all its components have successfully passed UL examination as a working unit.
At Omnify Lighting, we have quality products value-priced to meet all of your lighting needs and our knowledgeable associates can assist you in choosing the appropriate products for your specific application. If you have any more questions about LED lighting certifications or quality standards or about what is needed for your particular installation, please feel free to reach out to us.