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Participant

Join Date: Feb 2008
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Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

02/11/2008 2:34 PM

Good day, everybody,

Do you know the best and least expensive way to get a UL/ULC certification for a lighting fixture imported and made in Europe.

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#1

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

02/11/2008 3:41 PM

Depending on your location, you need to find a Recognized Certification Body in your locality. The reason for someone local, is that they will want samples, drawings, etc and the closer you are to them, the easier the shipping costs will be. Having said that, since time-to-market is usually the key motivator, I'd make turn-around time your primary consideration, ahead of costs.

Since you mentioned ULC, I take it you want Canadian approvals, so I'd suggest you contact QPS in Toronto (www.qps.ca) . If you're in the US, try www.sgs.com . The bigger players (not to mention any names) tend to be slower and less likely to assist new customers.

If you still need assistance, repost here and I'll see what I can do.

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#2

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

02/11/2008 6:30 PM

Met Lab. I believe they have facilities nation wide.

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#3

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

02/12/2008 1:56 AM

Yes. When sending in your UL certification application, make sure to put a twenty dollar bill in the envelope. After that, I guarantee you'll never have problems from the UL ever again.

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#4

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

02/12/2008 6:39 AM

http://www.csa-international.org may be a good start.

Best is to get the production line certified or else you will need every shipments to be inspected, a quite expensive process.

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#5

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

02/12/2008 9:59 AM

Giga is right. You don't want to have each shipment approved, unless you bring in a sizeable lot and don't do it very often. It's best to have the production line approved. Even that's a bit complicated. If you can get the manufacturer to approve them then he pays for the approvals, the annual fees and the inspections, but then he can sell through other distributors as well. If you (and I'm assuming you're a distributor) obtain the approval, then you become the "manufacturer" and "own" the certification mark. However, you are then responsible for the annual fees and inspections. You also become responsible for ensuring the product is not changed (ie alternate ballasts, sockets, wiring, etc.)

Your best bet may be to work an exclusivity deal with the manufacturer where you split the costs but they retain ownership of the approval. Until then, special inspections and individual labelling would be your best bet.

Sorry, there is no cheap and easy way around this.

Either way, contact CSA, ULC, SGS, QPS or MET and talk to them. Tell them what you want to do and get time and cost estimates.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

02/12/2008 11:27 AM

I had a job as a student to have biotech lab apparatus inspected, and perform modifications when needed.

The worse was to disassemble an instrument completely to paint the insides using a fireproof paint, just because the plastic was not self extinguishing.

The simple was to re-order the ground wires going to a stud so the mains ground was the first at the bottom.

It was my first experience at working to eliminate my job by having things done right, at the factory. This is the best way to go...

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#7

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

02/12/2008 1:35 PM

I think first you should define whether or not you mean listing of one single light fixture that you already own and can't install because it lacks a UL label, or whether you want to import a product line from Europe that does not have UL listing.

If it is one fixture that you cannot install because it is not UL listed, then the answer would be NO, you cannot get one device listed like that. Well, technically you CAN, but the cost would be ridiculous, as in $20k or so.

If you want to have an entire product line imported and need for it to be UL listed, the best place to do that is at the manufacturing plant. UL may require changes to meet their requirements and / documentation and/or testing that can only be done in the manufacturing process. UL has programs and representatives in almost all countries where manufacturing of products bound for North America is performed.

UL.com is a good place to start.

It should be clarified that the other options mentioned above would be ALTERNATIVES to UL listing, because only UL can provide UL listing. They are not a governmental approval agency, they are a for-profit company and do not sub out their work.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

02/12/2008 2:20 PM

Agree with most of what you said; except that "only UL can provide UL listing ". While technically that's true, the important thing is to be approved to the UL standard, not who does the approving. There are many Nationally Recognized Testing Labs (NRTL) around North America who are accredited to approve to a whole range of UL, CSA, IEC and ISO standards. In fact, since the original query was for UL/ULC approval, the end use will probably be in Canada, and for that, the CSA standard, not the UL standard needs to be used. In fact, the ULC mark indicates an approval by UL to the Canadian standard. So, my original statement to shop around among the NRTLs for the best turnaround time still holds.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

02/12/2008 4:35 PM

Well I agree in that you are being perhaps more helpful in that answer; I was being more technically precise (for what that's worth). When one goes to UL for a listing, it is a UL listing. When one goes to any other NRTL for a listing, whether or not the standard they use was developed by UL, the listing is theirs, not UL's.

In other words, if you take it to ETL for listing, the label will be ETL's and you can say it is "ETL listed". Most states that require NRTL listing will accept ETL and ETL will challenge any that do not. So the net result is essentially the same.

But if you say it is "UL Listed" when the listing was done by ETL, UL will be able to sue you (or ETL) to cease and desist. I have witnessed them doing just that in the case of ETL. In addition, if you say it is CSA listed and in fact it is cUL listed, CSA looks unkindly on that. But UL and CSA in particular have a good working relationship and tend to not interfere with each other as long as they respect the rules and technicalities. UL and ETL (or other NRTLs) do not.

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Participant

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#15
In reply to #8

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

01/03/2009 10:11 AM

do you know if I need UL approval for lighting fixtures to import to US? thanks so much!

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Participant

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#13
In reply to #7

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

01/03/2009 10:10 AM

do you know if I need UL approval for lighting fixtures to import to US? thanks so much!

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#10

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

02/12/2008 11:04 PM

Tomson, just so we don't get you totally confused as we banter technicalities back and forth, as stated, only UL can give you a UL listing, just as only CSA can give you a CSA certification, ETL an ETL Approval and so on. This just means that they did the work and they post your approval in their register or whatever. That's like saying only Shell can make Shell gas and only Esso can make Esso gas. That doesn't mean much to the end user. All you wanted was the gas and as long as it works, it's cheap and available, that's what you'll buy. In the same way, in the US, state regulators want equipment evaluated and approved to UL standards. In Canada, the provincial authorities want equipment approved to CSA standards. It really doesn't matter to them who does the approval, as long as they're on their list of accredited outfits, be it UL, CSA, MET, QPS etc. I said I didn't want to confuse you, but I do have to add that in the US, OSHA accredits (decides) who can legally test and mark equipment, while in Canada its SCC (Standards Council of Canada) who does this. Their jobs is to audit and verify that the CSAs and ULs of their country is knowledgeable and technically capable of evaluating equipment to these standards.

So there you go Tomson, a whole bunch of background info to help you on your way. Feel free to jump in any time with more questions. There seems to be a lot of good info here at CR4.

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Anonymous Poster
#11

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

02/16/2008 2:06 AM

Contact Underwriters Laboratory. They are very nice, cooperative and helpful.

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Anonymous Poster
#12

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

03/09/2008 11:08 PM

My name is Eli Puszkar and I work for UL.

We will be glad to help you. my contact information is:

eli.puszkar@us.ul.com

(847) 736-0192

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Participant

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4
#16
In reply to #12

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

01/03/2009 10:11 AM

do you know if I need UL approval for lighting fixtures to import to US? thanks so much!

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Anonymous Poster
#19
In reply to #12

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

05/21/2009 12:46 AM

hi Ely,

glad to had you here.

talking about UL. so.. basically is only a high voltage products lighting fixtures that need that UL certification. right?

what about LED lighting fixtures that come out with under 24VDC?

does it need UL certified as well?

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Participant

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Posts: 4
#14

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

01/03/2009 10:10 AM

do you know if I need UL approval for lighting fixtures to import to US? Thanks so much!

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Anonymous Poster
#17
In reply to #14

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

01/05/2009 3:53 AM

Good day, everybody,

Do you know the best and least expensive way to get a UL/ULC certification for a lighting fixture imported and made in Europe.

do you know if I need UL approval for lighting fixtures to import to US? Thanks so much!

Even if one knew the answer, your questions make it impossible to actually know the question...because you are having difficulty with the distinction between import (from) and export (to). Perhaps it would help to know your location. Do you want to export (from where you are in Europe or elsewhere) to the US? Or do you want to import products manufactured in Europe to your location in the US?

Always glad to see joiners to this site, but care and precision with language and terminology goes a long way towards getting answers.

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Participant

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1
#18
In reply to #17

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

01/23/2009 11:45 AM

A lot will depend on how quickly you need these listings...For speed and "compatability" I would suggest using CSA labs in Canada....they are usually quicker than UL and their label is as acceptable in the US market as UL is these days....either way, you should apply for both UL & CSA listings if you want to cover all of US & Canada.

You may want to consider using a laboratory that is recognized by UL and/or CSA....This allows your product to be fully tested (and modified if required during testing etc) before any submission to UL or CSA....If you submit a product to UL/CSA and it fails any of the required tests, you have to go back and forth re-submitting product until it finally passes all requirements.

Initially it may seem more expensive to do so, but In the long run it usually works out because you are almost guaranteed a listing each time.....and the more complex the fixture type, the more problems are likely.

Also be aware that UL only tests for safety.....Not that the fixture functions correctly or can be installed in the US.....This is a particular problem when fixtures are recessed in ceilings etc......Most "offshore" fixtures have to be extensively modified to comply with NEC and local building codes.....

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Anonymous Poster
#20

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

07/14/2009 5:29 PM

I would recommend buying from wholesalers already doing the business. They have the customs and the approvals all set up. Contact me if you would like more information. danielc@maximlighting.com My name is Daniel Chou

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Anonymous Poster
#22
In reply to #20

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

08/01/2010 2:17 PM

Postings from idiots like this are exactly why small businesses are not able to succeed. 'Just buy from the big guys'. As a small business with an LED product that we want to bring to market, the cert folks want $10k per model to bring them to market Thats about $60k. I am left with this choice, either bankrupt my business for the privilege of selling product to Canada, or take the much cheaper solution of CE certification and sell to Europe. The market is 1/8 the size in Canada and will cost 25 times as much to sell here. If you are ever wondering why Canada lags behind in consumer technology, this would be the reason. Everyone wants a share of your profit. The safety aspect of certification is also bs. Frankly, CE certified products are good enough for Europe with a much higher population but we have to re-invent the wheel because its not save enough for us? Thats just stupid.

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Anonymous Poster
#21

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

07/14/2009 5:55 PM

Hi.

Unfortunately the least expensive seems never to be the best way...I am an engineering consultant in the lighting Industry working with US and overseas companies. A good part of my work is involved with the UL listing (especially with overseas clients)....If you want to pursue this yourself, I would advise you to use CSA in Canada for your UL/CSA submission (It is faster and often less expensive and just as accepted as UL).....Name the final assembly point (either here or in another part of the world) as the place of manufacture and try to include as many "families" of product at one submission.

However, my advice would be to use one of the recognized test facilities that do testing prior to the actual submission so that any problems can be overcome before you send the product to UL or CSA. UL & CSA will investigate your product for you but if it fails for any reason thermally or physically, you will have to re-submit the units after you have made modifications.....This will add to the timeline and also the cost of submission the more problems you encounter.

Also, Remember that having a listing on product is not just a one time cost.....Annual fee's are applicable to keep your files up to date and for the honor of having a UL or CSA inspector visit your assembly plant (unannounced) several times per year.

Hope this helps

Regards

BrianT

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Anonymous Poster
#23
In reply to #21

Re: Need UL Certification for a lighting fixture

12/21/2010 11:29 AM

Is there any legal / Insurance company requirement for a fixture to be approved by a test lab?

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