Is there big difference between the UL and ETL certification?

Yes, there is some difference between the UL certification and ETL certification

In lighting, UL is a more common mark than ETL.

But there really is little difference between the two, especially for those trying to pass inspection. Inspectors and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) accept both, as both show compliance with the minimum safety standards put forth by NRTL.

It is, however, a common misconception that UL is the only acceptable mark of compliance.

Both UL and ETL are recognized as NRTLs, or Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates and recognizes NRTLs.

According to many manufacturers who seek these certifications, gaining ETL listing tends to be a more expedited process than UL listing, despite the fact that testing is identical. And, in recent years, as technology has caused a proliferation of product, more manufacturers seem to be gravitating toward ETL as its listing laboratory, due to its quicker certification process.

In short, these days, ETL is often considered the more expedient testing laboratory of the two.


In my 8 years of experience in lighting industry, there are still some differences or why more lighting manufacturers are choosing the ETL certification instead of UL?

-ETL cost is much less than UL certification cost at least 50% for the set up fees

-ETL label cost is much less, you can print the ETL logo yourself and pay the cost one time per year. But UL certification label you have to buy from the UL and pay per pcs. The more you use, the more fees you pay includes the air freight cost to deliver the labels.

ETL label   UL Laser label

-UL listed LED lighting product normally choose the UL certifications components as well. Especially the LED driver, which is the most important components in LED lighting products. But many ETL listed lighting products choose some non-brand LED driver without any certification. Why? To lower the cost, so they can choose some small LED driver supplier to offer them the LED drivers and compete on price. But these drivers are not tested strictly and comprehensively. You can compare Brandon’s products and other ETL certification products, please open the LED driver and see the interior components. There is always a reason for high cost for lighting products.(Luxury brand products not included in this theory)

-ETL certification test is lower than UL in some aspects. UL covers all the test that ETL does but ETL doesn’t cover all the test that UL does.

Should you know more difference between these two certifications, please share to me. Email: info@brandon-lighting.com