Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories, or NRTLs, provide crucial third-party
verification of the safety of lighting products. These labs apply a variety of marks, or
badges, to indicate the level of examination a product has undergone and what standards
it has met. Safety standards are developed and published by organizations such as the
Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
The “UL Listed” product category indicates that a testing laboratory found a representative group of product samples met UL’s safety requirements,
usually based on published standards. The typical listed product is a complete system meant to be “plug and play” or “drop in,” meaning nothing else needs to be done to the product other than connecting power, either with a cord and plug or by hard-wiring. Tubular LED lamps can fall into this category if they are designed as a linear fluorescent lamp replacement with no ballast changes or disconnections, but “UL Listed” LED replacement lamps are uncommon. Note that the term “UL Listed” is often used inaccurately in advertising, when the product is in fact “UL Classified.”
A mark of “Classified” indicates that the product has been evaluated by a qualified laboratory, but only with respect to specific properties, a limited range of hazards, or suitability for use under limited or special conditions. LED retrofit kits and LED replacement lamps that require disconnection of the original fluorescent ballast and re-wiring fall into the “UL Classified” category. LED replacement lamps, kits and other components are rated as “UL Classified” under
UL-1598C, the specific standard for LED retrofit luminaire conversion kits.
The Electrical Testing Labs (ETL) Listed mark indicates that a product has been tested to the same standards as UL and met the same minimum safety requirements. Testing is performed by an independent Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, recognized by OSHA. The ETL Listed mark with the “US” identifier meets U.S. product safety standards only. An ETL Listed mark with the “C” identifier complies with Canadian product safety standards only. Marks bearing both identifiers comply with both U.S. and Canadian product safety standards.
The “Recognized” mark is used with components that are intended to be installed as part of a larger specific system, such as an LED driver, where the luminaire housing may provide protection from heat. The components are intended to be installed at a factory, not in the field. A luminaire can be rated for use with a variety of “Recognized” components without requiring retesting