The certification of products provides a substantial basis of demonstration that a product meets minimum standards of safety and performance ensuring protection of the end user and expected performance and reliability in normal use.
In Europe we use CE marking as the basis for demonstrating that mandatory requirements have been met.
European legislation for product certification specifies conformance assessment based upon the CE marking system.
The CE mark is attached to a product when (and only when) there is a relevant European directive which mandates the expected minimum requirements for some aspect of the product’s construction or specification.
The company applying the CE mark provides a declaration of conformity claiming that the product(s) meet the requirements of the European directives and regulations and lists the key standards which have been supplied.
For LED products for use in general lighting applications the route for CE marking is through self-certification as shown in the diagram, which means that the manufacturer should declare conformance when they are confident (and confidence requires some level of due dilligence) the product meets the requirements.
CE Marking is the mandatory route for all Lighting Products in Europe
Lighting products for general illumination purposes will be subject to the following key directives under
CE marking :
Low Voltage Directive (LVD) - 2014/35/EU from 20th April 2016
Electro-Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive - 2014/30/EU from 20th Apr 2016
Restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) Directive - 2011/65/EC
Eco Design Directive (ERP) and relevant regulations - 2009/125/EC
Radio Equipment Directive (RED) 2014/53/EU for any wireless/radio enabled products
Providing evidence that a product meets the requirements of the directives is based upon reference to key standards which guide the manufacturers in the best practice of testing of the product for safety and performance related aspects.
European conformance is generally proven through reference to European Normalised (EN) standards which generally apply across all European countries.
A BS EN standard is technically identical to the EN version and would be applicable for a UK manufacturer to use.
However, in the absence of EN standards then other internationally recognised standards may be used providing they are relevant to the European market use.
Some typical standards bodies which are important for Lighting products are IEC, CIE and IESNA. The standards to be complied with are many and depend very critically on the type of product i.e. module, lamp, driver or luminaire and the application of the product e.g. recessed lighting, portable or streetlighting, for instance.
Technical File and Accreditation of Testing
It is often asked what accreditation is necessary for testing for CE marking. The quick answer is that it is not a legal requirement that accredited laboratories provide the test reports.
However, the manufacturer shall be required to ensure that their technical file can demonstrate that their product meets the relevant requirements of the European directives and regulations,
One way in which the manufacture is to have confidence it has met the requirements is to use test reports from accredited testing laboratories. Challenges by market authorities to any of the claims made about a products conformance may be more easily dealt with when an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory has been involved in the formulation of the test reports.
There are three main widely adopted schemes in operation which are readily in use in Europe :
IECEE CB scheme (http://iecee.org)
ILAC signatories - such as UKAS in the UK (ukas.org)
ENEC scheme run by EEPCA (http://www.eepca.eu/page.php?p=2)
Declaration of Conformity
The declaration of conformity is the legal document which attests that the manufacturer is confident its product complies with the requirements of the European directives. It should only be signed by the company directors when there is sufficient information contained in the TECHNICAL FILE e.g. test reports to back up the assertion of compliance in the normal route for applying the CE mark through self-certification.
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