The process that leads to certification of lighting components is well regulated by specific rules and directives. We are talking for example about the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive 2014/30/EU, the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU, but also the Regulation (EU) 2019/2020 and the Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.
Electromagnetic Compatibility for lighting systems
There Directive 2014/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council is the most complete tool for harmonizing the legislation of the Member States regarding the electromagnetic compatibility of various devices. In this case, in order to place the lighting systems on the market, they will be obliged to be marked with the CE marking, but also to present the EU declaration of conformity as a further attestation of conformity to community standards.
The Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive defines the harmonized standards on which to base the conformity assessment, ensuring that in all EU countries a lighting system is considered compliant and can therefore be marketed without any impediment whatsoever. The Directive always provides for the preparation of a technical file, after carrying out the necessary tests, to be kept available to the supervisory authorities, exactly as also happens for the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU.
As usual, the legislative framework leading to the CE marking defines specific obligations for operators connected to the product. These - at different levels - will have to draw up and maintain the technical documentation and the EU declaration of conformity, ensure that the necessary procedures are in place so that series production continues to comply; ensure that the appliance is accompanied by clear instructions and information and – upon reasoned request – provide all information and documentation, in paper or electronic format, necessary to demonstrate the conformity of the appliance.
Lighting systems and the Low Voltage Directive
It's with the Directive 2014/35/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council that the legislation of the Member States regarding electrical equipment intended for use within specific voltage limits. This directive also refers to IEC/ISO EN technical standards which manufacturers of electrical appliances must comply with, acting as a source of legislation aimed at combating the risks foreseen for health and safety.
The Low Voltage Directive establishes that products compliant with the Directive - and all other standards and directives relevant to the product - must be marked with the CE marking to indicate compliance and be the protagonist of a CE declaration of conformity, to be kept together with the associated technical documentation, as mentioned above for the EMC Directive.
As is known, CE certification is essential for placing various types of products on the market, including lighting systems. The CE mark guarantees the consumer the conformity of the product in terms of health protection, safety and environmental protection. The process necessary to achieve the Marking is marked by a series of obligations related to the different ones economic operators. The main responsibility of Certification is one of the duties of manufacturer, but there are various nuances in the process, so even figures such as authorized representative, importer And distributor are clearly involved.
LED, Ecodesign and regulation (EU) 2019/2020
The regulation (EU) 2019/2020 establishes ecodesign requirements for the sale or operation of separate light sources and control gear units.
In this regulatory framework we understand the light source as a electrically operated product intended to emit light mainly by incandescence, fluorescence, high intensity discharge or diodes. The power supply units are to be understood, however, as elements that work with light sources to prepare the mains electricity for the electrical format required by the source itself.
At the level of eco-friendly design of lighting systems LEDs – and therefore to improve the environmental performance of products during their life cycle – the Regulation presents itself as a useful tool for remedy the progressive loss of energy efficiency. These products, in fact, tend to lose brightness during their use; this means that the average energy efficiency obtained during the life of the product is lower than that of the new product.
In this context, Regulation (EU) 2019/2020 sets some limits of admissibility of the reduction of the luminous flux depending on the expected life of the source itself, recommending endurance tests to identify the potential loss of brightness of the products.
For example, with a typical expected life time of 15,000 hours, the reduction in brightness after 3,000 hours of operation (analysed in the laboratory) must be less than 7% of the initial value.
This is not an extremely severe limit in absolute terms, but a parameter to be used as a compass to distinguish between higher quality products and less performing ones in order to guarantee a net energy savings for the European system.
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