UL Listings – Proof of Safety – What You Need to Know
“The door to safety swings on the hinges of common sense.” ~ Anonymous
As you browse through the AMP® Lighting website, you will see a symbol containing the letters ‘U’ and ‘L’. This is called the UL Mark and is only displayed when UL (originally called ‘Underwriters Laboratory’) has certified the product or products.
This certification means that UL has tested the product against one of its safety standards.
» AMP® Lighting is committed to developing products that conform to UL Safety standards.
UL (originally Underwriters Laboratory) is a “safety science company”. They develop product standards that ensure consumer safety.
The UL standards that apply to lighting products are aimed at preventing fires, burns, and electric shock injury.
HOW MANUFACTURERS WORK WITH UL
The first step is for the manufacturer to submit their products to UL. Then, UL tests the products against the safety standards. This testing is very rigorous and time consuming.
If the products pass the tests, then safety instructions that accompany the products are evaluated to ensure that consumers understand how to safely use the products.
Once approved, the manufacturer can use the UL symbol and claim compliance with the safety standard. But, the process doesn’t end there. There is a maintenance phase that involves UL inspections at the factories to ensure that products that come off the line also pass.
The testing, re-testing and maintenance is very costly. Manufacturers are charged significant fees initially and ongoing. Getting UL Listings is a big investment.
» AMP® Lighting is committed to making the significant ongoing investment required for UL Listings.
HOW CONSUMERS SHOULD VIEW UL LISTINGS
The National Electric Code is a set of rules that apply to all electrical installations. One section (NEC Section 411) deals with low voltage circuits. It requires that low voltage lighting equipment be UL listed for the purpose. This means that lighting fixtures, wire, and low voltage transformers should all carry UL Listings.
Consumers should understand that while NEC rules are not law, they are the guidelines that all electricians follow. NEC rules are also the basis of home inspections by electrical inspectors. Electrical inspectors can fail low voltage lighting projects if they contain non-listed products. Safety is the primary concern of inspectors – UL listings are proof of safety.
There is also the issue of liability. If contractors use non-listed equipment, they may be held liable in case of fire or injury on their customers’ properties.
» The bottom line for consumers: UL Listings are proof of product safety.
WHY WE SEE NON-LISTED LANDSCAPE LIGHTING PRODUCTS
There are many manufacturers who decide not to invest in UL Listings. In their view, it’s too costly and cuts into their bottom line. Contractors are also at fault; they should know enough to only buy listed products. Even inspectors can be at fault if they don’t check whether or not landscape lighting products are UL listed.
SOME LANDSCAPE LIGHTING PRODUCTS DO NOT REQUIRE UL LISTINGMost accessories, such as stakes, lenses, and tools do not require listings. If you have a question as to whether or not a product is UL Listed, please refer to that product’s page on the AMP® Lighting website.