Safety specifications for LED modules

Consolidated version of International Standard is published

By Morand Fachot

LED-based lamps are often described as the light of the future. They are very energy-efficient, durable and relatively new. IEC SC (Subcommittee) 34A: Lamps, prepares International Standards for all components in LED lights. A consolidated version of its IEC 62031 International Standard that sets safety specifications for LED modules for general lighting has just been published.

Safety specifications are important for the LED modules industry (Photo: Osram)

New but with a bright future ahead

LED-based lighting solutions have been described as the light source of the future, tiny and more energy-efficient than any other light source, easy to control and with a long service life, and they can be used for almost any lighting application.

They are set to revolutionize lighting and provide a welcome boost to the industry, accounting for around 60% its revenues worldwide by 2020.

The use of LED (light-emitting diodes) modules for general lighting applications is relatively recent. Acknowledging the need for relevant tests for this new source of electrical light, sometimes called “solid state lighting”, IEC SC 34A prepared IEC 62031, LED modules for general lighting – Safety specifications.

IEC 62031 was published in January 2008. Following publication of a first amendment in October 2012, a consolidated version of this International Standard is now available.

Provisions in the standard "represent the technical knowledge of experts from the fields of the semiconductor industry and those of the traditional electrical light sources". IEC 62031 covers LED modules with integral and external control gear. LED modules require electronic control gear designed to provide constant voltage or current. In LED lamps equipped with a lamp cap (self-ballasted lamp) intended to replace existing lights, such as incandescent bulbs, the control gear is integrated into the lamp.

Wide scope

The consolidated standard is very comprehensive and covers the following details:

  • Terms and definitions
  • General requirements
  • General test requirements
  • Classification
  • Marking
  • Terminals (screw, screwless & connectors)
  • Provisions for protective earthing
  • Protection against accidental contact with live parts
  • Moisture resistance and insulation
  • Electric strength
  • Fault conditions
  • Conformity testing during manufacture
  • Resistance to heat, fire and tracking
  • Resistance to corrosion

Four annexes to the Standard cover: tests; an overview of systems composed of LED modules and control gear; conformity testing during manufacture and information for luminaire design.

Given the spectacular growth of the LED lighting sector, this consolidated version of an International Standard which will help ensure LED modules are safe will be essential for all producers of all such modules.

store-2_osram_module_org Safety specifications are important for the LED modules industry (Photo: Osram)
store-2_ge_led_module_org GE Infusion™ LED module (Photo: GE)
store-2_led-driver_org LED lamps need power supplies (drivers) like this one to operate (Photo: Sunpower)