What Do These Certification Symbols Mean for Lighting?

When it comes to safety, even your lighting must meet specific safety regulations. Visible symbols on lighting products can tell you if they meet with the safety standards you need. However, without prior knowledge, it can be hard to decipher what those symbols actually mean  Below, the experts with Action Services Group help to explain the four most commonly used certification symbols on lighting products today.  

UL Certified 

A nonprofit organization, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). As such, it is recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), amongst many other industry leaders as an organization that conducts rigorous, independent research that collects and analyzes safety data. From working with internationally renowned experts to address potential risks and develop safety standards, to providing educational support and outreach initiatives to the public at large regarding safety, UL is an industry leader when it comes to scientifically-backed safety certifications.    Used internationally, the UL symbol is used in two ways. A UL-Listed certification is the more common of the two. UL Listed indicates that a product has been tested and does meet any applicable or necessary safety standards. A UL Recognized certification, however, is typically used on components. For example, a lamp that may be used in a wet environment may carry a UL Recognized certificate. This will tell users that the lamp has been tested and can withstand direct contact with water, in addition to humidity and other safety standards, to ensure it may be used outdoors without having to be enclosed in a fixture.  


There are many different lighting products that could suit your needs, but understanding the differences between the products can be challenging. In our Lighting and LED Product Education Center, you will find in-depth overviews and comparisons to help you select the right product for you and your facility. You will find pages covering: 


ETL Certifications 

The Lamp Testing Bureau was founded by Thomas Edison in 1896. As they expanded their testing to a wider array of products, the company changed its name to Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL). As with the UL certifications, ETL is an NRTL. Unlike UL, however, ETL does not publish safety standards. Instead, they are there to ensure products abide by those safety standards that are already publishedETL Certifications comply with OSHA and UL safety standards.   ETL is one of the fasted growing certification companies in the US and Canada. As a result, their symbol can be found on more and more products. As with the UL Listed mark, an ETL Listed symbol indicates that the product has been tested and abides by all necessary safety standards.    

CSA Labels 

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is known as CSA InternationalAnother certification company that is focused on US and Canadian products, CSA International is an NTRL.   CSA International ensures products follow safety standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Ul, and National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International. It is often considered a suitable substitute for both the UL and ETL certifications within the US and Canada.  


Sometimes we forget just how important lighting is in our lives and buildings. In our blog, Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Lightingwe examine different LED lighting solutions, and how they can decrease a building’s energy consumption and footprint. 


CE Markings 

The French company ConformitéEuropéene” (CE) is required for certain products that are to be sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). (This includes all countries within the European Union, as well as Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein.) It is important to note that these countries are likely to ban the sale of products that do not have a CE certificate. In fact, they may even issue fines for products that are non-compliant with safety standards within the EEA.   That makes the CE symbol an essential part of business with facilities within the EEA. However, you may want to make sure you have the right CE symbol. China Export, also CE, has a similar logo. However, this symbol indicates that the product was manufactured in China, not in compliance with EEA safety regulations!  Real vs Fake CE certification Symbols  

Find the Certifications You Need with Action Services Group 

Safety regulations can be complex. Because of this, you may need help determining which of the above certifications are required. Whatever your needs are, the experts with Action Services Group can ensure you have the right certifications.   To learn more about safety regulations and what certifications you may need to remain compliant, contact Action Services Group today by calling 610-558-9773 or email [email protected]. 

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