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Majority of LED retrofit kits pose safety hazards, warns UL

Majority of LED retrofit kits pose safety hazards, warns UL

By BizLED Bureau

Apr 5, 2016:  Following a blog posted on the requirement to carefully plan often costly and ambitious LED retrofits where one of the recommendations from an expert Jody Cloud was to make certain that the LEDs are correctly authorized by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the global independent safety science company has issued a warning on LED retrofit kits.

UL says that over the past few years that have been increasing number of instances of inappropriately installed and uncertified retrofit lighting kits that might pose shock or fire hazard.

The business development Manager of UL’s lighting division, Shari Hunter estimated said that the occurrence of unacceptable installations might be 10% or higher. Certainly, only a small part of the insecure installations are in fact reported to UL, Hunter added. Up to now, wrongly installed LEDs have yet to be accountable for a fire.  According to UL’s senior regulatory engineer, Richard Berman, the hazard is real.

READ ALSO: IOTA Engineering offers emergency backup power for LED retrofit lamps

Huge question mark on installation security

Berman further added that in some cases installers making use of uncertified elements where they simply installing what is referred to as ‘pieces and parts’ of gears purchased from electrical dealers and, in spirit, make their own impromptu retrofit kits. In other cases, the directions associated with the kits are being ignored. They are making hazardous circumstances in respect to inappropriate wiring, or inappropriate components that have not been assessed, he said.

Hunter said that the circumstance might become worse. There has been enormous growth in the number of retrofit kits accessible as LEDs achieve fame and producers launch products to the market. Hunter and Berman opined that such issues are widespread and have been seen all over the globe, although they might be a bit more distinct in rural areas where allowing tends to be more relaxed.

Varied safety issues to b covered

Hunter said that in a current installation, a troffer may hold two or four florescent tubes. Switching to LED calls for a change in the power supply as well as the wiring. This will comprise of disconnecting the ballast and also removing or bypassing it as a whole.

Craig DiLouie from Electrical Contractor provided an insight into LED retrofits in 2015.  He said that the circumstances in which the new LED can be installed without adjusting the legacy luminaire are uncommon. If the luminaire has to be modified, an examination by some recognized authority needs to be performed.

READ ALSO: Global automotive OLED market to reach 7.74 million units by 2019

For an energy manager, the aim is fairly easy: Make certain that the LED retrofit kits that are selected for an assignment are UL-approved and that appropriate permitting takes place.

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