ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY (EMC) TESTING FOR LIGHTING
Electronic products are commonly required to be tested for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) as per international and regional requirements. At Coco Lighting we carry out in-house EMC testing as standard on all our lighting conversions.
We can help you provide compliance in demonstrating that your lighting product’s electronic emissions will not affect the normal operation of, nor be affected by, other products within the same environment to the EN55015 standard.
With LEDs in luminaires becoming the industry standard, EMC has become an increasingly significant issue for the lighting industry.
The issue stems from the fact that in order to maximise the overall efficiency and keep heat dissipation to a minimum, fast switching power units and controller circuits are used.
The downside of this technique is that high-frequency energy is generated and this can cause high levels of interference unless great care is taken with the design.
EMC Testing - What are the legalities?
The UK government adopted stringent laws back in 1992 to prevent the occurrence of EMC problems forcing all manufacturers and importers of electronic goods to ensure that their products are electromagnetically compatible. Customers often require that products are UKCA marked. This mark signifies that the goods meet all the relevant 'UKCA Marking' directives in place in Europe, including the EMC Directive as written into UK law by Statutory Instruments. The legislation in place guides manufacturers' down a route of proving EMC compliance through EMC testing. It offers two basic methods to prove EMC Compliance:
• Declaration of Conformity: EMC Testing to harmonised standards and make a declaration that the product complies, known as the EC Declaration of Conformity.
• Technical Construction File: Agree an alternative or reduced test plan with a 'Competent Body', test and submit all relevant document to the body, known as the Technical Construction File.
Should a case ever go to court, a manufacturer can defend themselves if they can show that they have taken "all reasonable precautions and due diligence".
i.e. they have checked the product, undertaken EMC Tests and made a concerted effort not to inadvertently break the law.
How to reduce the risk?
As EMC is an intangible phenomenon, it is difficult for manufacturers to know if their products are electromagnetically compatible. The only real way to find out is to conduct scientific EMC Tests.
These need to be performed with a production model and may need to be repeated at a later date to ensure compliance is maintained following changes in the production. OEM parts and accessories should come with a Declaration of Conformity and be checked for compatibility with the final product's intended use.
For more information about how we can help with our conversion service please get in touch.