AVID Labs’ first priorities are the safety and reliability of our products distributed by Apollo Design. A product may meet every design specification but that doesn’t ensure the product is safe. You could design an amazing flamethrower to melt snow but there will most likely be huge safety issues.
To ensure our products are properly designed for both safety and functionality, all of our mains voltage products go through the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) certification process.
UL is one of the oldest testing agencies in the country and writes most of the electrical safety standards for lighting products accepted in the US. UL is authorized by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue a certification mark. UL certification means the product has been tested and determined it meets UL’s requirements. These requirements are based primarily on UL’s published and nationally recognized Standards for Safety.
The first step of UL certification occurs during the design stage when the applicable UL class is identified. For example a lighting product maybe classified under UL1598 (a standard for luminaries). The design team ensures the relevant points of the Standard are incorporated into the design specifications. After the initial design, a 3D printed version of the product undergoes an in-house review where the design is assessed against the Standards to ensure the final product will be compliant. We often perform our own tests beyond the requirements to confirm the safety, performance and quality of the design. For example, we test our submersible products by immersing them in a tank four times longer than the Standards require.
Once the design passes our extensive in-house testing, a small production run is made and the manufactured product is put through the in-house testing protocol again. The product is then ready to submit to UL for testing certification. UL provides third-party inspection to ensure the product is safe, suitable for the market (Canada/USA), is appropriate for the intended installation, has long term suitability, and meets essential legal requirements such as radiated or conducted emissions (limits placed by the FCC in the USA).
The UL Mark is the single most accepted Certification Mark in the United States. To determine if a product is UL certified, look on the product for a holographic sticker that includes the UL logo and the E-file number.
UL isn’t done once the product is certified. UL performs regular on-site audits to ensure standards and regulations continue to be met. The auditor is available for questions and advice if minor changes are required. This third-party review challenges our manufacturing processes and ensures we use high quality components that carry the UL mark.
Third-party certifications are both expensive and time-consuming. However to customers, distributors and retailers, a certification mark means they can be confident they are purchasing a product that has been evaluated by an accredited independent organization for safety, reliability and quality. The product is truly up to par.
The AVERE line of fixtures by AVID Labs holds third-party certifications. To learn more about our fixtures, review the features or contact an Apollo dealer.
Alex Tollington – MEng, CEng, MICE, M.ASCE