The main differences between the LED drive standards ANSI / UL8750 and EN61347-2-13

In recent years, many manufacturers are planning to manufacture common global LED drive products with a wide voltage input. But since different countries have different product standards, it results in some difficulties and obstacles in the design and production. This article compares and analyzes the differences of LED driver design and test safety standards between the North American ANSI / UL 8750 standard, and European EN 61347-2-13 (to be used with EN61347-1) standard.

1. The differences in standards:

1) Products

The title of UL 8750 standard is Light Emitting Diode (LED) Equipment for Use in Lighting Products. These LED equipment include not only LED drivers, but also LED modules, LED controllers, and so on. However, the title of EN 61347-2-13 is Particular requirements for d.c or a.c supplied electronic control gear for LED modules.

The products covered are just LED electronic controls. Therefore, from the scope of products covered in the standards, we can see that UL8750 is wider than EN 61347-2-13.

2)  Products voltage range

In UL 8750, the products input voltage range includes maximum 600V commercial power and some DC power sources (including batteries, solar panels, etc.). And EN 61347-2-13 includes DC or AC sources which do not exceed 1000V.

3) The definition of working environment

In UL 8750, there are three definitions of working environment for LED driver application: Dry location, Damp location, and Wet location. When products are using in different environments, the related requirements in the standards are different.

In EN 61347-2-13 (EN 61347-1), the working environment for LED drivers is divided according to IP level. According to experience, if the LED driver meets EN 61347-2-13 IP43 grade and above, then it is confident enough to pass the UL 8750 Wet location test.

4)  The definition of electric shock hazard

In UL8750 and EN61347-2-13 (EN61347-1), voltage and leakage currents which exceed the limits are considered to be hazardous to electrical shock. See in the standards for specific limits.

5)  The requirements of input power cord

UL 8750 stipulates the power cord should be directly connects to the same color with commercial power. It requires the color of the zero line should be white or gray. However, EN 61347-2-13 specifies that the external power cord needs to be in accordance with the IEC/ EN standard, which means that the three-wire cable should be yellow/ green/ blue/ brown. Therefore, for stand-alone LED driver, it is almost impossible to find a power cord that complies with both UL 8750 requirements and EN 61347-2-13 requirements.

6)  “Class 2” and “Class II”

These two nouns are pronounced the same, but the meaning is quite different. “Class 2” is UL 8750’s definition about LED driver output, and its output voltage, current and power value is limited, which means that its output is safe. Generally voltage does not exceed 60Vdc, and current does not exceed 8A, and power does not exceed 100W (see the specific limits in the standard).

“Class II” is defined in the IEC / EN standard for protection against electric shock. According to EN61347-2-13 (EN 61347-1), LED driver’s “Class II” protection against electric shock does not depend on grounding, and neither only rely on basic insulation, but rather rely on double insulation or reinforced insulation, which is the common “back” -shaped mark. Therefore, even the same pronunciation and different writing, the meanings are different.

2. The different test requirements

1)  Adjustable light temperature rise test

There are many ways of integrated dimming for LED driver, mostly are “0 ~ 10V”, “DALI”, “DMX” and so on. And there is one more common dimming way which is thyristor dimming. UL8750 called it as Phase Cut Dimming. For LED driver with the input terminal which can be connected in series with thyristor dimmer, UL 8750 requires the driver needs to pass the normal temperature rise test, but also additional to meet the adjustable light temperature rise test, i.e. the LED driver’s input terminal should meet the temperature rise test requirements when connecting in series with thyristor dimmer to work. There is no similar test requirement in EN 61347-2-13.

2)  Related test of plastic materials

EN 61347-2-13 requires that the insulating materials used in each LED driver, such as transformer bobbins, plastic housings, etc., should be tested separately for heat, fire, or trace resistance. The UL 8750 does not require that. The manufacturer only need to purchase and use existing UL94/ UL746 A/ B/ C/ D certified plastic particles for injection molding, and to ensure that its certified parameters comply with LED driver’s applications. UL established a powerful plastic database. The manufacturers can set the search conditions according to their own needs, and then it’s easy to find the appropriate plastics.

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