TÜV Rheinland Blog - Stories from Asia and Africa

Compliance Considerations Smart Lighting Manufacturers Need to Make

Posted by TUV Rheinland on Mar 5, 2018 4:54:37 PM
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Sagar Patel, National Program Manager of Lighting Products, TÜV Rheinland

Mr. Patel has 10 years of experience in product safety testing and certification and over 5 years in Global Market Access. He oversees the operation of the Lighting Lab in Pleasanton and works closely with engineers, operations and sales. Mr. Patel is an active member of various organizations such as Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), Nation Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and represents TÜV Rheinland on various UL Standard Technical Panels such as UL 1598, UL 2108 and UL 8750 and IES Standard Technical Panel for Solid State Lighting.

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Sarb Shelopal, Global Director of Wireless, TÜV Rheinland

Mr. Shelopal has the responsibility to all regions on the emerging products. Mr. Shelopal has over 15 years of experience in regulatory EMC/Wireless testing and has held several positions with TÜV Rheinland including Director of Electrical Services, Division Manager for Telecom, Operations Manager, and Director of the Competency Center for ICT (Information Communication Technologies for TÜV Group). Mr. Shelopal is an active member in Thread , Wi-Sun, OpenADR, ZigBee and WiFi Alliance Group.


As IOT is growing exponentially, smart lighting is a popular industry topic. Did you know that smart lighting market will be worth 8.14$B by 2020 (according to Markets and Markets)? So, what do smart lighting manufacturers need to consider for compliance? What are the best ways to integrate wireless radio modules in today’s lighting products?

How has lighting changed? Are there new applications?
Outside of illumination, lighting now provides many other applications, including but not limited to:

  • Simulating sunlight (and thus increasing productivity)
  • Changing colors (thus affecting mood)
  • Temperature
  • Brightness
  • Syncing with music and video
  • Means of communication

As you see, lights are much more than they used to be. This makes compliance much more challenging, but interesting at the same time. In this blog post, we will look at considerations manufacturers need to consider. We will also take a look at whether it is best to custom build or use pre-approved radio modules.

What are the key considerations manufacturers need to consider?Light_bulb-1.png
So, now that we explored applications, here are the four main categories manufacturers need to consider:

  • Regulatory Compliance - Requirements include standards related to Product Safety, Electro-Magnetic Compatibility (EMC), Wireless, Environmental and Energy Efficiency.
  • Interoperability – Create a test plan based on the intended environment with different technologies (I.e. ZigBee is often used for home lighting application; IP based building management systems (BMS) for buildings)
  • Performance – Testing products to industry specific requirements, custom protocols or specific conditions.
  • Security (Network) – I.e. Communication devices using standard 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless communication protocols uses the appropriate encryption provided by the network.

Are off-the-shelf pre-approved vs. designing custom radio modules better?

Both pre- approved and custom radio modules hold unique benefits, while they can also be applied in different environments.

Pre-approved Radio Module

Designing a Custom Radio Module

  • Key benefits:

- Speed up the compliance process
- Reduce overall cost
- Only the end-product will require testing and not all the RF-functions of the radio module (if there are no modifications)

  • Consider the manufacturer’s target markets
  • U.S. and Canada accepts modular approvals.
  • Review the approval certificate in detail (install, usage instructions and any limitations on the authorization or restrictions of use).
  • Ideal for end product manufacturers with many products that communicate using a proprietary technology or in a specific spectrum (e.g. 434 MHz).

  • The radio module can then be tested and certified for the appropriate target markets for modular approval or within the lighting product.

Are There Specific Power Limits? How are These Controlled?
Make sure to know the rules and target country’s published maximum regulatory transmit power level limits for various frequencies. The actual transmit power level must be less than the published regulatory limits. In the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has documented limits and procedures for transmitters and products operating in well-known and commonly used un-licensed bands:

  • 902-928MHz
  • 2400-2483.5MHz, and
  • 5725- 5850MHz

In other countries, these are regulated by Industry Canada (IC), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), Korea Certification (KC), National Communications Commission (NCC, Taiwan) and other similar organizations.

Now, that we have explored the areas of considerations, what types of testing should we consider?

Type of Testing:

Examples of Testing:

Electrical Testing

  • In-Situ Temperature Measurement Test (ISTMT)
  • Transient Protection
  • Photobiological Safety Testing

Mechanical Testing

  • Vibration
  • Mechanical Shock
  • Impact

Environmental Testing

  • Ingress Protection (IPxx)
  • Corrosion/Salt Fog
  • Temperature & Humidity
  • UV Exposure 

Photometry Testing

  • IES LM Standards
  • Design Lights Consortium (DLC)
  • Lighting Facts
  • Energy Star 

Security Testing

  • Wireless security testing
  • Internal and external penetration testing
  • Cloud security
  • Application security
  • Mobile security

For more information, speak to our experts: 

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Topics: LED lighting, Wireless