- What is UL?
UL is short for Underwriter Laboratories Inc. UL safety laboratories hold the highest authoritative power in the United States. UL is also among the largest private institutions conducting safety testing and accreditation in the world.
- What is ETL?
ETL is short for Electrical Testing Laboratories. ETL was founded by the American inventor Thomas Edison in 1896 and enjoys high repute both within the United States and around the world.
What is UL Certification?
The UL mark is usually labeled on the product and/or product packaging to indicate that the product has passed UL certification and meets safety standard requirements. There are three common UL safety marks for different types of UL services:
This is mainly used for general end-use products that consumers can buy directly from markets, such as home appliances, computers, heaters, fuses, power supply boards, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers. If the final product needs to be marked with UL Listed, UL should test the product sample to confirm that there are no hidden fire and electrical hazards. Any product marked with UL Listed indicates that a representative sample of the product meets the relevant UL safety standards. This safety mark series includes three different marks for the United States, Canada, and the United States and Canada.
UL Recognized is primarily a safety certification for components and materials. The accredited components will be used in assembling the finished product. The components must meet the relevant approval conditions before they can be used in the corresponding finished products. Examples include: switches, power supplies, printed plates, transformers, wires, plugs, and plastic materials, all of which are subject to approval.
A product that has specific hazard risks, specific attributes, or limited or special conditions of use, even if it is a legally regulated product, needs to be labeled with the UL Classified mark. The classification is primarily for building materials and various kinds of fire protection equipment and marine equipment. The classification mark involves one or more of the following requirements: specific risks, such as casualty, death, or fire; performance under specific conditions; specific regulations and requirements; and specific standards. Common products include fire doors, fire hydrants, medical equipment, and ice machines.
What is ETL Listed?
Like UL, ETL can test and issue ETL certification marks in accordance with UL standards or American national standards. It can also issue composite certification marks in accordance with UL standards or American national standards and CSA standards or Canadian standards. Any electrical, mechanical, or electromechanical product that carries the ETL mark indicates that the product has met the minimum requirements of the United States and Canada’s general product safety standards and has been tested to confirm that it meets the relevant product safety standards.
UL and ETL’s services are based not only on American standards but also Canadian standards. The letters “US” on the bottom-right of the mark indicates that it is applicable within the United States; the letter “C” at the bottom-left indicates that it is applicable within Canada, and a mark that contains both “US” and “C” on both sides indicates that it is applicable within both countries.
UL VS ETL
The main difference between products listed by UL and ETL is that ETL does not create its own certification standards. UL develops standards used by other organizations, including ETL.
Both are Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL). They act as independently-run, non-governmental laboratories. In addition, they are recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as laboratories suited for testing products according to safety standards.
What are the risks of using products without UL/ETL certification?
UL and ETL standards protect users from potential fire, electric shock, and personal injury hazards. UL/ETL has developed standard codes for various safety levels based on their tests for various products, external power supplies, and charging accessories. Many manufacturers produce products or purchase parts that have not passed UL/ETL certification to save on costs. This actually harms the safety of consumers.
When you purchase high-risk products, such as 110V products, you should take care to check if it has passed UL/ETL certification. If not, you are recommended to stop using the product to avoid accidents such as fire or electric shock.
Lepro produces a wide variety of products including LED high bay lights, LED shop lights, LED parking lot lights, LED tube lights, and LED recessed lights, which are suitable for various commercial and industrial lighting uses. All of them have passed UL or ETL certification, so you can buy and use them with a peace of mind.