Electrical testing for lighting products

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Rufus

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Something like this, for example:
light.jpg
 

Sandyn

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This is a difficult one. Product safety standards exist to prevent people manufacturing dangerous products and selling them to the public, but the big down side is that it makes it very difficult for an individual to make hobby type products and sell them 'legally'.
I always sound like a real kill-joy when I tell people what they have to do to get a product properly certified, but the harsh reality is if you plan to sell this product to the public 'place it on the market', even as a hobby type product, you have to achieve CE certification to the relevant lighting standards under the low voltage directive and general product safety directive. There are two paths to certification. First is self certification and second is by external test house.
Can I ask an obvious question, what are the reasons you are wanting product insurance? What insurance do you require? is it public liability. The first thing I would do is to ask insurance companies what they will expect from you as a manufacturer. Try and get some quotes. You may find insurance companies who will cover you, no questions asked, but I would read the small print.
I would say that achieving certification by using an external test house is not financially viable for an individual. It costs Thousands of pounds. Self certification is a good option, because it will make you aware of where your product doesn't meet the standard. If you don't know that already, then your product may be dangerous. What I don't know is if self certification would be accepted by a insurance companies?

The other view:-
There are many people who make and sell lamps to the public and don't do any certification and never have any issues. It is possible to make a product perfectly safe. A huge number of products from the far east sold on the big selling sites are not properly certified. There's no epidemic of deaths/injury because of them.

The problem with this is when you look at the worst case scenario. Who would be held responsible if something tragic happened.
 

Spectric

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Looking at that picture the bulb holders look to be antique brass and the flex the modern equivalent of the woven type used back in the day, but it looks to be only two core, with metal bulb holders they must be connected to the CPC and so three cores.

As for certification the main concern is "are they safe" and look into CE marking.

The test I would undertake would be a simple PAT test, maybe not required but it would give confidence all is ok and the protective conductors are not only continous but capable of handling fault current.
 

blackteaonesugar

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I've made quite a few lamps and my approach or my thinking, perhaps wrongly, is that they are made up of parts that are all CE marked.
So the flex, the bulb holder, the plug, all certificated.
I would then get them PAT tested too.

These for example I made the bases, but the actual lamps are Ikea table lamps albeit with a flex and plug fitted by me.

Screenshot_20220308-110409.png


Not sure if that approach holds water but as mentioned, it becomes impossible costs wise for a small maker.
 
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niall Y

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For simpler lights such as table and standard lamps, there are firms on Ebay offering made up lengths of flex and fittings. I recently purchased such an assembly for a small table lamp I am making. This comes with an electrical test sticker to place on the finished Item. Obviously, the flex has to be threaded into the lamp before the plug is fitted. But, if one is confident about wiring a plug correctly, then this isn't going to cause problems when selling the item on.
The sort of lighting the OP shows it is mainly all flex and fittings, so not doing this ' in house ' will prove unprofitable. The best approach would be to find someone who can do the testing for him at a price that is economically viable.
 

Spectric

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about wiring a plug correctly, then this isn't going to cause problems when selling the item on.

Ensure you do not fit a 13 amp fuse and then all you need to be is confident that they are safe and no one is getting hurt. If you avoid ALL metal fittings then a CPC is not required. These days with LED bulbs I doubt heat and lamp shades will be an issue, have not seen a burned or melted shade in years.

By the way nice looking lamps but look at ways to hide the flex, a simple grove in a leg or something.
 

Rufus

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I've made quite a few lamps and my approach or my thinking, perhaps wrongly, is that they are made up of parts that are all CE marked.
So the flex, the bulb holder, the plug, all certificated.
I would then get them PAT tested too.

These for example I made the bases, but the actual lamps are Ikea table lamps albeit with a flex and plug fitted by me.

View attachment 131081

Not sure if that approach holds water but as mentioned, it becomes impossible costs wise for a small maker.
Nice lamps @blackteaonesugar. And a great idea of repurposing IKEA lamps in that way. I guess your thinking was similar to where my head was at. Good quality components and then a PAT test although I've not tried the insurance element of it yet (public liability). I have this eternal anxiety that something will go wrong which is why I want the comfort of something to back me up.

Do you do your own PAT testing?
 

Sandyn

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Just for information, even if every part you use is fully CE compliant does not mean that the thing you are making then is compliant, That's like saying I wired my own house using only compliant products, therefore it meets requirements.

PAT testing is a production test. Every lamp should be PAT tested before being sold.



Perhaps it would be worth you looking at doing a technical construction file to show how the product is designed, constructed and tested. It sounds daunting, but it's actually quite easy to do, Just a lot of gathering of information and I guarantee you will end up with a safer product. The design just now, is not safe per the standards, but so is a lot of stuff you can buy from Asia.
A technical file generally comprises:
Description of apparatus, with block diagram-trivial
Wiring and circuit diagram-trivial
General arrangement drawing-trivial, probably not required
List of applicable standards IEC 60598-1 Luminaires-Part 1 General. This will tell you which classification your type of lamp falls under and the relevant standard for that. Probably IEC 60598-2-Not trivial, but the most important factor to understand safety of the part you are selling.
Records of risk assessments and assessments to standards- Easy
Data sheets for safety critical components-easy
Parts list-easy
copies of any markings and label-any luminaire must be marked in accordance to the standards, i.e a label on it.
Copy of instructions- easy
Test reports-depends how much you choose to do.
Quality control-easy
Declaration of conformity-THE BIGGY!! are you willing to put your name on a declaration to say you are happy it is safe. Some companies do this. I have worked with a Luminaire company which just created a declaration. no testing, no reports.

The lightbulbs, even though supplied with the fitting should not be part of the defined apparatus, otherwise you get drawn into bulb safety, possibly LED eye safety.

The alternative to the above is to do what others do and hope nothing goes wrong, but if you do this, there are sensible things you can do to minimise risk.
 

Rufus

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Thanks, that's very useful. It sounds like a technical file would be very useful if things went wrong. It's definitely an area where some clearer, common guidance would be useful.
 

Sandyn

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It's definitely an area where some clearer, common guidance would be useful.
I think it will make you look at what you have made and see what might need to be done to improve the safety. Technically, the product is very simple, so it's not going to be difficult. I am happy to help out where I can. I have done a technical file for a lamp before. It was a modified commercial lamp which was used for transfer of data by light. The problem is it was a portable lamp, not a fixed lamp, so I don't have the specification which shows the particular requirements for fixed lamp like yours.
 

blackteaonesugar

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By the way nice looking lamps but look at ways to hide the flex, a simple grove in a leg or something.

I've done that with other lamps and sold them all in makers galleries.
I found that people have a perceived upper limit of what they'll pay for a lamp so the extra work and attention to detail involved in doing that, was very rarely noticed or appreciated.
The flex used is in itself a lovely thing. I use that retro style coloured cord flex and it looks great against the wood.
It's nice to have it on show.

Some others wot I done.

Screenshot_20220308-184144.png

Screenshot_20220308-184126.png

Screenshot_20220308-184210.png

Screenshot_20220308-184813.png

Screenshot_20220308-184230.png

Screenshot_20220308-184335.png
 
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Spectric

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Hi

You may not remember or they may have influenced you but back in the seventies there was a time when a lot of people had these orange tubular lamps but on straight legs and your last two remind me of those, nice so see retro styles.
 

Sideways

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Playing devils advocate, the person assembling these could be a big lad / lass tightening tiny screws in the plug or socket. Easy to over tighten the screws, cut or crush strands of the conductors and cause premature failure of the flex + possible short to the metal body.
Even in the ordinary wiring regs, installers are required to observe manufacturers specifications for tightening torque - so that's £80 odd on a torque limiting screwdriver and replacement every year or two because they are cheaper to replace than to get calibrated. And how would you have even known to ask the manufacturer of your plugs and lampholders for a tightening torque ?
1. You are right to be nervous about product liability.
2. Even in apparently simple products there can be issues you never even imagined that could bite you in the ass.
3. Do you know what laws, regulations and standards apply to the different things you might make ?
3. Probably the only way to defend yourself against the risks will be to pay a "professional" to assess your products for you. By doing so you are demonstrating reasonable dilligence and shifting some of the risk onto their company / professional insurance. Asking some questions on the internet won't go far as a defense in court.
4. Is it cost effective ? Probably not. Regulation isn't friendly to small business, but it can be argued that small businesses in many cases will have less time, resource and expertise than a larger manufacturer, and those limitations make them more likely to overlook a risk to their customers....
5. When you try to buy insurance for this, I imagine the insurers will ask about this. Of course they may just take your money subject to XYZ having been done, and if you ever claim, their first step will be to try and show that you didn't do XYZ properly. Cynical ? Me ?
 

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You can do all the technical file and certification yourself, it’s not hard, but you have to know how to do it and if you don’t, that’s where getting some help can be worth it. I’d expect to pay £500-£1000 for that and it would give you what you’d need to then modify and update for every other similar product, subject to changes in regulations.

Having the required paperwork isn’t optional, placing onto the market something without it, is illegal and should you cause harm, you’d rightly be in a lot of trouble.
 

blackteaonesugar

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Hi

You may not remember or they may have influenced you but back in the seventies there was a time when a lot of people had these orange tubular lamps but on straight legs and your last two remind me of those, nice so see retro styles.

Do you mean like these?
I actually have one 😊

Screenshot_20220308-222940.png
 

Rufus

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I think it will make you look at what you have made and see what might need to be done to improve the safety. Technically, the product is very simple, so it's not going to be difficult. I am happy to help out where I can. I have done a technical file for a lamp before. It was a modified commercial lamp which was used for transfer of data by light. The problem is it was a portable lamp, not a fixed lamp, so I don't have the specification which shows the particular requirements for fixed lamp like yours.
Thanks. That's a useful offer and as I get further down the road, I will drop you a message.
 
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