RCM Testing and Certification of Luminaires
All lighting products sold in Australia must be safe and meet the requirements of AS/NZS 3820, (Essential safety requirements for Australia & New Zealand). This standard references/relies on compliance to relevant product specific safety standards and for lighting, the standards differ based on luminaire type.
Examples of Australian product safety standards for luminaires:
- AS/NZS 60598.2.1 Luminaires – Fixed general purpose luminaires
- AS/NZS 60598.2.2 Recessed Luminaires
- AS/NZS 60598.2.4 Portable general purpose luminaires
- AS/NZS 60598.2.5 Floodlights
- AS/NZS 60598.2.6 Luminaires with built-in transformers for filament lamps
- AS/NZS 60598.2.10 Portable child-appealing luminaires
- AS/NZS 60598.2.17 Luminaires for Stage Lighting, Television, Film, and Photographic Studios (Outdoor and Indoor)
- AS/NZS 60598.2.20 Lighting Chains
- AS/NZS 60598.2.22 Luminaires for Emergency Lighting
Examples of Australian standards for luminaires controlgear:
- EC/EN 61347-1 Lamp controlgear – General and safety requirements
- AS/NZS 61347.2.3 Supplied Electronic Ballasts for Fluorescent Lamps
- AS/NZS 61347.2.9 Ballasts for Discharge Lamps
- AS/NZS 61347.2.11 Electronic Circuits used with Luminaires
- AS/NZS 61347.2.13 Supplied Electronic Controlgear for LED Modules
While all lighting products must meet the above relevant standards, the need for a formal approval certificate differs and is split into two categories;
“Prescribed Articles” are products typically used in domestic situations such as table, floor or hand lamps. These typically plug into a wall outlet and require mandatory testing and certification prior to sales. Lamps that are child appealing also are prescribed articles requiring mandatory certification. The standard AS/NZS 60598.2.4 covers the safety aspects of table and floor lamps while child appealing is covered in AS/NZS 60598.2.10. It is important to note child appealing types cannot contain any 240V part and must include a low voltage power supply in its construction to meet the Australian safety requirements for compliance.
Lighting falling into the “Non-Prescribed Articles” category is typically installed by an electrician for both domestic and commercial applications such as wall or ceiling mount luminaires. Most are in the category of General type which is covered within the standard AS/NZS 60598.2.1 however other types may include down lights and recessed types to AS/NZS 60598.2.2, flood lights to AS/NZS 60598.2.5 or street lights to the AS/NZS 60598.2.3 standard. We also test both emergency type and exit signs which are covered by AS/NZS 60598.2.22 and this shall include performance tests to AS 2293 standards.
What is required to submit items for product safety testing?
Typically 2 complete samples are required, along with completed User / Installation Instructions.
All components used in the construction of the luminaire should hold existing Australian component approval, including but not limited to the Australian certified lamp holder (E14, E27, B22 or B15), In-line cord switch, fluorescent ballast or LED power supply / driver.
For example, if you wish to sell a desk lamp, we require 2 samples and they need to be supplied for testing with an existing, Australian approved lamp holder, mains cord, mains plug and switch (if applicable).
Family variations can be included within the test report once we see the differences and this can be the most cost effective way to include other models of the same or similar construction. If a luminaire is an outdoor type to be exposed to the weather additional testing is required to cover aspects of water or dust ingress to Ingress Protection standards depending upon the desired IP rating.
To label a luminaire with the required RCM logo, it must meet both Electrical Safety and EMC (Electro-Magnetic Compatibility) compliance. For lighting, the relevant Australian EMC standard is AS/NZS CISPR15. This testing ensures the item does not cause interference with other electrical items close by. Many LED luminaires contain a high frequency LED power supply that without proper design or EMC filters, may cause undesirable interference with local FM radio’s or television signals.
Luminaires that only contain a lamp holder in their construction and hence the light source is replaceable, do not require EMC testing.
What about VEET and iPART Schemes?
The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) and NSW Energy Savings Scheme (iPart) were created to provide financial incentives for organisations to invest in energy savings projects. Austest labs provides additional reporting for both schemes.
LCP (Lamp Circuit Power) is required for both VEET and iPART schemes and is the total true power of the lamp and the control gear for each luminaire. The Lamp Circuit Power is measured with the LED lighting product powered by 230VAC, 50Hz in accordance AS/NZS 60598.1.
ISTMT (In-Situ Temperature Measurements) is required only for VEET and is performed to ensure a LED module is operating within manufacturers specifications and to estimate the life when operated within a luminaire. For this, we require copies of the LM-80 projected Lifetime test report and the LED chip datasheets for review.
1 sample of the product with Installation Instructions is required to be submitted for testing.
Once all relevant testing has been completed and prior to labelling with the required RCM logo, various types of company and product registration/certification is required.
RCM MARKING, REGISTRATION AND CERTIFICATION
Australian Responsible Suppliers are required to register through the EESS website which allows the use of the RCM Mark and provides a link between a product’s Safety Approval Certificate and the supplier. The public on-line database contains all mandatory listings for Declared Articles while Non-Declared are voluntary however encouraged to demonstrate compliance of supplied products to market.
Once registered as a Responsible Supplier, the RCM labelling standard guide will be issued to the contact person in your company. The fee for registration as a Responsible Supplier is $200.00, renewed annually under the ERAC scheme. To register a product that has a Certificate of Approval, a one off fee of up to $375.00 for a 5 year period applies. We can complete the certificate registration on your behalf once set up as a responsible supplier for a small fee.
The ERAC website and database also covers ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) compliance aspects for EMC certification however, the supplier is required to maintain EMC compliance folders (containing the relevant test report, product spec/pictures and Supplier declaration of Conformity) off-line. ACMA registration is a free, self-certification process based on a Suppliers Declaration with your test report and product details held in a compliance folder for possible future auditing by the ACMA.