Regulatory Product Certification Marks UL, ETL, CE, CSA, RoHS, Energy Star & DLC

Regulatory Product Certification Marks UL, ETL, CE, CSA, RoHS, Energy Star & DLC

What Are Certification Marks UL, ETL, CE, CSA, RoHS, Energy Star and DLC, What Do They Mean?

“Standards writing and publishing is independent of specific product testing and certification functions. Standards are (usually) created by independent committees, who then publish their rulings with the assistance of standards organizations such as UL, ETL Listed, CE, CSA, RoHS, Energy Star and DLC. Approved standards are then made available to manufacturers as well as testing and certification organizations to assist with design, testing, certification and LED certification.”

“Once a product has been found compliant with a standard, the accredited testing laboratory authorizes the product to bear that laboratories’ licensed mark. So, the approval mark on the product shows consumers, specifiers, and authorities which accredited testing service has certified the product, not which service published the standard.”

Now, the meaning of each Certification Mark and what it stands for.

Underwriters Laboratories


The UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Listing Mark

 What does UL stand for?

This is one of the most common UL Listing Marks. If a product carries this Mark, Underwriters Laboratories found that samples of this product met UL’s safety requirements. These requirements are primarily based on UL’s own published Standards for Safety. This type of Mark is seen commonly on appliances and computer equipment, furnaces and heaters, fuses, electrical panelboards, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems, personal flotation devices like life jackets and life preservers, bullet resistant glass, and thousands of other products.

UL Listing certifies, validates, tests, inspects, audits, and advises and trains. We provide the knowledge and expertise to help customers navigate growing complexities across the supply chain from compliance and regulatory issues to trade challenges and market access. In this way, we facilitate global trade and deliver peace of mind.

Our five businesses, Product Safety, Verification Services, Life & Health, Knowledge Services and Environment, demonstrate our expanding breadth of expertise and growing range of services to offer solutions needed in a constantly evolving world.

Energy Star

Energy Star (trademarked ENERGY STAR)

is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products originated in the United States of America, It was created in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Since then, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the European Union have adopted the program. Devices carrying the Energy Star service mark, such as computer products and peripherals, kitchen appliances, buildings and other products, generally use 20–30% less energy than required by federal standards. In the United States, the Energy Star label is also shown on EnergyGuide appliance label of qualifying products.

The EPA estimates that it saved about $14 billion in energy costs in 2006 alone. The Energy Star program has helped spread the use of LED traffic lights, efficient fluorescent lighting, power management systems for office equipment, and low standby energy use.

RoHS Compliance

RoHS, also known as Lead-Free, stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. RoHS, also known as Directive 2002/95/EC, originated in the European Union and restricts the use of six hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products. All applicable products in the EU market after July 1, 2006, must pass RoHS compliance. RoHS impacts the entire electronics industry and many electrical products as well.

The definition and aim of the RoHS directive are quite simple. The RoHS directive aims to restrict certain dangerous substances commonly used in electronic and electronic equipment. Any RoHS compliant component is tested for the presence of Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Mercury (Hg), Hexavalent chromium (Hex-Cr), Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). For Cadmium and Hexavalent chromium, there must be less than 0.01% of the substance by weight at raw homogeneous materials level. For Lead, PBB, and PBDE, there must be no more than 0.1% of the material, when calculated by weight at raw homogeneous materials. Any RoHS compliant component must have 100 ppm or less of mercury and the mercury must not have been intentionally added to the component. In the EU, some military and medical equipment are exempt from RoHS compliance.

ETL Listed Edison Testing Laboratories

The ETL (Edison Testing Laboratories) ETL Listed Mark

The ETL, Edison Testing Laboratories, Listed Mark is proof of product compliance (electrical, gas and other safety standards) to North American safety standards.  Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ’s) in 50 states and Canada and retailers accept the ETL Listed Mark as proof of product safety. Manufacturers are choosing ETL certification because it gives them a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Today, the ETL Listed Mark is featured on millions of products sold by major retailers. The product with ETL extract transform Listed Mark from certified by ITS. This certification mark indicates that the product has been tested to and has met the minimum requirements of a widely recognized U.S product safety standard, that the manufacturing site has been audited, and that the applicant has agreed to a program of periodic factory follow-up inspections to verify continued performance.

CSA safety listing (Canadian Standards Association) CSA Mark

What does CSA stand for?

CSA certification CSA Group has the largest subject area recognition of the SDOs accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), an organization that coordinates Canada’s National Standards System. We maintain our accreditation by developing consensus standards that adhere to the requirements established by the SCC.

United States
CSA Group is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), an organization that coordinates the standards strategy for the U.S. We maintain ANSI accreditation by developing consensus standards that comply with ANSI Essential Requirements.


ce rohs European Commission Mark


The CE (European Commission) Mark

The European Commission describes the CE certification mark as a “passport” that allows manufacturers to circulate industrial products freely within the internal market of the EU. The CE mark certifies that the products have met EU health, safety and environmental requirements that ensure consumer and workplace safety. All manufacturers in the EU and abroad must affix the CE mark to those products covered by the “New Approach” directives in order to market their products in Europe. Once a product receives the CE mark, it can be marketed throughout the EU without undergoing further product modification.

Most products covered by New Approach Directives can be self-certified by the manufacturer and do not require the intervention of an EU-authorized independent testing/certifying company (notified body). To self-certify, the manufacturer must assess the conformity of the products to the applicable directives and standards. While the use of EU harmonized standards is voluntary in theory, in practice the use of European standards is the best way to meet the ce requirements of the CE mark directives. This is because the standards offer specific guidelines and tests to meet safety requirements, while the directives, general in nature, do not.

What Is A Kilowatt Hour, How Is Electricity Billed

Federal Communications Mark


The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Mark

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency that is directly responsible to Congress. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The FCC’s jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.

All devices that operate at a clock rate of 9 kHz are required to test their product to the appropriate FCC Code.

FCC Mark

DesignLights Consortium Service Mark


The DLC (DesignLights™ Consortium) Mark

What does DLC stand for? The qualified products list is a resource for program administrators, to help them decide which solid state lighting products to include in their energy efficiency promotions. Their primary reference tool for SSLs is ENERGY STAR, however, the regional list fills in gaps in categories which ENERGY STAR does not include. DOE’s ENERGY STAR team is working in cooperation with DLC to develop the Qualified Products List (QPL) and procedures. The Members expect the products from their QPL will eventually be incorporated into the ENERGY STAR list once corresponding categories are added.


IP Ratings (Ingress Protection)

A two-digit number established by the International Electro Technical Commission is used to provide an Ingress Protection rating to a piece of electronic equipment or to an enclosure for electronic equipment.

The protection class after EN60529 are indicated by short symbols that consist of the two code letters IP and a code numeral for the amount of the protection.

Example: IP65 (NEMA 4)
The two digits represent different forms of environmental influence:
• The first digit represents protection against ingress of solid objects.
• The second digit represents protection against ingress of liquids.

The larger the value of each digit, the greater the protection. As an example, a product rated IP54 would be better protected against environmental factors than another similar product rated as IP42.


IP First digit:
Ingress of solid objects
Second digit:
Ingress of liquids
0 No protection No protection
1 Protected against solid objects over 50mm e.g. hands, large tools. Protected against vertically falling drops of water or condensation.
2 Protected against solid objects over 12.5mm e.g. hands, large tools. Protected against falling drops of water, if the case is disposed up to 15 from vertical.
3 Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm e.g. wire, small tools. Protected against sprays of water from any direction, even if the case is disposed up to 60 from vertical.
4 Protected against solid objects over 1.0mm e.g. wires. Protected against splash water from any direction.
5 Limited protection against dust ingress.
(no harmful deposit)
Protected against low-pressure water jets from any direction. Limited ingress permitted.
6 Totally protected against dust ingress. Protected against high-pressure water jets from any direction. Limited ingress permitted.
7 N/A Protected against short periods of immersion in water.
8 N/A Protected against long, durable periods of immersion in water.

A PIP in the standard PIP housing is generally IP51 protected. Higher IP protection level with the standard PIP housing (up to IP54) can be reached with good positioning/orientation of the PIP. In other special PIP-housings, like up to IP67 protection is possible.

The PANEL-PIP is available in various housings. Those allow a protection level of up to all around IP65.

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LED Corporations is one of the only LED sources that provides only quality certified LED lighting products like our LED Garage Lights or Landscape lighting. Please contact our company directly for more information. For More information or questions about this certification mark article and the information, it contains please leave a comment below.


posted on November 24, 2015 Reply

hi! i am from greece and i recently purchased o voltage regulator by vmark a chinese company! on their webside down below are markings like ce iso9001 and rohs compliant. however when i received the product the rohs marking was not on the packaging neither on the product.i found only the ce and the iso9001 is that possible?i sent them an email but they never answered. i don’t know what to do. i am concerned about my health and the enviroment. please respond to me because they will not answer me.

LED Corporations
posted on November 27, 2015 Reply

It seems that you have been sold a product that was misrepresented to be what it was not. I would contact council in your country to file a complaint against this company..

posted on August 19, 2016 Reply

I’m a Compliance Engineer working for a luminaire LED manufacturer. I’m looking for a advance tracking software for my compliance department. Any suggestion is greatly appreciated.

posted on January 30, 2017 Reply

What are the LED buld certification requirement for USA? I hear that all of the certification are optional including RoHS and UL

LED Corporations
posted on January 31, 2017 Reply


United States requires all LED products to go through product safety testing and certification. This is UL, ETL, CSA and, to a lesser extent, CE testing. CE is the certification for the European Union and recently excepted my most municipalities in the United States, even though they would prefer to see UL or ETL. All these companies do RoHS(Restriction of Hazardous Substance) testing when they certify products. One of these companies has to certify all LED’s sold in the USA. Sometimes two certifications is required if CE was the first company to test. If one of these tests has not been performed on a LED product, it can not be installed in the USA. If there happens to be a fire or damage to the home or building and an insurance company finds out that you installed products that were not certified, they will not cover the damages.

Energy Star and DLC are optional tests and not required for the product to be installed in the United States. However, they are required by almost every energy company that offers rebates on LED upgrades. In the lighting world Energy Star is typically a test for Lamps and DLC is typically a test for Fixtures. While UL, ETL, CSA and CE test the product to make sure that it won’t burst into flames or hurt anyone when in use, Energy Star and DLC test the product to certify that it preforms to its specification. What this means is Energy Star and DLC makes sure that if the spec sheet of a fixture says that it uses 100 watts of power and produces 140 lumens per watts, that it, in fact, does really only use 100 watts of power and produces 140 lumens per watt. This is a very simplified explanation of what they do without getting into their regulations and requirements. It is a third party check system that insures energy providers that the LEDs being install will, in fact, save the amount of energy that it says it will on paper. It is almost an industry standard to have your products tested by Energy Star or DLC but not required.

So in conclusion, a product safety test is required for all LED Products installed in the USA while performance testing is not required to have you fixture installed in the USA. But at the end of the day most manufacturers are putting their fixtures through Energy Star or DLC testing.

Thank You

posted on March 2, 2017 Reply

Thank you for the information. Per the link below

it says, UL or any safety certification are optional. I do understand the insurance and big companies may not want to but non certified products …but trying to understand the legal obligation vs nice to have things

LED Corporations
posted on March 3, 2017


Yes, it is 100% voluntary to not have your products safety tested. Many manufacturers out there don’t do it because many parts of the world do not require the testing. However, even though the Department of Energy says that the Safety Certifications are voluntary (I would check to see how old that link is because it doesn’t make sense), here in the United States, that testing is required by NFPA (National Fire Prevention Agency) and is now built into the NEC (National Electric Code). You can’t install anything that hasn’t been tested. Wire, Junction boxes, Light fixtures, light bulbs…..the list goes on and includes LEDs. For many jobs that I have done, I have been required to submit the UL or ETL approval paperwork to the inspector during the inspection so he can make sure everything has been safety tested. If an inspector discovers that the product is not safety tested, they will not give you a Certificate of Occupancy. Which means if it’s a business, the business can not open. If it’s a home, the homeowners can not move in. If it’s a factory, they will not be able to start manufacturing product. The contractor will have to fix issue then resubmit for an inspection which can takes weeks, if not months. I have seen these exact screw ups cost contractors tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As far as legal obligation, I am not a lawyer so I don’t know the exact law or statute or if there actually is one. I can only speculate, based on what I have seen, that using untested products will most likely land you in civil court, due to the money lost because of delays and change orders. For exact answers to the legal obligations, I would contact a construction lawyer. They would know the answer to that question much better than I would.

My final thought on this is if you were trying to figure out whether you needed to Safety Test product you were trying to sell in the United States, the answer is yes. It isn’t just a nice thing to do, it is required. Your product will not be able to be installed in the United States and no supply house or rep firm will carry your product because they will be unable to sell it. I won’t look at anything that is safety tested.

posted on May 12, 2017 Reply

Hello “LED Corporations”,

I think for general consumer, non-industrial, non-commercial use you can certainly import and sell product that has not been tested for safety. Unless the retailer itself requires it (Home Deport, Best Buy, Amazon, etc), I do not think you need to have it. For example, if one has their own ecommerce website selling LED products, it is probably legal to import and sell products directly to non-commercial end users that have not been safety tested. Not advisable, of course. And I certainly wouldn’t do it myself. But I think it is allowed.


LED Corporations
posted on May 17, 2017 Reply

Sure Jon,
There is no rule stating you have to install safety tested lighting, However, if your home has a fire and the inspectors find non-safety tested lighting in the home or business good luck trying to have the insurance company cover your losses.

As you say not advisable

posted on July 24, 2017 Reply

Is such battery with these certifications “CE | FCC | ROHS” on a mobility scooter be allowed on an airplane for traveling?
Please advise

LED Corporations
posted on August 3, 2017 Reply

Hello Miguel,
With this question, all airlines have different rules as to what they allow onto their flights. IM no expert in airline regulation so I would recommend you contact the airline you are planning to travel with and ask them.
Sorry I could not be more help with this Miguel and wish you the best of luck

posted on September 23, 2017 Reply

Hello LED Corporations,

First of all, thanks for the great Article!

I have a product that includes 9 LED lights, where each light has 108 LED, is 30W, 3600 lumens for a size of about 53cm.
The 9 lights are linked to each other with a cable.

The lights are assembled (and can be disassembled) on the other parts of the product by the customer. It’s a transportable photography studio.

I know the lights must have some certifications, but I am not sure on how to proceed for the full product. Because the lights produce some heat and are about 5cm close to fabric (with anti-flammable coating).

What certifications do I need for the lights to sell in USA and Europe (we sell directly to customers)?
What certifications do I need (if any) for my full product?


LED Corporations
posted on September 25, 2017 Reply

Hello Pierre,

You should contact The CE (European Commission) Mark Commission for European certification, and Underwriter Laboratories “UL” as listed on this page.
From there they should direct you to what you need to do to get a listing with them.

Your Welcome

Philip Ha
posted on October 5, 2017 Reply

Hi LED Corporations,

I got some LED driver for the LED light inside a Lab ULT freezer from China. The certifications are CE, SELV, UL RoHS and so on … (NB: I can attach the picture of the LED driver so you can examine it. Just let me know how I can attach it). I understand that UL is a certification by itself, as does CE and RoHS, or SELV.
However, a gentleman from a Canadian Certification told me that the product is certified only as a “UL unit for RoHS”, and is not a UL certified product.
Is he right?, or I am taken for granted? I am not an electronic or electrical engineer, but more like a Biomedical one, so please kindly forgive my ignorance. Thank you.

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