Intertek has introduced a Horticultural Lighting Certification Program to help manufacturers develop products that comply with the safety and performance requirements unique to horticultural lighting. The product testing firm points out that in North America, horticultural lighting products do not have any safety and performance standards specific to them. For this reason, Intertek has devised a unique certification program to guide lighting makers through all applicable requirements. This certification program conducts tests according to multiple current standards and looks at those in development.
Horticultural or grow luminaires are lights intended to be installed in a horticultural application either above the canopy or intracanopy. Intertek says that unlike general lighting, which manufacturers get tested for IES LM-79 for performance characteristics, horticultural luminaires require additional assessments for safety and performance. The firm notes that a typical permanent application luminaire is certified to ANSI/UL 1598. As such the luminaire must meet ANSI/UL 1598 requirements for elevated ambient temperature, corrosion, humidity, and ingress protection.
Standards Beyond ANSI/UL 1598
However, Intertek says that horticultural luminaires must consider additional requirements for outside (non-freshwater) fixtures ANSI/UL 1598A due to the exceptionally corrosive environment in which luminaires may operate. Also, according to Intertek, testing for the ANSI/UL 50E and IEC 60598-1 which relate to the connection to the power supply should be conducted.
Intertek asserts that it has expertise and capabilities to help horticultural lighting makers meet these unique demands, achieve ETL mark certification, and expand into this marketplace.
Carl Bloomfield, Intertek Global Business Line Leader for Lighting, compared testing for conventional LED lighting to testing for LED-based horticultural lights.
“For the most part, the testing is largely the same,” Bloomfield wrote in an email. “However, the parameters are different. For example, performance testing for conventional LED lighting products measures parameters that impact humans like CCT or CRI, whereas such parameters are not critical for horticultural lighting.”
Bloomfield added, “But in the end, we are conducting a photometric test to an industry standard, so nothing different is being done for performance testing. Another example is thermal testing where, as noted above, the temperature considerations for horticultural lighting is higher than conventional LEDs.”
Bloomfield said, “For example, a conventional LED luminaire is tested with an ambient rating of 25° C, while a horticultural luminaire is tested with a rating of 40°C, given the higher temperatures present in settings such as greenhouses.”
ASABE x642 Standard
Bloomfield pointed out that the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) is developing a performance standard for directly comparing horticultural lighting products which is being referred to as ASABE x642.
He said that the company takes part in developing industry standards and noted, “Intertek experts actively participate on committees that develop industry standards, along with other industry experts. In the case of the ASABE standards, the committee chair (me) is an Intertek employee, working with other industry leaders on developing the new performance standards for these products.”
Parameters such as Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), Photosynthetic Photon Flux (PPF) and Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD) are not measured but calculated based upon other measurements. According to Bloomfield, “Under the ASABE x642 working group, the test method is similar to that used for conventional luminaires. However, the focus is on spectral distribution calculated from measurements obtained under the parameters established for horticultural luminaires.”