LED Retrofits for Luminaires and Signs


I see many kits to retrofit or convert incandescent and fluorescent luminaires and signs as well as neon signs to LED lighting sources. Does this impact the UL certification of these existing luminaires and signs? Does UL certify these retrofits and conversions kits?


In short, yes, modifying a product can impact its certification. In addition, UL does certify retrofit conversion kits for luminaires, signs and exit signs.The UL Mark applied by manufacturers to Listed products at the time of manufacture indicates that the product complies with UL’s applicable requirements when it leaves the factory and that it was manufactured under UL’s Follow-Up Service at an authorized location. When a UL certified product is modified in the field, it is not possible for UL to confirm that a product continues to meet applicable certification safety requirements unless the field modifications are evaluated by UL under a field evaluation involving on-site UL inspection of the product. However, an effective alternative to a UL field evaluation is to utilize retrofit products and kits specifically investigated and certified by UL for installation in UL Listed luminaires and signs.

Luminaire Retrofit Kits

Luminaire retrofit kits are Classified under the Luminaire Conversions, Retrofit (IEUQ) product category described on page 165 of the 2011 UL White Book. This category covers retrofit devices or kits intended for field installation in UL Listed luminaires. The retrofit kits have been investigated in conjunction with their use on specific luminaire types using all the same UL safety requirements applicable to a new luminaire to determine that when installed in accordance with the retrofit kit manufacturer’s instructions, the kit does not adversely affect the operation or safety compliance of the retrofitted luminaire.The IEUQ category includes all types of luminaire retrofit and conversion kits. There are several types of LED retrofit luminaire conversion kits currently covered under IEUQ, some of which:Replace a ballast with an LED power supply and include an LED module or LED tubular lamp Remove a ballast and directly wire an LED module or LED tubular lamp to the branch circuit wiring Provide LED modules or light sources that may useoriginal fluorescent lamp holders or use new lamp holder

A luminaire modified with a retrofit kit that no longer accepts the original replaceable lamp will have a new label affixed by an installer. The label will indicate that the luminaire has been modified and can no longer be operated with the originally intended lamp(s). New LED Retrofit Product Categories

UL has created new categories for LED retrofit kits in recognition of continuous technological advances in LED lighting and the challenges associated with installation of LED retrofit kits. These categories cover permanent and portable luminaire conversions and are titled Light Emitting Diode Retrofit Luminaire Conversion Kits (IFAR) and Light-Emitting Diode Retrofit Luminaire Conversion Kits for Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers (IFAS). These categories were created after the printing of the 2011 White Book, so they will appear in the 2012 edition of the White Book. In the meantime, UL’s Online Certification Directory at www.ul.com/database contains a description of both categories. All certifications of LED retrofit luminaire conversion kits presently under category IEUQ will be transitioned to these new categories over the next several months.LED retrofit kits certified under these categories are identified with a UL Classification Mark on one of the major subassemblies that states: LED RETROFIT LUMINAIRE CONVERSION FOR USE ONLY WITH (specific types of luminaires or specific luminaire manufacturer and model number) IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED WITH THIS RETROFIT KIT.

Electric Sign Retrofits

Retrofit kits used to convert non-LED UL Listed electric signs are Classified under the Sign Conversions, Retrofit (UYWU) product category described on page 389 in the 2011 UL White Book. These kits consist of a power source, LEDs and mounting means necessary to change the illumination to LED. The installation instructions specify the type of sign in which a kit is intended to be installed. The kits are also marked to specify they are to be used only with electric signs from specific manufacturers.Self-ballasted LED lamps

Self-ballasted LED lamps intended to be installed in Edison screw-type, GU24 and other ANSI lamp bases and connected directly to line voltage supplies are Listed under the Self-ballasted LED Type Lamp category (OOLV), described on page 269 in the 2011 UL White Book. These products may be used in Listed permanently connected and portable luminaires and electric signs. Unlike LED retrofit kits, self-ballasted LED lamps are intended for use only in luminaires that do not need to be modified or rewired to accommodate them. Self-ballasted LED lamps are generally for use in dry, indoor locations unless additionally investigated and marked for applications such as damp locations (not directly exposed to water).

Products investigated and marked for wet locations may have additional restrictions regarding use or orientation. Unless marked otherwise, self-ballasted LED lamps have been investigated for use in the smaller of a 6- or 8-inch diameter totally enclosed recessed luminaire in which they will fit physically. Products marked “Suitable for Use in Open Luminaires” are intended to replace tungsten-halogen lamps in applications where the luminaire is open and does not require an additional lamp containment barrier.Installation considerations

When inspecting installations of LED retrofit kits, care should be taken to verify that kits bear appropriate UL Classification Marks and are installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Markings on the kits should also be examined to verify they are being installed in appropriate applications.In addition to the information published in the UL White Book, you will also find the Guide Information and the product certifications in UL’s Online Certification Directory at www.ul.com/database by entering the four letter product category code in the category code search field.

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