Underwriters Laboratories, also known as UL, is an independent safety certification company. Since 1984, they have been testing a wide variety of products, components and materials according to certain standards and to see if the products are safe for operation. But what exactly does UL certification entail? And why is the UL seal so important, especially for the sale of electronic equipment?
UL seal: Why is it important?
In the course of the last century, Underwriters Laboratories has developed into the world’s best-known independent certification organisation for product safety. Every year, millions of products and their components are tested according to strict UL safety standards. This is why the UL seal is particularly important for products intended to be used in the US, where product liability laws are even stricter than in Europe.
UL testing ensures that devices can handle the specified amount of current, for example. They also ensure that products are constructed correctly, thus guaranteeing their operational safety.
Different kinds of UL seals
A general UL approval does not exist. Instead, it is divided into different stages:
The UL Recognized test seal is often granted to components that are used in a product carrying a UL Listed seal such as circuit boards or power supply units, for example.
The biggest difference between the UL Recognized and the UL Listed seal is that the latter is given to stand-alone products. In order to qualify for certification, the product is subjected to far more tests than are necessary for a product to get UL Recognized.
The UL Listed seal means that UL has tested the product to nationally recognized safety and sustainability standards. An UL Listed approval thus guarantees the safety and durability of many household items under normal wear and tear in daily use and is therefore considered a quality feature, especially by US customers.
UL-classified products are only tested for certain properties, a limited range of hazards or suitability for use under restricted conditions. If a product is UL classified, it meets the requirements of one, but not all, of the tests that are normally part of a standard.
However, there is not one single test for obtaining a seal, which is applied to all products to be tested. Instead, testing is always adapted to the product type. There are different categories and classes, according to whose safety regulations the product is tested. A refrigerator is therefore tested according to different specifications than a KVM switch.
In order to be permitted to use the UL seal over a longer period of time, manufacturers must ensure that their certified products permanently meet the relevant safety requirements. For this reason, UL-certified devices at G&D are tested four times a year according to these specifications.
Difference between CE and UL certification
In contrast to the European CE mark, the UL mark is not legally required. By using the CE mark, a manufacturer agrees to comply with the required CE regulations. However, equipment that should be labelled with the UL mark must be subject to independent certification by UL. A product carrying the CE symbol can therefore additionally carry the UL or another quality seal.
UL certification of G&D devices
At G&D, devices of the
- DP1.2-Vision and as well as some devices of the
- ControlCenter-Compact series
carry the cULus mark. This label means that our devices may carry the UL Listed mark and are certified for the Canadian as well as the US market.
With the CAT, fiber and IP variants of the various product series, over 300 of our devices are now UL-compliant.
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