The Difference Between ETL and UL May 27, 2017 – Posted in: Lighting Information
Many consumers have already heard about ETL and UL certifications among products that are sold in the market. Though, they have not taken a full grasp on what ETL and UL are all about. Producers or companies, however, are more conscious about ETL and UL certifications. Some companies even boast of their UL and ETL certificates. For what these certificates are all about – this leaves a question to many ordinary consumers.
What do ETL and UL mean? What are the differences between ETL and UL? These are just a few of the many queries that we want to be answered.
What Is UL?
The UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories. It is an American certification company that is inclined to safety consultations to various companies worldwide. Based in Northbrook, Illinois, UL has 46 offices in different countries and has been active since the 1890s. It focuses on the safety analysis of products in the market.Most of which are technology and electrical items and components.
Also, UL is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to conduct safety testing. To uphold the safety of a device, UL has to inspect, validate, test and audit the manufacturer. It even provides training to various clients, including retailers, consumers, and even policymakers. UL sets certain standards for a device or component to be UL-approved.
When a product is listed under UL, this means that the product has passed the test and inspection. The product has met all the relevant elements under the Standards for Safety set by the UL.
Most of the UL-approved products are essential parts of making up a larger product. A good example of this is a video card product which is an important item in completing a PC or a laptop. Under UL inspection, the video card has passed the standards that are relevant for it to carry out its particular end use successfully.
What Is ETL?
The Electrical Testing Laboratories or famously known as ETL is an American company that certifies if an electronic product or component has passed its Standards for Safety. Its history can be traced back in 1896 with its founder Thomas Edison, and its original name was Lamp Testing Bureau. Their primary purpose is to test light bulbs for safety.
When the product has an ETL mark, it means that the product has abided the North American safety standards.
Presently, ETL is under Intertek Testing Laboratories which is one of the world’s biggest Testing, Inspection and Certification companies. Intertek is an OSHA-recognized NRTL and is an accredited member of the Testing Organization and Certification Body of the Standards Council of Canada.
Compared to UL, ETL does not print its standards. It tests electronic parts and components based on the standards set by other NRTLs such as ASME, ASTM and that of UL.
Because of ETL, we are assured that the electronic items marketed in stores are safe to use and have passed the international standards set by the ETL.
What Is the Difference Between UL and ETL?
Frankly speaking, there are no differences between UL and ETL. Both provide certification that the product has, indeed, passed the standards set by the NRTL. Both make sure that the electronic items are safe to use. Aside from that, they also approve that materials are capable components in producing the larger electronic products. ETL tests products for it to determine whether it has passed the UL Standards for Safety.
In conclusion, an ETL-listed product has met all of the specific criteria items that are similar to that of UL. So, it is not surprising if there are products that are both ETL-listed and UL-listed.
Ensuring the Safety of the Product
The ETL and UL certifications and listings are important aspects in producing top-quality electronic items especially light bulbs and wirings. This is to ensure the safety and security of the consumers in the long run.
Thus, this serves as a lesson for many consumers out there. Always make sure that the lighting fixtures and other electronic products are ETL or UL listed. This assures us that these products are, indeed, safe to use.
Meanwhile, qualms about the differences of ETL and UL should be minimized, if not removed. What is important is that both are inclined to the safety and quality of the products in the market.