Standards for Eye and Skin Safety
Important Eye and Skin Safety Notice:
All lights sold in Canada, the European Union, and Asia are required to be tested to the IEC-62471 standard to protect workers from injuries and blindness caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV), visible, and infrared/thermal electromagnetic radiation. If a manufacturer applies a CE or CCC mark to an LED light for sale in Europe and China, respectively, without supporting documentation of IEC-62471 compliance, the equipment can be recalled and prohibited from sale. The manufacturer can also be liable for fines and other damages. Although the U.S. does not require IEC-62471 compliance today, UL regularly requires IEC-62471-compliant LED lights for systems that could be sold in Canada or other non-U.S. markets.
Smart Vision Lights IEC 62471 Documentation
Standard: IEC/EN 62471
As LEDs become widely used in many LED lights, assessment of the unique “Blue Light” hazard is critical. As of September 1, 2009, IEC/EN 62471, Photobiological Safety of Lamps and Lamp Systems, was fully applied to all LED lighting products.
IEC/EN 62471 gives guidance for evaluating the photobiological safety of lamps and lamp systems including luminaries. Specifically it defines exposure limits, references measurement techniques and the classification scheme for the evaluation and control of photobiological hazards from all electrically powered incoherent broadband sources of optical radiation, including LEDs (but excluding lasers), in the wavelength range from 200 nm through 3000 nm. This standard was prepared as Standard CIE S 009:2002 by the International Commission on Illumination.
Created by Underwriters Laboratories, ANSI/IESNA RP-27 is the original photobiological safety standard for lamp systems in the United States. This set of regulations was the basis for the IEC/EN 62471. Similarities between the two documents include:
- Associated risk
- Exposure limits for spectral distribution of optical radiation
- Representative radiometric magnitudes
- Methods of measurements
The ANSI/IESNA RP-27 and the IEC/EN 62471 contain minor differences including:
- Weighting functions for calculations of radiance
- Labeling requirements (only specified in ANSI/IESNA RP-27)
There are various biological hazards that are considered within different wavelength ranges in accordance with the standard IEC/EN 62471. The biological effects on both the eyes and skin are considered.
According to EN 62471:2008 sources of optical radiation are classified into risk groups subject to their potential photobiological hazard. This classification takes place through a risk assessment, which is conducted on the either individual components or the final product based on information obtained from the manufacturer. If a source is assigned to a “safe” group (Exempt Group), or to a low risk group (Risk Group 1), it would not be needed for a detailed workplace evaluation, since there is no photobiological safety hazard issue.
Sources are classified into the following four groups according to hazard, based on the emission limit as well as permissible exposure time before hazard exceeded.
Permissible Exposure Time (Cl. 6)
In order to determine the risk group of a source, its spectral irradiance or radiance has to be measured at a specified distance, weighted with action spectra and maximum allowed exposure time, which is compared to different exposure limits. For continuous sources, the exposure time limits are as follows: