Is your product UL listed? Underwriters Laboratories Equipment Design and Safety Standards

Underwriters Laboratories

Formerly known as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), this was a non-profit organization but now it has transformed into UL LLC, a for-profit internationally accepted safety organization located in the United States and is one of the biggest & oldest testing laboratories.

Established by William Henry Merrill in 1894, UL has been in practice for about 125 years. It tests products, design safety standards and certifies manufacturers. The products are then known as UL products and are sold around the world. UL products include electronic products, security equipment, lasers, alarms, robotics, medical devices, etc.

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What is UL Certification and why is it important?

With the aim of making the world a safer place, Underwriters Laboratories along with setting standards for new products certifies the products as well. UL certification removes risk and provides confidence among the buyers. In order to get UL certification or say the mark, the products must fulfill a wide range of principles. Products are considered to be UL certified if they are marked with the following seal.

​UL certification is important because of the following reasons:

  • Standards: UL requires the product to meet a high level of standards before they are allowed any certification.
  • Obligation: UL certification represents the manufacturer’s obligation about safety.
  • Confirmation: UL members visit manufacturers multiple times so as to confirm that only those products are certified which fulfill UL’s requirements.

UL Listed vs UL Approved

UL listed and UL approved are two different terms and basic differences between them are as follows:

  • UL listed products are those which are tested by UL against national standards and so are declared free from any kind of risk or hazard. While the mark of UL approved is for the components which can’t be used individually and are to be used alongside whole finished goods later, so they may require extra precautionary measures, for example, cable plate or lodging devices to shield the item from fluids or other substances.
  • A UL listed certification is more difficult to obtain as it is linked with national standards and it is essential to design a product according to these standards in order to become a UL listed product. It should also be noted that according to the design and material requirements of products, manufacturers select compatible components to be UL approved for the products themselves, so it is easy to attain the mark of UL approved.
  • UL listed points toward independent products with a particular function. While UL approved refers to components which must require related products to execute some function.

UL Standards

​Underwriters Laboratories is a highly recognized standards developer in the United States. UL sets standards using wide research, technical skills and severe emphasis on quality. It addresses areas of electrical and electronic products, sustainability, life safety, building products, industrial control equipment, plastic material, wire, and cable, photovoltaic, etc. to develop new standards or to review prevailing standards.

Within the experience of more than a century, UL has developed more than 1500 standards. Applying these standards empowers us to:

  • Guarantee product safety
  • Acquire trustworthy certification
  • Reduce fiscal risk
  • Rise market share

Underwriters Laboratories is an authorized standards developer in the US and Canada. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recognizes UL as an auditor of standards. UL also serves the National Standards of Canada (NSC) in the matter of developing standards.

UL Standards for electrical and electronic products

​ UL standards for electrical and electronic products include not only electrical safety requirements but also fire or other mechanical hazard assessments. UL holds a very strong relationship with the electrical and electronic industry nowadays. Some of the UL standards for the various electrical system and electronic products are discussed here.

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Why to buy UL listed products?

UL listed products should be bought because of the following factors:

  • Purchasing UL listed products enables us to get safe and correctly designed products.
  • UL listed products are examined and verified such that they meet the requirements of safety standards, so buying UL listed products means we are going to have risk or hazard-free products.
  • Because UL listed products are standardized and the probability level of incidents is greatly reduced, UL products save our money as costs in the account of recovery of incidents are reduced or even diminished.

In short, we can enjoy the benefits of certification of the highly recognized organization if we buy UL listed products.

We can get UL listed products easily as UL has spread all over the world and most of the manufacturers are affiliated with UL. So, by making use of UL listed or say standardized products we can make this world a better and safe place.

Let us know if you have any queries regarding this topic and do provide us with your feedback in the comments.

Hiring a professional electrical engineer to conduct an Arc Flash Analysis and Short Circuit Study is a great way to ensure the safety of your facility and workers against unwanted incidents.

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About The Author

Abdur Rehman is a professional electrical engineer with more than eight years of experience working with equipment from 208V to 115kV in both the Utility and Industrial & Commercial space. He has a particular focus on Power Systems Protection & Engineering Studies.

Abdur Rehman is the CEO and co-founder of and creator of GeneralPAC by AllumiaX. He has been actively involved in various roles in the IEEE Seattle Section, IEEE PES Seattle, IEEE Region 6, and IEEE MGA.



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