Business benefits of accredited testing

Posted: 14th November 2012

NPL's Paul Miller sets out the business benefits of accredited testing in the November 2012 issue of Lux magazine, the official publication of the lighting industry association.

Lighting is a ubiquitous technology, used in homes, workplaces and public spaces worldwide, so it is especially important that we can all rely on measurements made on lighting products. New regulations are coming into force over the coming years to strengthen regulations in the industry, and lighting companies should see any increased testing and measurement required as an opportunity to improve their businesses.

An innovative company will use the information found in standards to guide their activities down the correct development paths, safe in the knowledge that they will be able to market any resulting products. The extra knowledge gained through this process, and through accurate measurement, will also allow them to improve product performance and reduce costs.

A testing laboratory can be accredited by an impartial, independent third party to assure that the measurements it makes are traceable to reference standards. In lighting, the traceability to the lumen (luminous flux) and candela(luminous intensity) measurement units is provided by calibrated standards such as reference lamps and photometers.

In the UK accreditations are carried out by UKAS, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service, but unfortunately accredited labs are the exception, not the rule. To find out if a test laboratory is accredited, visit the UKAS website and search for the laboratory name under 'Testing Labs'. For example, searching for 'NPL' will find our testing schedule of accreditation (UKAS Testing 0002), which shows the tests we provide, including recent updates for energy efficient lighting.

In the article in Lux magazine, Paul Miller says:

"We'd like to see a situation in which the lighting consumer can be assured of the quality and reliability of all lighting products because all test laboratories have appropriate accreditation and can demonstrate they are making traceable measurements. Obviously it is essential that the two - accreditation and traceability - go hand in hand."

On the benefits of using an accredited laboratory, Stewart Langdown of Ceravision, which specialises in plasma lighting products, says:

"Using an accredited laboratory with a reputation for high technical standards gives Ceravision a strong technical base on which to support its market activities. We use the data provided in internal technical files and supply it to our customers. We also gain invaluable assistance with specific technical issues where the laboratory's depth and breadth of experience can offer the potential for more timely or cost-effective solutions."

Read the article in full in Lux magazine.

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