New compulsory specification for incandescents

April 24th, 2014, Published in Articles: Vector


VC8043, the compulsory specification for incandescent lamps, has been published but has not yet been reflected on the NRCS website. This specification covers the more efficient incandescent lamp and lays down requirements for light output (lamp efficacy) and a life requirement of >1000 h.

The following three standards have been circulated for final voting to SABS TC064 committee members, and it is expected that these standards will be published within the next few months.

• ARP 032 Guidelines for the modification of luminaires for tubular fluorescent lamps.
• SANS 1662 Self-ballasted LED tubular lamps.
• SANS 1664 Semi-luminaires for T5 fluorescent lamps.

It should be noted that these standards will be published together. SANS 1662 and SANS 1664 are standards for products which can only be fitted to luminaires which have been modified in accordance with ARP 032. These standards specify that the lamp feed will only be through one of the lamp holders, while the lamp holder at the opposite end is not electrically connected and only serves as holding the lamp in place.

When T5 retrofit luminaires were first marketed in South Africa, there were a number of issues regarding the safety of some of these products. In some of the units, the lamp cap pins of the other end became energised when one end of the T5 retrofit was inserted in the lamp holder (when the luminaire was switched on). This certainly would cause a safety risk.

This product was, however, not covered by the compulsory safety specification VC8055, just as it was not covered by SANS 60598, which required that semi-luminaires should be either connected through bayonet lamp holders or edison screw lamp holders. The T5 retrofit fitted with G5 lamp caps therefore falls outside the scope of SANS 60598.

European countries were strongly opposed to T5 retrofits but these products showed merit and flooded the market through Eskom’s energy saving drive.

The only alternative open to the SABS TC064 was to write a standard and recommended practice for the T5 semi-luminaire to ensure that the product is safe.

The LED tubular lamp requirements covered by SANS 1662 are based on the IEC standard but differ in that these lamps are also only electrically supplied at the one lamp cap while the other lamp cap is not electrically connected. The luminaire must therefore be wired as described in ARP 032.

A new standard, SATS 17576 LED Luminaires – performance requirements, has proceeded through the working group stages and is now being edited. It will be published for comment shortly. This standard is specifically aimed at the performance of LED luminaires and covers in a fair amount of detail on the photometric test methods to be applied.

While this standard makes use of various new concepts, it will be published as a South African Technical Standard (SATS) and will be revised one year after publication. Its status may then change to that of National Standard (SANS).

Contact Connie Jonker, IESSA, Tel 083 628-4886,

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