What is Underwriters Laboratories (UL)

Horace He

Last Updated: October 16, 2023

What is Underwriters Laboratories (UL)

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a globally recognized, not-for-profit testing laboratory and certification organization that specializes in conducting rigorous tests on the quality and safety of various products, including light fixtures. With a rich history spanning over a century, UL has established itself as the largest testing company in the world and is widely regarded as the authority on rating the safety, performance, and energy efficiency of products.

UL’s primary objective is to ensure consistency and reliability in its testing and quality assessment procedures. By subjecting products to the same level of evaluation, UL guarantees that manufacturers and consumers receive a uniform standard of results that they can trust. This commitment to maintaining high standards has earned UL a reputation for being a reliable and trusted source for product certification.

While UL does not have the authority to approve or reject a product for production, many governmental agencies, including federal, state, and local authorities, require UL testing as a prerequisite for official approval. These agencies may have their own specific standards and regulations, such as municipal building codes, which necessitate UL testing to ensure compliance.

UL’s scope of testing extends beyond light fixtures to encompass a wide range of products and systems that contribute to safety. From home electronics and audiovisual equipment to plumbing equipment, information technology devices, and medical devices, UL provides diagnostic testing services for billions of products worldwide. Products that successfully pass UL’s rigorous testing process are awarded the UL Mark, indicating that they have met the necessary safety and performance standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Voids a UL Certification

Products that have been found to have misused UL Marks, products that cannot be installed according to the appropriate model installation code, products that do not seem to meet the requirements for investigation and certification, and products that display a fake UL Mark can all void a UL certification.

Why Is It Important That an Electrical Device Has a UL Listing on It

The presence of a UL Listed seal on an electrical device signifies that the product has undergone thorough testing by UL, ensuring that it meets nationally recognized safety and sustainability standards. Furthermore, it guarantees that the device is free from any potential risks of fire or electric shock, even in a Division 2 environment.

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