AS/NZS CISPR 15 – RCM LED Lighting EMC Testing – EMC Requirements
Lighting products prior to 9th February 2013 were required to be tested to AS/NZS CISPR 15: 2006 (or international equivalent) for proof of at the time the C-Tick compliance (C-Tick has now been replaced with the the Regulatory Compliance Mark, RCM scheme). This involved a conducted emissions test on the AC mains and a radiated emissions (H-Field) test on the enclosure, both across the 9kHz to 30 MHz frequency band.
We found through testing to other standards that many new lighting products (particularly LED lighting devices) produce excessive radiated emissions above 30MHz. Many of these products that passed the older version of AS/NZS CISPR 15 (2006) at the time subsequently failed radiated emissions tests for the new (now mandatory) version above 30MHz (30MHz to 300MHz, E-Field).
The ACMA has reported that these devices can cause interference in the field, by polluting the radio spectrum and affecting nearby radio communication devices, remote controls, radio receivers and other sensitive electronic equipment. Hence the importance of LED Lighting EMC Testing.
When a device is placed on the market the supplier has an obligation to not pollute the RF spectrum. Unfortunately AS/NZS CISPR 15 did not keep pace with LED lighting technology at the time and therefore resulted in many units compliant with the old standard that would fail the now mandated standard. A product may have complied with AS/NZS CISPR 15: 2006 yet still cause interference when installed. The supplier is still responsible for this and must take steps to resolve the matter.
The new version of AS/NZS CISPR 15 specifies measurements from 30MHz to 300 MHz. These measurements were mandatory as of 9th February 2013.
External aftermarket electronic transformers or ballasts
The requirement to test a light fixture in a typical operating manner can pose several issues when the fixture is not supplied with a transformer. It may end up being used with a large number of completely different transformers than the one used for the LED Lighting EMC Testing.
Often a fixture is presented with a typical and suitably rated transformer which passes the AC mains conducted emissions test. The problem is that the transformer may have additional filtering that other transformers may not have. Hence a noisy fixture fitted with a transformer with little or no filtering (often non compliant in it’s own right) may cause interference which could be traced back to the supplier of the fixture.
We advise that the particular type and make of electronic transformer used for testing is referenced in the supplied documentation and that it should be compliant in it’s own right, or as the standard states using a step down linear transformer for LED Lighting EMC Testing.
A better method of compliance is to ensure that your product on its own (without the transformer) does not cause interference and complies with the limits. This can be achieved by powering the unit directly via a suitable source.
Other Lighting Testing available at EMC Bayswater
EMC Bayswater can also test to the European CE Marking immunity standard EN 61547, EMC Bayswater has developed capability for Lamp Circuit Power (LCP) testing which is a requirement for the VEET and ESS energy schemes. We can offer the mandatory NATA accredited test reports. Click here for more details about Accredited Lamp Circuit Power (LCP) testing.
EMC Bayswater is the first laboratory in Australia to offer a complete testing service to EN 62493:2010 Assessment of Lighting Equipment Related to Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields. This involves testing lighting products to the existing EMC standard for lighting equipment, CISPR 15 and additional radiated emissions testing with a special “Van Der Hoofden” test head. Please click here for a photo of the EN 62493:2010 testing test head.