What You Should Know About UL Certified Luminaire Retrofit Kits
UL Certified Retrofit Kits for Luminaires-Frequently Asked Questions
- Does retrofitting a luminaire ‘void’ its UL Listing?
Retrofitting an installed luminaire does not impact the original Listing. The UL Listing Mark is applied by the luminaire manufacturer (OEM) at the factory. It is the manufacturer’s attestation that the product met the appropriate UL Standard when it was shipped. The UL Certification Mark on the Retrofit Kit indicates that the kit (including its components and the accompanying installation instructions) have been evaluated by UL for use with the identified luminaires. It also indicates that when the kit is installed in accordance with its markings and instructions, the converted luminaire complies with UL 1598, the UL standard for luminaires.
- Is a UL Field Evaluation required for retrofitting?
If a UL Certified Retrofit Kit is installed in strict adherence with its installation instructions, then a Field Evaluation should not be required on the modified luminaire.
- Does the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) need to be notified when a luminaire is retrofitted?
Jurisdictions typically require permits and AHJ approval when retrofitting installed luminaires. Since regulations vary by jurisdiction you should check with your local AHJ regarding the regulations in your area.
- Is it acceptable for installers to build their own retrofit kit using “off the shelf” pieces and parts?
The NEC, Section 410.6 requires luminaire retrofit kits to be Listed. UL Certified Retrofit Kits include parts and instructions that have been verified to confirm that the modified luminaire would comply with the UL standard for luminaires (UL 1598) – when installed in according to instructions. If an installer or contractor
decides to modify a luminaire using off-the-shelf pieces and parts instead of using a UL Certified Retrofit Kit, then the modified luminaire would be no different than any other field-modified electrical equipment, and its compliance with applicable Codes and standards would need to be determined either by UL via a Field Evaluation or by an AHJ in accordance with local regulations.
- Where do I find UL Certified Retrofit Kits?
Suppliers of UL certified Retrofit Kits can be found using UL Product iQTM database by searching under the UL category code “IFAR”. UL also offers an on-line database, which can be searched parametrically to find UL Certified Retrofit Kits that meet specific applications. Go to UL iQ database for Solid State Lighting at http://iq.ul.com/ssl/ choose “LED retrofit kits” from the drop-down menu and simply select the parameters that you need. The database will do the rest!
- Is permission from the original luminaire manufacturer required to retrofit their product?
Installed luminaires are the responsibility of the owner. The owner makes the decision regarding retrofitting and should consider suitability of the proposed UL Certified Retrofit Kit(s)for the target luminaires as well as installer qualifications necessary to meet the local code requirements. However, retrofitting a luminaire without
explicit permission from the luminaire manufacturer could eliminate any remaining warranty coverage.
- What qualifications are required for someone to retrofit a luminaire?
Jurisdictions vary in their adopted requirements regarding qualifications necessary for modifying installed equipment. Some areas may require licensed electricians and some allow other means of qualifying retrofit installers. Contact your local AHJ or planning department to determine the qualifications necessary in your area.
- Can a retrofit kit be made by a manufacturer other than the original luminaire manufacturer?
UL certified Retrofit Kits can be made by any company. Some luminaire manufacturers may make retrofit kits specific for their luminaires. The kit’s installation instructions identify the type of luminaire for which the kit is intended and should always be consulted prior to any retrofit decision to determine suitability.
- Are retrofit kits for specific luminaires or are they generic?
Retrofit kit manufacturers can certify their products for either specific luminaire models or for generic types of luminaires that meet the specific mechanical and electrical criteria identified in the kit’s installation instructions. This criteria typically includes the original luminaire’s minimum or maximum dimensions, the luminaire’s shape or configuration (i.e.: troffer, high hat, etc.) and any specific physical features that are required for proper fit. When kits are certified for specific luminaire models, their installation instructions will include the luminaire model numbers.
- What is included in a retrofit kit?
Certified retrofit kits always contain a set of detailed Installation instructions which identify the type of luminaires(s) for which the kit is suitable, major kit components, preparation steps (including drawings and/ or figures) and wiring instructions. Kits include the major components such as the LED Driver or Power Supply, LED Modules and mounting means. Kits might also include adhesives, connectors, lampholders, and wire, although these
common components may instead be called out in the installation instructions as installer supplied parts.
- Where is the retrofit kit certification mark?
The UL Certification Mark is required to be located on a kit component in a manner such that it will be visible during servicing after the kit’s installation. Typically this is on the LED light source (lamp) or its driver.
- Why are both a UL Recognized Mark and a Classification Mark on the power supply?
Most components used in retrofit kits are required to be separately evaluated and will bear the UL Recognition Mark or the UL Listing Mark. As such one major component of the kit (the LED driver or the LED lamp) will include an additional UL Certification Mark related to the retrofit kit.
- Can I retrofit refrigerated display cases?
The requirements for refrigerated display cases are somewhat different than those for luminaires. UL evaluates LED retrofit kits specifically for commercial refrigerators and freezers under category code IFAS. This helps to ensure that the modified equipment will continue to comply with UL 471, the UL Standard for Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers.
- Can I retrofit Signs?
There are also separate requirements for retrofit kits intended for field installation into UL certified signs. UL evaluates such kits under category code UYWU to ensure the converted sign continues to comply with UL 48, the UL Standard for Electric Signs.
- How do I get UL certification to make retrofit kits?
Contact UL at LightingInfo@UL.com.
- Who can I contact if I see retrofit kits or products being misused in the marketplace or in the field?
Report safety related concerns about UL products to our Market Surveillance team by filing a Product Incident Report. To file a report go to www.UL.com/ahjreport.