By Ed Joseph / UL Principal Engineer – Lighting

On May 4, 2017, UL announced the publication of the first edition of UL’s Outline of Investigation for Horticultural Lighting Equipment, UL 8800.

UL 8800 provides a published set of safety requirements specific to lighting equipment intended for installation within a horticultural environment. It is the first published document of its kind. UL is leading the way to bring safety requirements to horticultural equipment manufacturers and the horticultural industry. In its current form as an Outline of Investigation (OOI), UL 8800 will be used to evaluate horticultural lighting equipment submitted to UL to obtain a UL safety Mark. Over the coming months, through its collaborative standards development process (CSDS), UL will work with industry representatives to develop the Outline of Investigation into a UL Standard. Stay tuned in for future announcements.

In prior communications UL announced its plans to issue UL1598D as an OOI for evaluation of horticultural (grow) lighting with a scope limited to the ‘lighting’ fixture only. In contrast, the UL 8800 OOI has a broad scope which includes requirements for luminaires intended for horticultural use as well as other equipment and components used in conjunction with  horticultural luminaires including lampholders, wire harnesses, plugs and connectors, LED packages, ballasts/LED drivers, lamps, and hardware and structures associated with optimizing light for growing. Equipment and components used in conjunction with horticultural luminaires are often subject to the same environmental conditions as the luminaire itself thus the reason for the broad scope of products addressed within UL 8800.

Equipment installed in a horticultural environment is commonly exposed to dust, water spray, high humidity levels, and high ambient temperatures conditions. Horticultural Lighting equipment is also commonly designed to be raised, lowered, or repositioned to maximize plant growth, so supply connections often make use of cords and plugs instead of permanent wiring. Further, horticultural lighting equipment produces wavelengths of light and light intensities different than that needed for general illumination, requiring some additional consideration for protection against light exposure. UL 8800 includes safety requirements for these environmental, installation and use conditions.

In addition to safety certification services, UL offers a complete portfolio of performance and photometric services for horticultural lighting equipment. To find out how to obtain access to UL 8800 or to learn more about UL’s Safety Certification service and performance and photometric testing services for horticultural lighting equipment, please contact us at LightingInfo@UL.com