UL and the Portable Lights American Trade Organization Join Forces on Portable Light Performance

Monday, September 14, 2020
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Northbrook, Illinois

UL, a leading global science safety company, and the Portable Lights American Trade Organization (PLATO), the largest internationally recognized consortium of global manufacturers in the portable lighting industry, today announced a collaboration on an industry-first program aimed at certifying the performance of flashlights, headlamps, area lights, bike lights and spotlights.

With direct input from PLATO members, UL has created UL S8001 containing performance measurement requirements that result in a UL Certified Enhanced Mark on
products and literature. Under the program, UL will also maintain a searchable database of UL Certified products for retailers and consumers and monitor the market with
ongoing surveillance. “Independent performance testing and visibility in the marketplace helps advance the overall safety of the portable luminaire industry,” said Zachary Mooney, operations manager, UL. “With capabilities to perform a variety of performance tests such as light outputs, beam distance and peak beam intensity, our S8001 program helps manufacturers demonstrate that their products meet objective, market-focused criteria.”

PLATO President Kevin Parsons, Ph.D., CEO of Armament Systems and Procedures, said the portable lighting industry has been plagued for years with manufacturers and products that misrepresent or exaggerate performance, such as how long a light will shine at full power or how bright a light’s beam is, and there’s been no consistent method - until now - to certify product performance. “UL’s S8001 will help to provide
additional assurance that the numbers presented by manufacturers in the program are true and accurate,” said Parsons. “It will begin to level the playing field and reduce the frequency of misreported performance metrics on product packaging. That’s a win for manufacturers, retailers and consumers.”

More specifically, for the benefit of retailers, certification to UL S8001 will help separate products that have met objective requirements from those that have not, reducing customer complaints and protecting their brand and reputation. For consumers, UL S8001 will assist in identifying trusted products that have performance certification and provide third-party information to help with purchasing decisions.

Further benefitting the industry and consumers, UL S8001 confirms whether a tested product meets ANSI/PLATO FL-1 2019 Standard requirements, recently published by PLATO. The revised standard provides a benchmark by improving portable lighting quality and the importance of transparency. In addition to flashlights and headlamps, the updated standard now includes area lights. The standard spells out specific testing and reporting methods for portable lighting products that emit directional light and PLATO is the standards development body responsible for its continued development and oversight.

PLATO Executive Director Andy Skoogman said that the UL S8001 program enhances the updated standard by developing a process to constantly certify products to ANSI/PLATO FL-1 2019 and highlight publicly those portable lighting products that comply. “The UL Certified Enhanced Mark demonstrates compliance to the certification criteria by a respected independent third-party laboratory and also gives retailers and consumers the tools they need to search for products that meet the ANSI/PLATO FL-1 2019 standard requirements in an easy-to-use database,” Skoogman said.

For more information about the UL S8001 program, including how to get a product tested and then certified to strengthen your brand, please contact UL at lightinginfo@ul.com. For more information about the updated ANSI/PLATO FL-1 2019 Standard, please visit www.plato-usa.org or the ANSI webstore.

About UL

UL helps create a better world by applying science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges. We empower trust by enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion to make the world a safer place. All of our work, from independent research and standards development, to testing and certification, to providing analytical and digital solutions, helps improve global well-being. Businesses, industries, governments, regulatory authorities and the public put their trust in us so they can make smarter decisions. To learn more, visit UL.com. To learn more about our nonprofit activities, visit UL.org.