Electric Lamps

The contents of this page are being moved over to the Making Electric Lamps section - go over there for more detailed information.
As soon as electricity is concerned, the regulations become more complex. But, as an alternative to producing a complete lamp, you may want to consider creating just the lamp base, letting your customer add the electrical side (easily done from kits available from a number of suppliers) and the lampshade.
At present I'm just covering the UK/EU regulations.

Lamp Wiring Tips

Stability: minimum 6° tilt angle
Class I holders (generally metal) require earthing with a 3 core cable. Class II holders (generally plastic) are non conducting, so only need a 2 wire cable and no earthing.
The lamp fittings need to be secured to withstand at least 2Nm force - a hard twist. Look at gluing components in place as a backup to retaining screws.
Plugs will be marked to BS1363 or ASA. Only use a 3A fuse.
For an Edison screw bulb holder, it is important that the Neutral (blue) wire is connected to the screw part, not the Live (brown) wire
Testing: just continuity and resistance testing with a multimeter, and PAT testing, is not enough. Test every item just before packaging it.

Regulatory Requirements

Here are a number of guides to lighting regulations - though note that regulations change with time, so some of the information may be out of date.
When looking at the EU regulations, you need to be aware that they refer to the light bulb as a lamp, and to what we call a lamp is referred to as a luminaire.
Lighting Europe check list and requirements for luminaires in the EU
ComplianceGate info on LED Lighting in the EU
PAT Testing Training guidance on making and testing lamps

EMC and Low Voltage Directives

These are for the CE mark required by all electrical products. For luminaires, the key points are:

  • Compliant CE and WEEE markings, manufacturer's info etc
  • Rated voltage, and maximum wattage of replacement bulbs
  • Class II symbol if the luminaire is not earthed. If it is earthed (Class I) are all metal parts exposed to the user earthed?
  • Does the lamp holder comply with the relevant standards
  • Is the user protected against access to live parts, either when in use or when changing the lamp?
  • Is the power cable protected against sharp edges, e.g. where it enters the luminaire? Is it protected against being pulled or twisted? And is there the correct plug fitted to the end?
  • Safety and lack of interference from electronic controls, dimmers etc. - if you source these from reputable manufacturers they shouldn't be a problem

The good thing about these directives are that for many products, including luminaires, you can self-certify compliance rather than paying a test house to do this.
Note that as a result of Brexit if selling in the UK (except Northern Ireland) you need to use the UKCA mark, or the CE mark if selling in to the EU or Northern Ireland.




You need to be able to show that the lamp contains no harmful substance.
See here for more info on this in the UK

Eco-Design Requirements

This now applies to lamps (now light sources) as opposed to luminaires (now containing products).
However, note that some types of lamps are being phased out, so it does not make sense to design a new product to use them:
From September 2021, most halogen lamps and CFLi were phased out
From September 2023 most halogen lamps with a G4, G9 or GY6.35 base, and T8 linear fluorescent lamps, will be phased out

Energy Labelling of Electric Lamps and Luminaires

It used to be a requirement that luminaires had to be labelled regarding use of energy efficient lamps etc., but this is no longer the case. If you sell lamps in their original packaging, and the lamp complies with EU legislation, there is nothing more to do,


Switches are generally either integral with the bulb holder, or inline in the cable before it gets to the lamp.
Switches in the bulb holder avoid scrabbling down the cable to find the switch, but against this reaching for a switch at the top of the lamp could cause it to topple over if the user is clumsy. This type of switch is common in bulb holders for Bayonet bulbs, but less so in holders for Edison bulbs as it is harder to build into the bulb holder.
Having the switch in the cable avoids any instability problems, but the user has to find the lead and then find the switch on it, which means that the lead cannot be hidden away. Or, if it is a foot switch, they may be standing in the wrong position.

Cables and Cable Protection

For strength, and to comply with the Low Voltage Directive, a cable cross-section at least 0.75mm² should be used. If the lamp doesn't need to comply with the LVD, and the total weight is less than 1kg and cable length is less than 2m then 0.5mm² is OK. If putting multiple bulbs onto the lamp, also check the power capacity - 0.5mm² is rated to 3A, and 0.75mm² to 6A.
Cable should be to BS6500 or marked with <HAR> in the UK.
If the lamp does not need earthing, you just need 2 core cable; if it needs earthing, you need 3 core cable and an earthed plug.
Where the cable enters the body of the lamp, you will need to have a grommet to protect the cable from abrasion, and also a cable clamp to provide strain relief, so that the electrical connections are not strained when someone trips over the cable. Tying a knot in the cable is not seen as being sufficient. Both of these items need to be matched to the size and cross-section of the cable, and the grommet also needs to match the wall thickness of the lamp. Use a cable clamp that will withstand at least 60N force.

Summary Legislation and Standards

EU Legislation

Directive or RegulationNameNotes
2006/95/ECLVD - Low Voltage DirectiveVoltages 50 - 1000V AC or 75 - 1500V DC
2004/108/ECEMC - Electromagnetic compatabilityNot applicable to devices without electronic components
2012/19/UEWEEE - Waste from electrical and electronic equipment
2011/65/EURoHS - Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances
2009/125/EC, 2019/2020Single Lighting Regulation2019/2020 replaces 245/2009, 1194/2012 and others
2010/30/EC, 2019/2015Energy labelling
2001/95/CEGeneral product safety

Note that the following EU legislation has been withdrawn, and references to it should be ignored:

  • Directive 2000/55/EC - Energy efficiency requirements for ballasts for fluorescent lighting - withdrawn 12 April 2010
  • Directive 2005/32/EC and Regulations 244/2009 and 245/2009 - Ecodesign requirements for fluorescent lamps without integrated ballast, for high intensity discharge lamps, and for ballasts and luminaires able to operate such lamps - withdrawn 31 August 2021
  • Directive 2009/125/EC and Regulation 1194/2012 - Ecodesign requirements for directional lamps, light emitting diode lamps and related equipment - withdrawn 31 August 2021
  • Directive 2010/30/EU and Regulation 874/2012 - Energy labelling of electrical lamps and luminaires - withdrawn 31 August 2021

Regulation 2017/1369 - Energy labelling of electrical lamps and luminaires - withdrawn 31 August 2021

UK Legislation

At present the UK legislation is in synch with the EU's, but consideration is being given to additional changes, such as phasing out less energy efficient types of light sources as LED equivalents become available.
The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information (Lighting Products) Regulations 2021 - this incorporates EU legislation 2010/30/EC, 2019/2015 and 2009/125/EC, 2019/2020


A list of all Low Voltage Directive related standards

Electromagnetic compatabilityEN 55015
Lamp holders - EdisonEN 60238, BS5042
Low VoltageEN 60598-1 (general requirements and tests)
EN 60598 2-1 (fixed general purpose luminaires)
EN 60598 2-2 (recessed luminaires)
EN 60598 2-4 (portable general purpose luminaires i.e. table or floor lamps
EN 60598 2-7 (portable luminaires for garden use
EN 60598 2-10 (portable luminaires for children
Miscellaneous lampholders EN 60838
EN 61000-3-2
EN 61000-3-3
Lamp holders - BayonetEN 61184, BS5042
EN 61547
Assessment of lighting equipment related to human exposure to electromagnetic fields EN 62493 (lamps with just switches, dimmers, sensors etc. are deemed to comply without testing)
Lamp holders - Bayonet with advanced safetyBS5042, BS7895
UK plugBS1363
UK cablingBS6500

Standards Online

These are generally not meant to be posted online, as it is a breach of copyright and the conditions of purchase, so don't be surprised if they disappear!

BS EN 60598-1:2015https://dganmai.com/uploads/soft/200714/en/EN%2060598-1_2015.pdf
BS EN 60598-1:2015 Addendum 1:2018http://bqw.csstgc.com.cn/userfiles/ec09abd3793445079490d6a8a3c28e42/files/teckSolution/2022/01/BS%20EN%2060598-1-2015+A1-2018.pdfContains parts of sections 10, 11 and 13 - not sure if these are all the changes in the addendum

Standard Tests Results

Documents giving the results of testing an item to a given standard.

Item TestedStandard(s)DocumentNotes
LED Wall LightsEN 60598, 61347, 62031, 62471, 62493BHa-Bhb-BHc-Test-Report-1.pdf
Wi-Fi smart lamp holderEN/ISO 60598, 61347, 60238, 62493SONOFF_SlampherR2_LVD_Safety_Test_Report_3.pdf

Declaration of Conformity and Technical File

The Technical File is an internal document in which you show how you know that your lamp complies with the relevant regulations. There is no need to make this public, except in any situation where you have to show your compliance.
The Declaration of Conformity is a piece of paper that needs to accompany your lamp, stating that you comply with specific regulations. You can incorporate it into other paperwork, such as the user instructions.
These need to cover the following regulations and standards:

Directive or RegulationName
2006/95/ECLVD - Low Voltage Directive
2004/108/ECEMC - Electromagnetic compatability
2011/65/EURoHS - Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances
245/2009, 347/2010, 1194/2012Ecodesign
874/2012Energy labelling (only Technical File)

Retailer Requirements

Once again, the larger retailers may have their own additional requirements, based on experiences from their customers.

Tilt Test

Testing stability at 6°, 12° and 15° at all angles of rotation. If it fails the test at 6°, then an additional thermal test is required to make sure nothing gets too hot and is damaged by the heat, or causes a fire.

Regulatory Check List

For UK excluding N. IrelandUKCA markUKCA mark visible, legible and indelible on lamp or packaging
For EU and N. IrelandCE markCE mark visible, legible and indelible on lamp or packaging
Maker's identificationRequiredMaker, distributor or importer
Model No.RequiredMay be model or serial number
Rated voltageRequired May be a range, e.g. 220 - 240V
Rated WattageRequiredOnly for bulb replacement
IP ratingOptionalOnly required if not IP20
Class II symbolOptionalOnly required if connected to mains and not earthed
Class III symbolOptionalOnly required if voltage below 50V AC or 120V DC
WEEE symbolRequiredImporter/manufacturer should be WEEE registered, and their details in the WEEE database
Instruction sheetRequiredAll info for installation, use and maintenance, in the language of the country where sold
Declaration of Conformity (DoC)Required
Physical Checks
Sharp edges that may damage the wire insulationNone
Cord anchorage to prevent mechanical stress on the connectionsRequiredOnly for table or floor lamps
Lampholder compliant with the standardRequired
No access to live partsRequiredAfter installation, when it is in use or when the bulb is being replaced
Class I EarthingRequiredAll metal parts close to live parts or wiring, and accessible in normal use or when changing bulbs, must be earthed
Plug fitted and of the right type for the country being sold inRequiredOnly for floor and table lamps

Lighting Industry Association - trade body