Electric Lamps

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of guides to lighting regulations - though note that regulations change with time, so some of the information may be out of date.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.


This is concerned with keeping electrical and electronic products out of landfill. Luminaires come under Category 5, and have been included since 2019.
If selling to consumers, or manufacturing products for them, you need to comply with the WEEE directives. Assuming you are classified as a "very small producer", producing less than 5 tonnes of luminaires a year, you can register directly with the Environment Agency; if you export to other EU countries, you need to register in each one. There is no minimum threshold for small producers. You then need to make periodic reports on the weight of luminaires sold, take back old lamps from customers, and meet recycling targets for products that reach their end of life. You'll also probably recognise the WEEE symbol of the crossed-out wheelie bin.
The requirements for recycling lamps are much more complex and onerous than for luminaires, due to the presence of mercury and other toxic substances, so it is probably in your interest not to provide bulbs with your products, and not to use an built-in LEDs.
Unless you aim to produce large quantities of luminaires, then the onerous load of WEEE regs will probably be more than enough to put you off doing this.
EU web site on WEEE directive requirements
UK web site on WEEE requirements
ComplyDirect WEEE compliance scheme - for larger manufacturers that cannot simply register with the Environment Agency
Valpak UK Distributor Take-back Scheme
UK Office for Product Safety and Standards WEEE Page


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,

Bulb/Lamp Holders and Bulbs/Lamps

It used to be a requirement that bulb holders had to be from a certain range, to support low energy light bulbs. However this is no longer the case, and energy inefficient bulb types are being phased out based on their electrical and lighting characteristics, rather than connector types.
Choosing the right bulb type for your lamp affects the following:

  • the dimensions of the bulb holder, which obviously has to fit the lamp
  • the range of available light bulbs that your user can choose from
  • the countries in which your lamp can be sold

In Europe, the most common types are the Edison screw fittings E27 (standard size) and E14 (small size), though bayonet types are also permissible.
In the UK and old colonies such as Canada and India the bayonet type has predominated (whose name perhaps reflects on our colonial past), but in the UK most light bulb sellers offer a wider range of Edison bulbs. B22 is the standard, or B15 the smaller size. A major benefit of bayonet bulb holders is that it is easy to incorporate a switch into the holder, whereas for Edison bulb holders the switch is normally incorporated into the flex.
In the USA they also use Edison bulbs, but to a slightly different standard and size (E26 and E12). Sometimes bulbs will fit both European and US bulb holders, due to overlapping dimensional tolerances, but this isn't advised.
There are many other types and sizes of bulb holders, such as the G series for spotlights - if you are making a mains powered lamp, think carefully about deviating from the most popular types, as it will limit your customer's ability to select replacement bulbs.
Bulb holders may be of plastic, ceramic or metal. If metal, an earth wire is needed, adding to complexity.
To attach the bulb holder to a lamp, there are really two options: threaded and batten. Threaded lamp holders have the cable exit through a threaded tube, and for ceramic lamps you normally get another threaded tube, a pottery nipple, to screw into the lamp holder from the other side, clamping it onto the lamp. The batten type has a flat flange, drilled to secure the lamp holder by screws or bolts. For hanging lamps, the lamp holder will have a cable clamp to take the weight of lamp and shade - though check the weight rating is strong enough for the intended lampshade.
If fitting a lamp shade, this is often done by a ring on the lamp shade going over the holder, and it is then held in place by screwing on the shade ring. Unfortunately the dimensions for this are not standardised, but 40mm is common for E27 bulb holder, and 28mm for B22 holders.

Bulb Sizes

Bulb Holder Fittings

Note that there is no requirement for a given bulb holder or bulb size to run at a given voltage. However there are patterns of normal use, and unless stated otherwise, the holder is typically used for mains power.
Edison bulbs are the screw-in type, and the number indicates the diameter. Different sizes are used in Europe and the USA, but if the difference is only 1 millimetre they are often interchangeable.
Bayonet bulbs are pushed in to the holder against a spring, and then rotated. The number denotes the diameter, and the final letter the number of contacts - d is standard for mains electricity, whilst s may be used for low voltage installations, with the bayonet prongs acting as the second connector. There are more than the 2 types listed here, but the rest are not used for domestic lightbulbs, or are defunct.
G series consist of two prongs, which may just push in or may also need a twist. The number is the spacing between pin centers, in mm. Many are for DC use.

BayonetB15d or SBCUK Just smaller bulbs
BayonetB22d or BCUK Most common bayonet fitting
EdisonE5 or LES Older christmas lights
EdisonE10 or MES Older chandeliers, decorative lamps and torches
EdisonE11 or Mini Candelabra Used to be for halogen bulbs; LED bulbs available now. Less common than E12
EdisonE12 or CandelabraUSAUsed for candelabras, nightlights, bathroom mirrors. No longer common.
EdisonE14 or SES or CandelabraEuropeStandard in all small lights.
EdisonE17 or IntermediateUSAUsed for desk lamps and in appliances, but not common
EdisonE26 or Medium or StandardUSAStandard for larger lamps
EdisonE27 or Medium or StandardEuropeStandard for larger lamps
EdisonE29 or AdmediumUSAStandard for larger lamps
EdisonE39 or Goliath or MogulUSAStreetlights and high wattage bulbs
EdisonE40 or Goliath or MogulEuropeStreetlights and high wattage bulbs
EdisonEX39USAFor use in open fittings, with a protective shield on the bulb. E39 bulbs don't work in EX39 holders, but EX39 bulbs do work in E39 holders.
GG4 Often 12V. Generally for decorative and atmospheric lighting
GGU4 Often 12V. Pin diameter greater than for G4. Generally for decorative and atmospheric lighting. Used on MR8 and MR11 spotlights
GG5.3 Often 12V
GGU5.3 Often 12V. Pin diameter greater than for G4. Used on MR16 spotlights
GGY6.35 Often 12V. Pin diameter greater than for G4. Often used in desk and table lamps and hanging lights
GG8 Often mains.
GGY8 Slightly longer pin than G8, but the bulbs are often interchangeable. Often mains.
GGY8.6 Often mains.
GG9 Often mains. Often used in wall or ceiling lights
GGU10 Often mains. Thicker pins, and the bulb requires a twist, to support heavier bulbs. Often used for reflector spot bulbs.
Bulb Shapes and Sizes

The table below gives the most common bulb sizes, and the fittings that they are most likely to use. Note that I haven't found any similar tables for Bayonet bulbs, but small and large bayonet will generally correspond to E12/14 and E26/27.
A series are the classical pear shaped bulb, also known as GLS. The number is the diameter, in eighths of an inch - I have given the equivalent in mm.
B series are candle shaped bulbs, but with a blunter tip than C series. The number is the diameter in eighths of an inch.
BR (bulged reflector) are spotlight and flood lights. The number is the diameter in eighths of an inch.
BT are blown tubular bulbs
C series are conical candle shaped bulbs. The number is the diameter in eighths of an inch.
CA series are conical candle shaped bulbs with a bent tip. The number is the diameter in eighths of an inch.
ED are elliptical dome bulbs
G series are globe shaped. Some of the numbers represent the diameter in eighths of an inch, others in mm.
MR series are small spotlights. The number is the diameter in eighths of an inch.
PAR (parabolic aluminized reflector) are spotlight and flood lights. The number is the diameter in eighths of an inch.
R series - abbreviation for BR series
S series are used for marquees and signs
T series are tube shaped bulbs. The number is the diameter in eighths of an inch.

Bulb shape/sizeBulb holderNotes
A15E14/17/26/27Dia 48mm
A19E26/27Dia 60mm
A21E26/27Dia 67mm
A25E26/27Dia 79mm
B10E12/14/17Dia 32mm
BR20E26/27Dia 63mm
BR30E26/27Dia 95mm
BR40E26/27Dia 127mm
C7E12/14/17Dia 22mm
C9E12/14/17Dia 29mm
C15E12/14/17/26/27Dia 48mm
CA10E12/14/17Dia 32mm
G11E12/14/17/26/27Dia. 35mm.
G14E12/14/17/26/27Dia. 44mm.
G16E14/17/26/27Dia. 51mm.
G16.5E14/17/26/27Dia. 52mm.
G25E26/27Dia. 79mm.
G30E26/27Dia. 95mm.
G50E14/17/26/27Dia. 50mm.
G60E14/17/26/27Dia. 60mm.
G80E26/27Dia. 80mm.
MR11GX5.3, GZ4, GU10Dia. 35mm.
MR16GX5.3, GZ4, GU10Dia. 51mm.
PAR16E26/27Dia. 51mm.
PAR20E26/27/39/40Dia 63mm
PAR30E26/27Dia 95mm
PAR36E26/27, G53Dia 114mm
PAR38E26/27/39/40Dia 121mm
PAR40E39/40Dia 127mm
T6E12/14/17/26/27, G13Dia 19mm
T7E12/14/17/26/27, G13Dia 22mm
T8E12/14/17/26/27, G13Dia 25mm
T10E12/14/17/26/27, G13Dia 32mm
T14E12/14/17/26/27, G13Dia 44mm
T22E12/14/17/26/27, G13Dia 70mm


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

Electrical Component Suppliers

Some of the better suppliers in the UK:
Lamps and Lights
Easy LightBulbs - a very large range of light bulbs
Lightbulbs Direct - a very large range of light bulbs
Lamps and Lights - a range of metal light fittings, cables etc
S. Lilley & Co - metal and ceramic lampholders
Flexform - primarily wiring but also some other lamp fittings
Lighting Industry Association - trade body