HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
racket
Cabe Atwell   12/27/2012 3:44:05 PM
NO RATINGS
Some engineer colleagues of mine say that UL is a racket. They have toured some of their facilities, and found their practices and testing areas to be very unprofessional and ineffective. Once a company set out to protect consumers, now is just a company to absorb as much money as they can.

After hearing the stories, I have to pause and question any UL standard.

C

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Re: racket
tekochip   12/27/2012 4:41:32 PM
NO RATINGS
Well, I won't go so far as to say that they are a racket, but....... they are not a non-profit organization.  They have a bad reputation because of their poor customer service, yet if you pay them extra money for expedited testing you can still get the testing you need completed on schedule.


Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Re: racket
Greg M. Jung   12/27/2012 10:06:49 PM
NO RATINGS
I'm seeing where other testing certification service providers, like ETL, are gaining more ground.  However, from a written standards perspective UL still has much more documentation released.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Re: racket
Mydesign   12/28/2012 5:43:52 AM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
What would be the life of an LED Lamp? Eventhough it have a long life, the associated circuit for voltage/current regulation is important. The age/durability of the light depends up on the capability of these associated circuits.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: racket
jmiller   12/31/2012 11:28:09 AM
NO RATINGS
I have always questioned any organization that will bump you to the head of the line for some extra cash.  It just doesn't seem ethical.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: racket
Nancy Golden   12/29/2012 1:17:45 AM
NO RATINGS
Yet it remains a standard that many companies require - which we see all the time. I think you are right on target with your post, Cabe. We should never become complacent and trust something just because its been around a long time. If enough folks "paused," maybe they would step up and meet the rigor they were known for in the past as a testing benchmark for consumer safety...

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: racket
Cabe Atwell   1/3/2013 5:49:37 PM
NO RATINGS
There are other certification companies out there, cheaper ones. So, for those who could care less about UL standards, how do their LED regulations fair? For those people/companies, LEDs are a non-regulated business. I worked for a company making a LED system for a hybrid car. I worked on the signaling system. Based on the job's requirements and client requests, the power system would get extremely hot. I didn't like it, they didn't care, no regulations guided anyone. There needs to be a free and open regulation for such products.

Once a non-profit testing company becomes a required standard, it's a racket.

C

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: racket
jmiller   12/31/2012 11:26:53 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree that UL may not be what we believe it to be or perhaps expect it to be.  We want to believe it protects us the consumer.  But I also wonder how effective they are able to do that with technology growing as fast as it does.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
LED regulation circuits
Mydesign   12/28/2012 5:36:17 AM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
Now a day's LED lighting solutions are so common in residence / business/office. But the major problems are associated with attaching electronic regulator circuits, which can cause damage to the LED. Due to this poor regulator circuits, LED lights may get faded over months and finally totally dimmed with no output.

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Reference
Tim   12/28/2012 9:21:28 AM
NO RATINGS
Good reference article for regulation detail. The internet is the world's largest library, but all the books are on the floor. Reference pieces like this article help to install some order.

TomBee
User Rank
Iron
Ongoing Costs beyond the Test Program
TomBee   12/28/2012 9:31:33 AM
NO RATINGS
I have had dealings with UL going back to the mid 80's. At that time they were the only game in town for most standards. Customer service was poor and costs very high. The worst was receiving a report that a device under test had failed. Getting to the bottom of the problem identified a junior engineer un-trained in the require testing methodology and under-supervised by experienced mentors.

UL has made significant strides since those days. They are more response in some ways and more cost competitive in other areas. However, they continue to find subtle ways to overcharge in unnecessary services. Case in point is frequent plant inspections when there is no production and changes to the UL file for minor or trivial modifications which then cost far beyond the effort and time expended. I suggest you always get at least two additional test labs to quote on your requirements and then carefully evaluate the 'hidden cost' components before you sign any contracts. It is the total and ongoing maintenance cost which you need to evaluate - not just the initial test program.

Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Ongoing Costs beyond the Test Program
Greg M. Jung   12/28/2012 9:14:41 PM
NO RATINGS
TomBee, I agree with you and have had similar experiences with UL over the years.  I think  competition from the other testing labs has contributed to their improved responsiveness.  However, you are right, they are not afraid to charge their standard fees if they have the opportunity.



Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationís recent backup camera mandate could open the door to more vehicle innovations, including better graphical displays, 360-degree camera views, and the increased use of Ethernet.
With support from National Instruments, a group of dedicated students from Connally High School in Austin, where more than 50% of the students are at risk of not graduating, have created a successful robotics team that is competing in the FIRST World Championships.
Solar Impulse 2 -- a 100% solar-powered airplane -- has been completed. It features several advanced materials, some developed specifically for next year's attempted around-the-world flight.
Sherlock Ohms highlights stories told by engineers who have used their deductive reasoning and technical prowess to troubleshoot and solve the most perplexing engineering mysteries.
Lumus and eyeSight have partnered to create consumer-grade devices that offer all the prime functions of smart glasses without the bulk.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service