UK lighting association continues to expand the services afforded its members through a test lab, and also used LuxLive to emphasize its service offerings in recycling and lighting-centric training.
The Lighting Industry Association (LIA) anchored one of the largest exhibit areas on the show floor at LuxLive and used the venue to announce a partnership with the BSI (British Standards Institution) Group on a new Product Verification Scheme that will allow certified products to carry the BSI Kitemark. The LIA stand at LuxLive had examples of the photometric gear used in the association’s test lab, included an actual recycling truck that is part of a fleet that services association member companies, and included examples of the training available through the LIA Academy.
The LIA is the professional industry organization that serves the UK and that is a key member of LightingEurope — the lobbying organization attempting to influence policy direction at the European Commission. Indeed, Peter Hunt, COO at the LIA, was appointed as president of LightingEurope back in April. And Hunt presented the LightingEurope roadmap at the Strategies in Light Europe Investor Forum that was co-located with LuxLive. At about the same time of Hunt’s appointment, Ourania Georgoutsakou took over as secretary general at LightingEurope.
Back to the LIA, the organization is in some ways like other national lighting associations operating in various countries and as members of LightingEurope, and in many ways very different. While the LIA is a not-for-profit operation, the association operates services that generate significant income. And the BSI Kitemark will add to the portfolio of services.
The Lighting Industry Association expanded its test and certification offerings with an announcement at LuxLive about its partnership with the British Standards Institution (BSI) group.
For example, lighting manufacturers operating in the UK are required to recycle old lighting products as all of Europe moves toward the circular economy concept. As a service to its members, or even to non-members, the LIA will send its trucks to gather lighting products for recycling, and deliver the products to recyclers while capturing the exact weight of the collection for each manufacturer. The LIA charges dues-paying members a much lower price than it does non-members. As LIA CEO Steve Davies told us at LuxLive, the revenue earned by the organization dictates how much members pay as annual dues and what the fees are for various services to members.
The product testing lab is perhaps the centerpiece of LIA services. The organization opened a new lab in Telford in the spring of 2016, and boldly proclaims the lab to be the largest of its type in all of Europe. Members and non-members can access the lab for safety and other certifications that are important in the lighting sector, including for certifications from different geographies.
Still, the lab has lacked a certification for product quality with the long history and authority of the BSI Kitemark, which is perhaps the most widely respected regulatory mark in the UK across a broad set of industries and services. The LIA said the mark is recognized by more than 82% of the UK population. At LuxLive, the BSI Group exhibited in a cordoned-off area of the LIA stand allotment and participated in the partnership announcement. The nearby photo shows Greg Childs, the certification team manager at BSI, and the LIA’s Hunt and Davies from left to right.
The LIA test lab will perform the Kitemark testing and verify that products meet the claims made by manufacturers. Moreover, the certification will be a living status as products’ quality will be audited over time based on samples purchased on the commercial market.
The final topic we covered with Davies at LuxLive was the process of becoming an LIA member. Companies don’t have to be based in the UK or even focused on the UK to be an LIA member. A company does have to participate in a significant amount of business in the UK to be eligible for membership. Davies said the membership process is detailed and arduous, and can take a candidate member a year to complete. The organization is only interested in members that plan to be committed members for an extended period of time.