Color Kinetics complies with RoHS, seeks other standards

June 28, 2006
As the new European directive comes into force, and other regions and countries look to adopt similar measures, LED lighting companies such as Color Kinetics recognize the important of industry standards.
The Restriction of Hazrdous Substances (RoHS) environmental directive comes into force in the European market on July 1, 2006, and Color Kinetics is one of a number of companies in the LED industry that has announced that its product lines now comply with RoHS requirements.

RoHS calls for the restriction of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment sold into the European market, specifically that current and future products will not contain more than the mandated levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants.

The use of solder materials containing lead has caused some issues within the LED industry. Commonly-used lead-tin solder has had to be replaced with higher-melting-point alternatives. However, compact fluorescent lamps that contain less than 5 mg of mercury per lamp are exempt from the RoHS requirements.

By successfully completing the measures required for compliance, Color Kinetics says that it will also be prepared to meet similar regulations pending worldwide, including RoHS adoption by Australia, Canada, Korea and Taiwan.

Bill Sims, president and CEO of Color Kinetics, said, “The investment made in achieving RoHS compliance for Europe will serve us well as the US and other regions follow suit to enforce environmentally responsible manufacturing policies.”

Color Kinetics describes its RoHS compliance as the latest in a long-standing commitment to industry standards, which are critical to the adoption of LED lighting. The company was the very first to secure UL-listing for LED-based illumination systems in 1998, and today its products adhere to required UL and local regulations.

In addition to safety, emissions and electrical testing, Color Kinetics performs extensive validation and environmental testing using third-party facilities to ensure product quality. This includes rigorous tests such as thermal cycling, humidity, water immersion and others to verify the functionality and robustness of products in various environmental conditions.

Also, Color Kinetics is actively involved in the creation of entirely new standards related to LED lighting, which cannot be measured or tested by the same means as conventional lighting. The company works with organizations such as the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), International Commission on Illumination (CIE), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance (NGLIA) to determine standards and testing criteria for important factors like LED system lifetime and lumens per watt. These factors can often be miscalculated if not tested within real-world applications and operating conditions.

“The importance of standards in our business cannot be overstated, as they will ultimately dictate the design of technically sound and safe LED lighting systems that users can adopt with confidence,” said Sims.”