Hintergrund von Makrodetail einer transparenten LED im blauen Ti
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2018-11-01 short info

Basic Standard for Luminaires: Standard on general requirements and tests for luminaires revised

A lot of time has passed since Thomas Edison patented one of the first usable light bulbs in 1878. However, since this invention 140 years ago, no other light source has sustainably revolutionised the lighting market like the LED.


Roman Ott

But life with LED technology has not gotten any easier for luminaire manufacturers. On the contrary: LED technology is highly complex and poses new challenges for luminaire manufacturers. Transforming the "old technology", e. g. from the replaceable, robust fluorescent lamp to the current highly-specialised LED components means rethinking development and production.

Deckblatt DIN EN 60598-1 (VDE 0711-1):2018-09

Deckblatt DIN EN 60598-1 (VDE 0711-1):2018-09


LED technology changes the lighting market and is a driver for the standardisation of luminaires

The lighting market has changed significantly due to the implementation of LED technology. Now, any metalworker can purchase and install LED technology and thus becomes a luminaire manufacturer. The reverse applies too; more and more LED semiconductor component manufacturers are becoming luminaire manufacturers. LED technology requires a review of existing standards for light sources, controlgears and luminaires and adapting them to the aspects of LED or rewriting them entirely.

DIN EN 60598 1 (VDE 0711 1):2018 09 is a harmonised standard in the framework of the low-voltage directive and acts as a basis for luminaire manufacturers when developing, testing and labelling luminaires. It defines the general requirements and tests for luminaire safety. Essentially, the standard examines the electrical, thermal and mechanical safety.

DIN EN 60598 1 (VDE 0711 1) is a living document that originally traces back to a VDE regulation from 1943. Over the past few decades, continuous content-related changes were made to take technological progress and the requirements of new light sources into account. Due to the currently rapid development of LED technology, the time to implement required changes to the standard has become significantly shorter. This need for change will be demonstrated using the “thermal management” of a luminaire as an example.

Light output, luminous efficacy and temperature determine the service life of an LED luminaire

If new light sources are considered, the heat balance of the luminaire, among other things, also changes. If the classic light bulb radiates heat (95% of the absorbed energy) on all sides, this is not the case with an LED module. An LED module usually conducts the heat to the back via a heat sink and therefore only radiates very little heat to the front in the direction of the light. Due to the complex design of an LED luminaire, the temperatures inside the luminaire can quickly become critical. LED modules, controlgears and potential control components are temperature-sensitive, electronic components, the temperature of which must be checked to ensure safe operation with a long service life.

Triple Constraint: Lichtleistung, Lichtausbeute und Temperatur/Lebensdauer

Triple Constraint: Lichtleistung, Lichtausbeute und Temperatur/Lebensdauer


DIN EN 60598 1 (VDE 0711 1):2018 09 helps here and offers the basis for the thermal management requirements and safety-related tests. The relevant limiting values and tests are described in Section 12 (“Testing the Durability and Heating”). In the event of non-compliance, there are risks that may result in the luminaire overheating, in turn, resulting in the service life of the LED light source and other electronic components being significantly reduced. If the LED light source is permanently installed in the luminaire, this also impacts the service life of the LED luminaire and results in early total failure.

Luminaire manufacturers need to find the optimum operating point of an LED luminaire which depends on three factors: Low heat build-up (=long service life) with a high light output (lm) and the best-possible luminous efficacy (lm/W).

The world of luminaire manufacturers has become far more complex with the increasing development of LED technology, but this also offers a number of benefits: LED luminaires are highly effective and energy efficient. It has never been more comfortable to control LED luminaires: light colour selection, time-controlled dimming and intelligent networking are all easy using a smartphone and now, even using voice controls. From private residences to public lighting through to events: today, attention can be drawn to all of these sectors significantly better and more easily using LED technology.

A luminaire manufacturer is obligated to comply with the relevant safety and EMC directives and, when installing a wireless module, the RED directive. The DIN EN 60598 1 (VDE 0711 1):2018 09 standard is the standard for luminaire safety.

Editorial note:

The standards listed in the text can be purchased from VDE-Verlag.