On October 14, 1878, Thomas Edison filed his first patent application for “Improvement in Electric Lights”. Lighting technology has continued to evolve over the ensuing 140 years and milestones reached along the way have coincided with key dates in the history of the IEC.
IEC Technical Committee (TC) 6 was founded in 1919 to carry out standardization work on lamp sockets and caps. The work facilitated the production of the first coil bulbs in the 1920s.
Subsequent coiled-coil designs greatly reduced the length of the filament in the light bulb, producing brighter light, more efficiently than straight and single coil lamps. The TC was later disbanded and its work taken over by IEC TC 23, created in 1934.
IEC TC 34 for lamps and related equipment was the first technical committee to be set up after the Second World War. “Engineers from different countries in the lamp industry had always communicated with each other,” explains Horst Porembski, who chaired the TC from 2003 to 2005.
“That spirit of cooperation survived the war. It was clear to most of them that after having lived through such terrible events, they needed to make their collaboration more official. This led to the creation of IEC TC 34 in 1948.”
Throughout the 1990s, IEC TC 34 published several Standards relating to compact fluorescent lamps; they have been updated regularly since then. The TC has published several Standards relevant to LEDs from the 2000s onwards, including IEC 62031, which specifies the safety requirements for LEDs and was issued in February 2018.
In 2015, the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components (IECQ), created the IECQ Scheme for LED Lighting. IECQ can be applied as a means of certifying manufacturers and suppliers of the electronic components, modules and assemblies used in the production of LED packages, engines, lamps, luminaires and associated LED ballasts/drivers. It provides a standardized approach for evaluating suppliers and acts as a powerful supply chain management tool when assessing and monitoring the various tier-level suppliers. It gives consumers the assurance that suppliers who are covered by the Scheme, manufacture products which meet the appropriate standards in terms of reliability, safety and cost-efficiency.
Inside Subcommittee (SC) 34A, Working Group 3 has been set up to prepare and maintain Standards for OLED light sources.
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