Codes + Standards

Lighting Industry Activity Around E-Labeling

Lighting Industry Activity Around E-Labeling

 

E-labeling is a technology alternative to traditional physical labeling of products. The new practice provides web-based product information on mobile devices, like smartphones, tablets, and computers. Many industries are adopting e-labels for regulatory compliance, increased efficiency, and expanded product information. E-labels should NOT be confused with electronic shelf labels (ESL) which are tiny display screens that replace printed shelf labels on retail store shelves.

E-labeling is a barcode of any kind (QR, 1D, color) or RFID inlay that links to online product information. The digital barcode connects a consumer or commercial buyer to more information than can be displayed directly on a product or packaging, with a physical label. E-labeling is a great way to share compliance information electronically to a mobile device. By scanning the product code with your smartphone or entering the URL into a web browser, you are taken directly to important, regulated product information.

GS1 is the primary barcode standard and database provider. Most product packaging barcodes are generated by GS1 and link to the GS1 database of extensive product information. GS1 has also introduced GS1 Digital Link, an e-labeling standard that enables the dissemination of product data on the web.

In the lighting industry, e-labeling is also taking hold:

  • UL lighting standards continue to add e-labeling as an alternative to paper instruction sheets and some labels.
  • NEC recognizes the use of e-labels.
  • COPANT, FCC, and other regulators use e-labeling.
  • ANSI C136 and C137 are starting to use e-labeling.
  • NEMA has updated their position paper on e-labeling, NEMA Position Paper on Electronic Labeling, NEMA EL 80001-2023.
  • A possible ISO global standard may be developed for e-labeling.

Expect the trend to continue, as e-labeling helps manufacturers: address limited label space, enables greater information sharing with consumers, reduces production costs and improves supply chain traceability, enables product innovation, and reduces environmental waste from physical labels.

Special thanks to Michael O’Boyle at Signify for an insightful presentation on e-labeling to the American Lighting Association Engineering Committee.

Image: Pexels.com

 

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