Trying to understand if your electronic product must comply with the Low Voltage Directive in the EU? In this guide, we list home appliances, AC adapters, LED lighting products, cables, and other products within the scope of LVD. We also share some examples of EN standards, relevant for each listed product.
What is the Low Voltage Directive?
The Low Voltage Directive regulates electrical safety for products with an AC voltage between 50 and 1000, or a DC voltage 75 to 1500 volts. As such, all electronic devices with a power plug must comply, while an AAA-battery powered device is not within the scope of LVD. Further, CE marking is mandatory for all products covered by the Low Voltage Directive.
Electronic devices are often powered by AC adapters to convert the main power, for instance, a wall outlet, into a smaller DC voltage. AC adapters’ voltage inputs typically range from 100 volts up to 240 volts, which fall into the scope of the LVD.
The LVD covers essential requirements for AC adapters, aiming at ensuring that the product is safe when in use. Non-compliant AC adapters could pose serious dangers including damages to the connected devices, fire risks, and electrocution.
- EN 62684 – Interoperability specifications of common external power supply for use with data-enabled mobile telephones
- EN 63002 – Identification and communication interoperability method for external power supplies used with portable computing devices
- AC adapter for laptops
- AC adapter for mobiles
- AC adapter for home appliances
- AC adapter for printers
Travel adapters are commonly used for plugging your electronics devices into outlets with different sockets types. The LVD is applicable for travel adapters to ensure the safety requirements before placing them in the market.
Non-LVD-compliant travel adapters might result in force recall and heavy fines. In fact, the European Commission has recalled certain travel adapters for non-compliant behavior, as it could cause electric shocks to the users.
- Universal travel adapters
- Travel adapters for the UK
- Travel adapters for the US
- Travel adapters for EU countries
Electrical Cables and Wires
LVD compliance indicates that electrical cables and wires must meet all relevant health and safety requirements to be placed in the EU market. For instance, non-compliant cables and wires can cause extensive heat damage to connected devices, or cause a fire.
Therefore, imported electrical cables and wires must comply with the LVD requirements to ensure sufficient protection for users and property. Also, they must bear a traceability label for identifying the manufacturers.
- EN 13920 – Aluminum alloys, Scrap Wire and cable scrap
- EN 50289 – Specifications for Electrical test methods of communication cables
- Ribbon electric cables
- Shielded cables
- Twisted pair cables
- Coaxial cables
- Fiber optics cables
Certain types of lighting use a linear voltage system to operate, which typically has an input of 120 V or 277 V. These lighting products are also regulated by the LVD since their voltage falls into the range of 50 to 1000 V for alternating current.
The common voltages for LED light bulbs are 120 V, and thus they are also covered under the LVD. Therefore, importers shall ensure the compliance requirements for both lighting products and lighting bulbs.
- EN 12464 – The lighting of outdoor workplaces and Indoor workplaces
- EN 12193 – Installation requirement for sport lighting
- LED lighting
- Ceiling lighting
- Garden lighting
- Stage lighting
- Exterior building lighting
- Automotive lighting
Household appliances such as refrigerators, toasters, blenders, and microwaves, are equipped with voltage input or output between 50 to 1000 volts AC or 75 to 1500 volts DC. As such, the LVD applies.
Besides protecting the user from the risk of electric harm, the LVD also covers the health aspects of noise and vibrations. Therefore, the scope of LVD mostly depends on the designed voltage range.
- EN 50523 – Household appliances interworking functional specification
- EN 62233 – Measurement methods for electromagnetic fields of household appliances
- Coffee machines
- Electric oven
Handheld Home Appliances
Compare to smaller electronics items, handheld home appliance products generally use a voltage that included in the scope of the LDV for power supply.
Further, the LVD also regulated electrical components such as switchgear, control gear, electric motors and alternators which are commonly used in handheld home appliances. With that said, each replaceable part of home appliances must be compliant so that the final product still complies with LVD for safety reasons.
- EN 61855 – Methods of measuring household electrical hair care appliances
- EN 60335 – Safety particular requirements for fabric steamers
- Vacuum cleaners
- Handheld steamers
- Handheld fans
Audio and Video Equipment
Many audio and video equipment has an amplifier within the product, to regulate the voltage level for performance. As such, the LVD applies when the voltage ranges fall into 50 to 1000 V for alternating current.
For household audio and video equipment, such a laptop, it is less likely to fall into the scope of LVD. Meanwhile, the audio and video system used for outdoor events might be regulated by the LVD. For example, a stage amplifiers’ output can range up to 100 V.
- EN 62087 – Requirement for audio and video equipment
- EN 62911 – Routine electrical safety testing in production of audio and video equipment
- Light reflectors
- CD/DVD players
- Tape recorders
Products Exempted from the Low Voltage Directive
The Low Voltage Directive (LVD) is only applicable to electronic products with a certain input voltage. Here are some products outside the scope of LVD:
- TV remote controllers
- RC toys
- USB memory sticks
- Quartz watches
- AAA-battery powered devices