Standardisation work

Laser, LED & Lamp Safety

IEC - technical standardisation


On an international level, product safety standards for electrically operated products are developed by technical committees of the IEC. For laser equipment, the basic standard is the IEC 60825-1, for lamps and LEDs it is the IEC 62471.

The committee IEC TC 76 is responsible for both standards. As the secretary of Working Group 1, the head of our expert group, Karl Schulmeister, PhD has coordinated the revisions and development of IEC 60825-1 from Edition 1.2 to Edition 2 of the IEC 60825-1 and he was the project leader for the revision which lead to the third edition of IEC 60825-1 (published 2014).

Various amendments of the laser safety standard are based on to the suggestions and research projects of our group, for example the establishment of Class 3R, the simplification of the testing of small sources, the testing of extended sources at the “most restrictive position“, the simplification and finally the deletion of the Condition 2 (IEC Interpretation Sheet 2009) as well as the significant changes of the retinal thermal limits (time dependent alpha-max, pulse criteria). Karl Schulmeister was also one of the CIE experts, who developed the IEC 62471 (the standard IEC 62471 was initially published as CIE S009 and published by the IEC without change in the year 2006).

IEC standards are usually published correspondingly on a European level as EN-standards (EN 60825-1, EN 62471) and are granted the legally relevant status of a harmonized standard (low voltage directive) on this level. Edition 3.0 of EN 60825-1 was listed as harmonized standard under the LVD in April 2015. In 2021, amendment A11 for EN 60825-1 was published. This is an "European" only amendment, i.e. IEC  60825-1 is not amended at this point in time. See our White Paper for a discussion of the content and background to Amendment A11.

There are specific regulations for laser devices in the USA, which are the responsibility of the CDRH. A classification according to the IEC 60825-1 Edition 2 is, however, acknowledged by the ”Laser Notice 50“ and to Edition 3 by the "Laser Notice 56".