ALECS

Automated Luminaire Emissions Compliance System

INTRODUCTION

Background:    The latest innovations and technologies used by the lighting industry, particularly involving LEDs, has dramatically increased the potential for problems related to EMC compliance. Experience has shown that levels of both conducted and radiated interference have significantly increased, and many cases of complaint have been noted.   

The problem:   The issue stems from the fact that in order to maximise overall efficiency and keep heat dissipation to a minimum, fast switching power units and controller circuits are used. The down side of this technique is that high frequency energy is generated and this can cause high levels of interference unless great care is taken with the design.

Compliance:   If any product complies with the EMC Directive (which in the EU, it is legally obliged to do), then this is an indication that it will not cause unnecessary interference. Compliance can only be checked/verified by measurement of the interference levels. The techniques and limits related to this measurement are defined in the European standard EN55015 and IEC61000-3-2.

The Solution:  Laplace has developed ALECS, an integrated, easy-to-use system specifically designed to cover these tests. They are designed such that no formal EMC training is required, but will deliver results comparable with those obtained at test laboratories.

The justification:   Any decision related to the purchase of test equipment must be subject to cost/benefit analysis. It can be rightly argued that if you have only one or two products per annum that need EMC testing, then the test lab route is probably more cost effective. However, if there may be 6 or more products per annum to be tested, then the use of in-house test equipment becomes overwhelmingly attractive. Payback time is going to be less than 12 months!
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