There are a few different important certifications for power supplies these days. ETL, 80 PLUS, and of course, UL. You may know that UL - short for Underwriters' Laboratories - is a universally trusted source for testing and evaluating products for safety. But one thing you may not know is what the difference between UL listed vs UL recognized power supplies is. Fortunately, that's exactly what we're going to cover in this in-depth blog post.
You'll learn why finding power supplies with the UL stamp of approval is so important in the first place. Then, we'll break down what UL listed and UL recognized mean, exactly. In doing so, we'll be able to compare and contrast them so you can gain clarity as to which one carries more weight - and which one you need for your unique needs. Then, we'll help you start your journey to finding UL-listed and UL-recognized power supplies online. Let's get started!
Who is the UL?
Before we can even get started talking about various ratings, we need to introduce the group we're talking about today. Underwriters' Laboratories (UL) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that has been around since 1894. They are dedicated to advancing public safety by helping to ensure that the products we use in our everyday lives meet their high standards for safety and quality.
In order to do this, UL evaluates products - ranging from power supplies to electric vehicles - against their rigorous set of standards. If a product meets all the necessary requirements, it will receive a UL certification. This is what lets consumers know that a product is safe to use.
Why Does it Matter if Power Supplies are UL Listed vs UL Recognized?
First things first - does it really matter if your products have been evaluated by the UL? Why do you need to get power supplies that have been tested by this group? And, why does the difference in ratings matter?
Well, for starters, it's always good to have products that have been evaluated by a trusted third-party. This adds an extra layer of safety and quality assurance that you may not get from products that haven't been UL tested. The UL has some of the most rigorous standards in the world when it comes to product safety. So, when you see a power supply with the UL stamp of approval, you know that it's gone through a number of different tests and checks to ensure that it meets - or even exceeds - industry safety standards.
The difference between listed and recognized matters because they are two different types of certification. One carries more weight than the other. So, if you want to secure the most trusted, reliable power supplies possible, you need to be able to distinguish between the two ratings. Let's get into the topic at hand...
Limitations of UL Ratings
Before we actually break down the differences between UL listed products vs recognized products, we want to talk about the limitations of UL ratings. You may notice while shopping for products that you don't ever see "UL approved" - just listed or recognized. This is done on purpose by Underwriters Laboratory. They avoid the use of "approved" or any of its variations because the responsibility to provide safe, reliable products still falls on the manufacturer.
Remember - the UL bases their tests on samples of products - defects from the manufacturer can still happen. And, user error can still happen. Just because you see the UL stamp of trust doesn't mean the product is 100% safe. It just means a sample of that product has passed certain tests.
Now, with that said - you can still gain peace of mind by shopping products that have undergone the strict UL testing and have earned either the listed or recognized stamp. But, which of these carries more weight? We're going to break it down for you below.
What is the Difference Between UL Listed vs UL Recognized Power Supplies?
So, what is the difference between UL listed products vs recognized products? One of these ratings has been given to products that have been fully tested and evaluated by the UL. The other is given to products that the UL has reviewed and found to be compliant with their standards - but hasn't necessarily put through all of their tests.
So, which one should you trust more? Which one should you be looking for when shopping for new power supplies? Let's take a closer look at each rating, so you can decide for yourself.
What is UL Listed?
A product that has been UL listed has undergone extensive testing and evaluation by the Underwriters' Laboratories. This organization puts products through a number of different safety tests before they give them their stamp of approval. So, when you see a power supply that is UL listed, you know that it has been put through the wringer in terms of safety and quality.
In order for a product to receive the UL listing, it must meet all of the requirements laid out in their published standards. These standards are some of the most stringent in the world. So, when a product meets - or even exceeds - these standards, you know that it's safe to use.
What is UL Recognized?
UL recognized products have also been reviewed by the Underwriters' Laboratories. However, they have not necessarily been put through all of their safety tests. In other words, these products may not have undergone as extensive testing as UL listed products have. Nevertheless, they have still been found to be compliant with UL standards.
Which Rating Carries More Weight: UL Listed Products vs Recognized Products?
Now that we've taken a closer look at both ratings, it's time to answer the question: which one carries more weight - UL listed products vs recognized products? In our opinion, it's always better to err on the side of caution. So, we would recommend that you always go for UL listed products over UL recognized products. This is especially true for those who seeking power supplies for use cases where the stakes are high - such as medical power supplies.
While both ratings indicate that a product is safe to use, UL listed products have undergone more extensive testing. So, you can be sure that these products meet - or even exceed - the highest safety standards in the world. If nothing else, you can at least cover all your bases if something goes wrong down the line. You did everything in your power to get the safest, most dependable power supplies when you purchase products with the UL Listed rating.
How Does the UL Evaluate Power Supplies?
Now, we want to tie it all back to power supplies. When a power supply is UL recognized, it has been tested for peak voltage, material flammability, component temperature rise, and more. This is commonplace for both low and high-voltage AC DC power supplies.
However, higher voltage power supplies and converters must undergo more in-depth testing to earn the UL recognized stamp. The UL tests them for all that we've mentioned so far - but also for potential hazards of electric shock, fire, smoke, electromagnetic emissions, and more. You can learn more about the UL's Power Supply Test & Certification Standards here. There, you'll learn about the tests implemented not just to vet the safety of power supplies - but also their sustainability, performance, and overall quality.
In summary, anyone shopping for power supplies needs to know how to vet the safety of the products they're buying. And fortunately, it's easy - the UL has done all the hard work so you can just look for their crest. When you buy UL recognized power supplies, you can trust that you're getting a dependable product. This is important for all industries - as power is what keeps our modern world turning. But, it's especially important for industries that rely on medical equipment, computers, and other equipment that you can't afford downtime for.
Where Can You Find Both UL Listed and UL Recognized Power Supplies?
Now that you know the difference between UL listed vs UL recognized power supplies, where can you find these products? The good news is that Bravo Electro stocks both types of power supplies. So, if you're looking for the most reliable, trustworthy power supplies on the market, we've got you covered. All our AC DC power supply products are sourced from the top manufacturers in the industry - such as Mean Well. That means you can rest assured you're getting the best of the best - whether you're looking for 12v power supplies, 24v power supplies, or 48v power supplies.
And, we're here to help you every step of the way. Sourcing power supplies and other electrical components can get complex. Don't stress over getting the wrong part. Just reach out and we'll guide you through the process so you get exactly what you need the first time around. You can trust that you're in good hands when you shop with us. We even have engineers on staff for any custom projects you may need help with.
We hope this blog post has helped to clear up any confusion you may have had about UL listed vs UL recognized power supplies. If you have any questions or need help finding the right power supplies for your needs, don't hesitate to reach out to us. If you'd like to learn more about power and electric components, explore our blog as we have an abundance of helpful resources already written.