New IEC Standard performance requirements of lamps for road vehicles

Issue 50 – June 2013

The IEC recently published the latest edition of an international Standard detailing the performance requirements of lamps for road vehicles, IEC 60810 Ed. 3.2:2013 Lamps for road vehicles – Performance requirements.

IEC 60810 Ed. 3.2 details the basic function and interchangeability, mechanical strength, some life characteristics (measured on a test quantity of 20 lamps), lumen maintenance, resistance to vibration and shock, and glass-bulb strength published for the same types of lamp (filament and discharge). As lighting solutions based on light emitting diode (LED) technology have been phased in gradually – first to top of the range cars and then to a broader class of vehicles – this Standard contains updates including the requirements and test conditions for LED light sources, as these may be significantly different from those that apply to other types of lamps.

They include basic function and interchangeability, UV radiation, lumen and colour maintenance, resistance to vibration and shock, electromagnetic compatibility, and powered thermal cycling. This last characteristic determines the ability of the LED light source to withstand changes of ambient temperature. Tests and requirements for filament and discharge lamps are based on IEC 60809 data sheets for different types of lamps.

As LED-based lighting solutions are being introduced by all car manufacturers, IEC 60810 Ed 3.2, which now includes requirements and test conditions for LED light sources, will be adopted widely by the automotive industry and contribute to the introduction of new safer lights.

All lamps (including LED-based ones) must also comply with IEC 60061-1 Ed. 3.4:2005 Lamp caps and holders together with gauges for the control of interchangeability and safety – Part 1: Lamp caps.

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Summarised from IEC's e-tech, April 2013.

Published in transport.

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