Standards Drive the Lighting Industry

Standards Drive the Lighting Industry

This piece was originally published in the October 2017 issue of electroindustry.

Karen Willis, Senior Lighting Program Manager, NEMA

ANSI C137.3 specifies the minimum requirements for installation of power over Ethernet lighting systems to ensure minimal energy losses. Photo courtesy of Leviton

Several years ago, as the lighting industry moved toward smart products with light-emitting diode (LED) technology in the driver’s seat, NEMA formed the ANSI Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) C137 for Lighting Systems. NEMA Members—and the industry in general—understood the need to champion standards for lighting systems, not just component devices.

The ANSI C137 Lighting Systems Committee has prioritized multiple projects. It is writing a terms and definitions document, and is developing standards for 0–10V dimming systems, cybersecurity for parking lot lighting systems, networked parking lot lighting systems, and LED driver communications. Other activities include collecting end-user data for energy measurement and reviewing current lighting system data models for standardization. The committee’s first standard, ANSI C137.3-2017 American National Standard for Lighting Systems Minimum Requirements for Installation of Energy Efficient Power over Ethernet (PoE) Lighting Systems, was published in June.

The ANSI process, based on openness, balance, and consensus, ensures that approved standards are representative of the industry as a whole. Although the lighting industry continues to face challenges with interoperability and interchangeability of connected products, lighting systems standards that set minimum requirements and descriptions, while still allowing product differentiation, are the route to high-quality, efficient, and consumer-friendly lighting systems.

The ANSI C137 committee is open to all materially affected and interested parties. To achieve and maintain balance, the committee is actively seeking additional members in the user and general interest membership categories. If interested, please contact Karen Willis at

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