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Document 32002A0509(01)

Commission Opinion of 3 May 2002 within the framework of Council Directive 73/23/EEC relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits — Portable child-appealing luminaires (Text with EEA relevance)

OJ C 112, 9.5.2002, p. 2–3 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)

32002A0509(01)

Commission Opinion of 3 May 2002 within the framework of Council Directive 73/23/EEC relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits — Portable child-appealing luminaires (Text with EEA relevance)

Official Journal C 112 , 09/05/2002 P. 0002 - 0003


Commission Opinion

of 3 May 2002

within the framework of Council Directive 73/23/EEC relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits

Portable child-appealing luminaires

(2002/C 112/02)

(Text with EEA relevance)

I. Introduction

1. This opinion is based on Council Directive 73/23/EEC(1) relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits (LVD). It refers to the application of Articles 1, 2, 5 and 9 of the aforementioned Directive.

2. This opinion relates to problems identified regarding portable child-appealing luminaires(2).

3. The Commission has been formally notified by Member States of more than twenty measures taken since 1999 restricting the placing on the market of portable child-appealing luminaires using the safeguard procedure described in the Low Voltage Directive. In general, the luminaires subject to these measures have had a rated voltage exceeding 24 V. The present opinion seeks to clarify the application of the Low Voltage Directive to these products with respect to the risk of electrical shock.

4. The question as to whether a luminaire has to be considered as "child appealing" depends on a case-by-case assessment taking into account the specific characteristics of the product in question.

II. Assessment of the safety of portable child-appealing luminaires in the context of the LVD

5. There are basically two configuration of power supply to a portable child-appealing luminaire to be considered:

(a) via a cable with electrical supply direct from the socket outlet (nominal supply voltage from domestic outlets is 230 V for alternating current according to the European standard HD 472 S1:1989 and HD 472 S1:1989/A1:1995); or

(b) via a cable supplied by less than 24 V, which is generally supplied by a transformer, usually forming an assembly so that it may be plugged via the transformer into the 230 V outlet. The transformer and cable are both provided with the luminaires.

Article 1 of the Low Voltage Directive 73/23/EEC specifies that the Directive covers electrical equipment designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 V and 1000 V for alternating current.

6. Hence the LVD covers:

(a) the luminaire of the first configuration (see 5 (a));

(b) only the transformer of the second configuration (see 5(b)) when the luminaire and the transformer are not permanently connected; and

(c) both the transformer and the luminaire of the second configuration (see 5(b)) where the transformer and the luminaire are permanently connected.

7. This opinion only relates to the child-appealing luminaires as referred to in points 6(a) and 6(c).

8. Article 2, clause 2 of the LVD contains a reference to a list of safety objectives in Annex I of the LVD. At Annex I(3)(c), one of the principal elements of the safety objectives is described as the following: "Technical measures are to be laid down in accordance with point 1 in order to ensure that the electrical equipment shall not endanger persons, domestic animals and property in foreseeable conditions of overload."

9. During normal use, portable luminaires can be easily moved from one place to another whilst still connected to the electricity supply. It is considered that, due to the child-appealing character of the luminaire, children might touch and move such products although they are not designed or clearly intended to be played with like toys. Provided that these products are not presented as items designed or clearly intended for use in play by children of less than 14 years of age, they are not deemed to be toys and are therefore not covered by Council Directive 88/378/EEC(3) on the safety of toys(4). A foreseeable mechanical overload of the luminaire might occur when such luminaires are handled by children. This in turn may lead to direct access to live parts.

10. In order to meet the requirements of the LVD (see 8) the manufacturer needs to perform a risk assessment to ensure that the risk of electrical shock associated with the foreseeable use of the luminaire is acceptable.

11. It is important to note that, for items intended to be played with by children (toys), a voltage limit of 24 V has been introduced to the European Directive 88/378/EEC (Toys Directive) in order to reduce the risk of electrical shock.

The European standard EN 60598-2-10 "Luminaires - Part 2 section 10: Particular requirements - Portable luminaires for children" also requires a voltage with not more than 24 V.

12. As a result of the aforementioned risk assessment, the manufacturer needs to take measures to ensure that the risk of electrical shock associated with the foreseeable use of the child-appealing luminaire is adequately addressed:

(a) the manufacturer may use a plug-transformer or similar means to ensure that the voltage supplied to the mentioned luminaire remains under 24 V.

Therefore, portable child-appealing luminaires supplied via a cable with less than 24 V, generated by a transformer, constructed together with a plug for the 230 V outlet, may comply with the essential requirements of the LVD (see 8). This can be reached by applying the relevant European standard EN 60598-2-10 to the luminaire and the relevant harmonised European standard (EN 61558-series) to the transformer;

(b) there might also be other technologies that can be applied to child-appealing luminaires using voltages higher than 24 V that may fulfil the essential safety requirements of the Low Voltage Directive 73/23/EEC. In such cases, special precautions in accordance with appropriate safety concepts and test methods have to be applied to prevent direct access to live parts in foreseeable conditions of overload. This has to be described in the technical documentation.

13. Member States' authorities should take account of this opinion in the context of market surveillance.

(1) OJ L 77, 6.3.1973 as amended by Directive 93/68/EEC (OJ L 220, 30.8.1993, p. 1).

(2) The European standard EN 60598-2-10 "Luminaires - Part 2-10: Particular requirements - Portable luminaires for children" defines a child-appealing luminaires as: "A luminaire that in normal use can be moved from one place to another while connected to the supply and which is constructed so represent a model, person or animal such that due to the design and materials used it could be treated, by a child, as a toy." Examples of such luminaires are e.g. nightlights using filament lamps, replicas of persons, animals, buildings, cars or trains with internal or external filament lamps. This definition is currently subject of a revision within the European standardisation process.

(3) Directive 88/378/EEC of 3 May 1988 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States concerning the safety of toys (Toys Directive).

(4) Article 1 of Directive 88/378/EEC (Toys Directive) defines toys as "any product or material designed or clearly intended for use in play by children of less than 14 years of age".

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