If you are just beginning to dip your toe into the world of LED home or outdoor lighting, or if you are a more experienced lighting expert, you may have seen or heard the term “RoHS compliant” and not known exactly what it is. Never fear! LED Holiday Lighting is here to clear up all of your confusion and get you started on the path of LED awareness and safety!
Firstly, it is important to simply know what RoHS means and why it is even important when you are planning and designing your LED projects. RoHS is an acronym standing for: Restriction of Hazardous Substances. The RoHS is a directive that began in the European Union which restricts a certain amount of dangerous or hazardous materials to be used in products, most commonly found electrical or electronic products. This does not mean that RoHS products are lead free, it means that they are compliant to less than 1000 PPM lead content.
The substances restricted under RoHS are lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), hexavalent chromium (CrVI), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE).
All of this may seem confusing or not very important, but it has an incredibly wide effect on many industries and companies that produce, sell, resell, or distribute these types of products. However, it’s not just business and corporations that benefit from RoHS compliance, RoHS also helps to protect the environment, the employees who manufacture and distribute potentially dangerous products, and especially you! The substances that are banned under RoHS are toxic to the environment and can pollute landfills, and can cause serious harm to you, or employees working closely with the products, if the product carrying them becomes damaged or broken.
So, now that you know of the potential dangers of being non-RoHS compliant, you’re probably thinking “Well how do I know if a company or product is RoHS compliant?” Look to see if a product has a sticker or label looking similar to the images below then it has been marked as RoHS compliant. For products that do not have the sticker on display, though this doesn’t mean they are not RoHS compliant necessarily, this just means they may not have gotten their product RoHS certified, therefor be weary that the product could be potentially dangerous to both you and the environment.
So to recap, RoHS compliance helps to protect our environment, employees who work in close proximity to certain electronic or electrical products, and people who purchase these products from potentially hazardous materials such as lead and mercury.
Here are some guidelines on how to properly handle electrical string lights and cords:
– Always wear gloves and only let adults handle/tamper with lights and cords
– Keep lights at a high distance and out of reach from young toddlers and children
– If you can’t hide power cords from children, wrap cords in cotton cloth
– Wash hands after touching string lights and cords (studies have shown that small traces of lead can still be found on the surface of some light wiring)
Hopefully with this information, your next LED project will not only be spectacular, but also safe! For more information on RoHS compliance or for our full selection of RoHS compliant products, visit our website here.