Initial Screening Method (ISM) Testing
Time Estimate: Typically 4 – 8 weeks from start of testing
The Initial Screening Method (ISM) is an optional, abbreviated test method that can offer key feedback to the manufacturer and indicate whether the product is likely to meet the Quality Standards. Tests in the ISM use a sample size of one, but several tests are conducted simultaneously, so the manufacturer must provide at least three product samples to the test lab. Random sampling is not required because the results are for informative purposes only; for a product to meet the Lighting Global Quality Standards and receive program support, it must undergo the more rigorous QTM testing.
- Pico-solar products (products with peak power rating of less than 15 W) are tested according to the latest version of IEC/TS 62257-9-5. This and other key IEC documents for rural electrification are currently available at a discount for qualified stakeholders.
- Solar home system kits, which for the purposes of Lighting Global are products with peak power ratings between 10 W – 100 W, are tested according to the Lighting Global Solar Home System Kit Quality Assurance Protocols. These methods are available from Lighting Global upon request.
For products with peak power ratings between 10 W – 15 W, manufacturers may choose which methods they would prefer be used. The SHS kit method is more appropriate for products that include appliances, though some country governments require testing according to IEC/TS 62257-9-5 for all products up to 15 W.
Step 1: Choose a test lab. We recommend that the chosen test lab be approved for ISM testing by Lighting Global. For more information, please review the list of approved test labs here and following related policies.
Step 2: After choosing a lab, your company and the lab will enter into a contract for testing. Note that sample shipments, payments and reporting are handled between your company and the chosen test lab.
Typically for ISM testing, you will need to provide at least three samples of the product directly to the test lab. Confirm the number of samples required and all other logistics directly with the test lab.
Random sampling is not required.
Step 3: In parallel with testing, you can opt to receive additional support services from the QA team. Such services include additional guidance on the test plan and/or feedback on the test results. To acquire these services you must inform the Lighting Global QA team.
Step 4: A member of the QA team will prepare and send you an ISM testing agreement to digitally sign and return. Note that by signing the agreement you agree to pay the fees associated with test coordination, review, and reporting services. These services typically cost US$500 and do NOT include the testing fees, which are determined by the test lab.
Step 5: After the invoice of these services is settled and testing is complete, the test lab will send a copy of the test results to the Lighting Global QA team. The QA team will review these results to prepare your results packet, which includes a test report and a cover letter explaining the result. Note that this information is confidential since no other entity receives it.