Time Estimate: Typically 10 – 18 weeks from start of testing

The Quality Test Method (QTM) is the full test method used to verify comprehensive product quality and performance. Results from QTM testing are used to determine if a product has met the Quality Standards. Random selection of the product samples that are to be sent to the test lab is required and must be arranged in advance through Lighting Global.

  • 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. Tests for pico-solar products use a sample size of six. A total of at least 18 product samples, selected from a stock of at least 500 units, will be required for QTM testing.
    [If additional tests are required or the manufacturer requests that mechanical durability tests be conducted on unaltered samples, additional samples may be selected.]
  • 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. Tests for SHS kits use a sample size of four. A total of at least 16 product samples, selected from a stock of at least 200 units, will be required for QTM testing.
    [If additional tests are required or the manufacturer requests that mechanical durability tests be conducted on unaltered samples, additional samples may be selected.]

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: Contact the Lighting Global QA team to determine an appropriate test plan, arrange for random sampling of products, and to ensure that the chosen test lab has been approved for QTM testing by Lighting Global. A list of test labs is available here and related policies are below.

Step 2: Contact the test lab to determine availability and cost of testing.

Step 3: Once the test plan and test lab have been approved, you will enter into a “terms of service” agreement with Lighting Global. A three-step process is involved in which a member of the Lighting Global QA team will first send you an agreement to digitally sign and return before sampling and testing can begin. Next, the IFC will send a hard copy of an “Engagement Letter” which must be signed and returned by mail. The IFC will then invoice you directly for the test coordination, random sampling, review, and reporting services. These services typically cost US$ 1000, but may increase depending on the logistics associated with random sampling. This cost does not include the testing fees, which are determined by the test lab.

Step 4: You will then enter into contract directly with the independent test lab but remain in contact with our QA team to arrange sampling. Contracting and payment of testing fees is handled between you and the test lab.

Step 5: Lighting Global will send a sampling agent to randomly sample at least 16 – 18 units of the product for QTM testing.

Once the samples are selected, it is your responsibility to have the samples shipped to the test laboratory and pay all associated shipping fees, duties and taxes.

Step 6: When testing is complete, the test lab will send a copy of the test results to the Lighting Global QA team. The QA team may require additional information from the test lab or yourself, and will contact each as needed.

Test results sent directly to us by the client will not be considered valid.

Step 7: Once our team receives the test results, a member of the QA team will review the results.

For products that meet the Lighting Global Quality Standards, a Standardized Specifications Sheet (SSS) and Verification Letter will be issued and the product will be displayed on the Lighting Global website.

Products that meet the Quality Standards may also apply for Associate Status to receive additional business services.

Results will be valid for two years. During that time, the product may be subject to Market Check Testing. The product’s results may be renewed for another two years using Associate Renewal Testing.

Your company may make ongoing, incremental changes to your product. You should alert us when these occur. If the changes to performance are small (e.g., making a small update to the Standardized Specifications Sheet), no further testing will be required to maintain your status with the program. Large changes (generally, greater than 10% difference in performance) may require targeted re-testing to maintain your status.