What MEAN WELL Power Supplies Can be Legally Used with LED Strips and Modules?
LED Lighting Electrical Safety Standards
In Australia, there is a specific electrical safety standard for power supplies (LED drivers) that are used with LEDs, LED strips and LED modules. This is standard AS/NZS61347.1:2016 & AS/NZS 61347.2.13:2013.
Even though a MEAN WELL power supply may display an RCM mark, it may not necessarily comply with this standard.
All LED drivers listed on this website have been tested and certified to AS/NZS61347.1:2016 & AS/NZS 61347.2.13:2013.
The following types of MEAN WELL power supplies cannot legally be used with LEDs, LED strips, or LED modules:
Type of Power Supply
Reason for Non Compliance
Some models show RCM mark, but are tested to the electrical safety standards for telecommunications equipment.
|Some models show RCM mark, but are tested to the electrical safety standards for telecommunications equipment.|
Enclosed Power Supplies
|These feature exposed mains AC power terminals meaning they are unsafe for this application. *|
*this type of power supply can be used as a component inside a LED screen.
MEAN WELL manufacture a wide range of power supplies, and most of these can be bought online from one source or another.
LED Sign Supplies Australia only stocks MEAN WELL power supplies and LED drivers that you can legally use in Australia, and we clearly categorised them according to application.
Electrical Equipment Classes under Australian Electrical Safety Regulations
In Australia, power supplies typically fall into 1 of 2 equipment classes:
Level 1 In Scope (Non-Prescribed)
Level 3 In Scope (Prescribed)
In this article we use the terms ‘prescribed’ and ‘non-prescribed’ equipment.
Prescribed Electrical Equipment
In layman's terms, any power supply that is installed externally from the device it is powering is classed as “prescribed electrical equipment”. This product class includes LED drivers, battery chargers, laptop power supplies, etc. Basically, any power supply that is plugged into a 3-pin power point and can easily be touched by anybody in its vicinity.
All power supplies that fall within this category must have been tested by a recognised laboratory / test facility, and the responsible supplier must apply for an electrical safety certificate from one of the state based electrical safety regulators.
They must also display the RCM mark:
If a power supply is to be used with LEDs, LED strips, or LED modules it must be tested and certified according to AS/NZS61347.1:2016 & AS/NZS 61347.2.13:2013.
Plug packs, power adapters and battery chargers are tested and certified to a different standard. They will still show an RCM mark, but cannot legally be used for this purpose.
Another thing to bear in mind is that anyone can attach an RCM sticker to the power supply. If you are buying from an overseas supplier beware. The presence of an RCM mark is not enough for an importer (you the buyer) to fulfill their legal obligation to ensure the power supply is fully compliant with Australian electrical safety standards.
Therefore, you may want to request to see the approval certificate, or check on the government ERAC website, to see if either the manufacturer or the supplier you are buying from has an approval certificate registered.
The design of some MEAN WELL LED drivers means that they would never pass Australian electrical safety standards, which is one of the reasons why not all MEAN WELL LED drivers are listed on this website.
For example, some models have separate single insulated active and neutral wires on the AC input side. This is not permitted under Australia’s electrical safety regulations.
Non-Prescribed Electrical Equipment
Power supplies that are classified as ‘non-prescribed’ have been designed to be used as a component inside a finished product, such as a LED sign panel (LED screen). They should never be used as an “in-line” power supply that is external to the equipment it is powering. You must use a prescribed power supply in such applications.
All the non-prescribed power supplies on the LED Sign Supplies Australia website are listed under the “LED Screen Power Supplies” category. These are specifically for installing inside a LED sign panel, or other finished equipment. Do not use these power supplies for LEDs, LED strips, or LED modules.
Alarmingly, we have seen this type of power supply referred to and installed as an indoor LED driver.
We think this is misleading, as it gives the impression that they are safe to use in the same manner as a prescribed LED driver.
They are not.
They have exposed AC terminals and there is a risk of electrocution. It is illegal to use this type of power supply in place of a prescribed LED driver.
We cannot stress enough that a non-prescribed power supply should only be used as a component inside a finished product, such as an LED sign panel.
If you have any questions about power supplies and Australian safety regulations, please do not hesitate to contact LED Sign Supplies Australia on: 1800 632 693