Information Bulletin: Minimum requirements retrofit of luminaires to include the use of light emitting diodes



Reference number
IB-EL 2017-01
Revision Number
Rev 1

This bulletin provides clarification on permit and certification requirements for work performed on light fixtures (luminaires) when converting them to the light emitting diode (LED) type. Qualified persons must apply new labels to the luminaire or the lamp when retrofitting luminaires. Procedures for installations within Technical Safety BC jurisdictions are provided below.

Permit Requirements

Under section 11 of the Electrical Safety Regulation, a permit is required for electrical work, such as:

  • replacement of complete luminaires
  • upgrades of existing luminaires

Subject to section 18 of the Electrical Safety Regulation, a permit would not normally be required for:

  • replacement of lamps
  • electrical work required to replace defective components of existing luminaires, provided there is no change to the characteristics of the luminaire

Certification requirements

The requirement for a certification mark on electrical equipment is found in the Electrical Safety Regulation, section 21. Alterations to fluorescent luminaires for energy efficiency upgrades will likely “result in the product ceasing to meet the standards required to be met by the certification agency that authorized the use of the certification mark.” (See Safety Standards Act, section 68).

Approved fixtures that are not modified will continue to be recognized as being approved.

Certified retrofit kits

Field retrofit kits that bear evidence of approval are available and allowed to be installed by qualified persons. These kits come with labels that may contain a new nameplate, including a new certification mark. The qualified person must apply the new label as described in the installation instructions. The field application of a certification mark by someone other than a certification body’s representative is relatively new. However, assurance has been received from the certification companies that they are authorized to apply the label on their behalf in accordance with the installation instructions.

Retrofitted fixtures that must be used with a specific lamp will not always be provided with an approval label on the fixture itself. In this case, the label will be placed on the replacement bulb. When this replacement occurs, rule 2-106 must be followed and new labelling of the fixture must occur to indicate the new characteristics. In all cases, the installation instructions provided with the retrofit kit must be followed. Products such as LED lamps that bear evidence of retrofit approval and are intended for retrofit use in existing fixtures may be used following manufacturer specifications.

Field modified luminaires

Field modified luminaires not incorporating a certified kit will require re-approval and marking. Re-approval is required if:

  • the electrical work involves modifications to the existing ballast and secondary wiring connecting directly to the existing tombstones, or
  • where the existing ballast and secondary wiring is completely removed or replaced.

The above typically refers to the SPE-1000 Model Code (Special Inspection) approach described in Information Bulletin B-E3 071019 3,.

If practicable, the fixtures may be removed from site and modified in a certified shop when the shop is licensed to perform the tasks and apply a new nameplate and certification mark.


Provincial Safety Manager

Safety Standards Act
Electrical Safety Regulation
Safety Standards General Regulation