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The member companies in the Luminaire Section are committed to providing high quality, energy efficient, and safe lighting products to the public and works to ensure that the interests of the lighting consumer and lighting industry are addressed in technical, government affairs, and market activities in NEMA. The domestic luminaire industry represent about $4.5 billion with outdoor at $1.5 billion and indoor at $3.0 billion.



The Luminaire Section encompasses products that produce, control, and distribute light so as to provide general and/or localized artificial illumination for all work places in industry, public, institutional, residential, and commercial applications, including interior, exterior, and hazardous/adverse locations. They are complete lighting units consisting of one or more light sources and some or all of the following integral components: optical control devices designed to distribute the light, sockets or mountings to position and protect the light sources and to connect the light sources to a supply of electric power; the mechanical components required to support or attach the luminaire; and various electrical and electronic components to start, operate, dim, or otherwise control and maintain the operation of the light sources. The products, luminaires may be equipped to receive signals from an automatic or manual control to dim or turn off the light source(s).

Excluded from the Section Scope are:

  • Searchlights (regardless of light source).
  • Devices in the Scope of the Ballast and Driver Section.
  • Lighting units generally referred to as portable residential, table, or floor lamps.
  • Replacement parts for products within the Section scope unless specifically covered above. 
  • Light sources that are not integral to the luminaire, in the Scope of the Lightsource Section.
  • Lampholders, attachments, and other accessories that are sold as not integral to the luminaire, in the Scope of the Wiring Device Section.
  • Electrical boxes that are sold as not integral to the luminaire, in the scope of the Outlet and Switch Box Section.  Fittings that are sold as not integral to the luminaire, in the Scope of the Conduit Fittings Section.
  • Dimmer switches, timer switches, occupancy-sensor controls, and motion-sensing controls that are not integral to the luminaire, in the Scopes of the Wiring Device Section or the Lighting Controls Section.

Click for detailed luminaire product scope information.

Technical Activities

Standards play a vital part in the design, production, and distribution of products destined for both national and international com­merce. Sound technical standards benefit the user, as well as the manufacturer, by improving safety, bringing about economies in product, eliminating misunderstandings between manufacturer and purchaser, and assisting the pur­chaser in selecting and obtaining the proper product for his particular need.

NEMA devotes much of its time, effort, and resources to voluntary standardization activities. NEMA standards are offered and recommended to become American National Standards under the procedures of the American National Standards Institute, usually under the canvass method. This decision rests with the particular subdivision or subdivisions concerned. NEMA standards are also often submitted for consideration as IEC Standards components or references. It is the intent of the association to continue its support of these, and many more, activities as the best method to continue providing sound and safe electrical products for the use of all.

Key technical activities include:

  • Binational and North American luminaire safety and performance standards, working with UL and CSA
  • Recessed luminaire compatibility standards
  • American National Standards for roadway and outdoor lighting
  • National Electrical Code® issues and installation practices
  • Micro-ballast and luminaire compatibility
  • Metal halide lamp and luminaire best practices
  • International standards development in IEC TC 34D
  • LUMEX panel activities

Government Affairs

Through NEMA, the section develops industry positions on legislative and regulatory initiatives that may affect member products, markets, and customers. The NEMA work has resulted in contributions to public policy development and in promoting competitiveness, technological progress, and public safety. On the Government Affairs homepage members can search for and e-mail federal representatives to convey opinions regarding energy policy or other issues related to the electroindustry.

NEMA Government Affairs provides specific services to its members and information in the areas of Environment, Health & Safety; Energy; and International Trade & Commerce.

Key governmental activities include:

  • Advising and working with federal and state authorities on outdoor lighting codes, night light pollution, and light trespass regulations
  • Promoting the National Voluntary Luminaire Efficacy Rating (LER) and Information Program under the 1992 Energy Policy Act for fluorescent, commercial downlight, and industrial HID luminaires
  • Working with the Department of Energy and Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) on federal energy-efficient product recommendations for federal purchasing
  • Working with the Environmental Protection Agency on Energy Star® Buildings program and Luminaire Energy Star product programs
  • Federal procurement requirements and Buy America provisions


Membership in NEMA is open to any firm actively engaged in the manufacture in North America of a product within the NEMA scope and for sale in the open market. Membership of foreign firms is subject to product section policies and NEMA Board of Governors approval.

NEMA operates on a fee-for-service basis. Each product section establishes its projects and activities and approves an annual operating budget. A fee is then established using an annual average of net domestic sales of products within the NEMA scope. The section has a tiered dues structure to assist small manufacturers.


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