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  leds,led to,led lcd,lcd led,lights,led light,led lighting,led lights,led display,led lamp,led strip,led smd,led strips,led mr16 LED Scofflaws Abuse Lighting Label    

LED Scofflaws Abuse Lighting Label

Photo Some companies are trying to pull a fast one with a new label for LED lighting.

The Department of Energy’s new label for LED lighting products looks a lot like the food nutrition label on your favorite box of cereal. It was created to give a quick summary of performance data – such as light output and color – and, ideally, to help prevent poor quality products from spoiling the nascent LED market.

The trouble is, the label’s use is not always legitimate.

Since the agency launched its “Lighting Facts” program in December 2008, there have been 25 cases of label misuse, according to James Brodrick, the manager of solid state lighting at the Department of Energy.

It’s against the department’s policy to name names, so to speak, but Mr. Brodrick said the offenses range from “over exuberant” manufacturers using their own labels instead of an official one from D.O.E. (one such case, involving Philips, is documented in a recent magazine story), to more egregious cases where manufacturers “were looking to see if they could get away with something.”

Indeed, the issue prompted Mr. Brodrick to warn would-be scofflaws, in an e-mail message sent this week to industry stakeholders, that his agency is serious about policing misuse of the label.

“Anyone who does not play by the rules will have to answer not just to me,” Mr. Brodrick wrote, “but to the D.O.E. lawyers and the Federal Trade Commission.”


Before a label is issued, the product must be tested in accordance with industry standards at an accredited laboratory. The performance results are submitted to, and verified by, the Department of Energy.

The product may then be eligible for the label if the manufacturer signs a pledge that it is committed to truthful and consistent reporting of performance claims going forward.

Lighting Facts labels have been approved for 160 LED products so far, and the veracity of a label can be checked on the program’s Web site.

The government’s well-established Energy Star label – which can also appear on LED packaging – indicates that a product has met the program’s minimum requirements. The Lighting Facts label is different, however, in that it provides a consistent way to see how products measure up against each other.

“Energy Star just basically says the product meets a certain criteria – it’s either pass or fail,” Mr. Brodrick said. The Lighting Facts label “is a step up,” he said. “It lets consumers make their own decisions.”

The Department of Energy is working to make the Lighting Facts label more counterfeit-proof, and to expand it to include information on product reliability and lifetime.

Coming up with a way to measure longevity could prove especially daunting, given there are LEDs on the market today that claim to last 50,000 hours or more.


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