FTC Proposes 'Lighting Facts' Labels for Additional Types of Light Bulbs to Help Consumers

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The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comments on proposed amendments to the Appliance Labeling Rule that would require a “Lighting Facts” label on additional types of light bulbs to help consumers select the most efficient bulbs to meet their lighting needs, and a specific test procedure for light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

Under direction from Congress to examine the effectiveness of light bulb labels, the FTC introduced a new “Lighting Facts” label in July 2010 for medium screw-base light bulbs. The new labels will help consumers choose among incandescent bulbs and high-efficiency compact fluorescent (CFL) and LED bulbs as new energy standards imposed by Congress begin to phase out traditional incandescent bulbs from the market. The new label, which will appear on these bulb packages beginning next year, provides information on brightness, annual energy cost, life, color appearance, and energy use.

The Commission is now seeking comments on whether to expand the label’s coverage to additional bulb types and to require a specific test procedure for LED bulbs. Specifically, the agency proposes to require the labels on all screw-base bulbs, including smaller base candelabra bulbs, and certain pin-base bulbs. Manufacturers would have at least two and a half years to begin using the new labels for these additional bulb types. The FTC also proposes requiring a specific test procedure, LM-79, for measuring LED light output and color characteristics to help ensure consistent label content.

For more information about the Lighting Facts Label, watch the FTC’s light bulb video or visit FTC.gov/lightbulbs. The FTC also offers Shopping for light bulbs? Learning about lumens is a bright idea and Labeling Your Light Bulbs with“Lighting Facts”: Questions
and Answers for Manufacturers
.

The Commission vote approving the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was 5-0. It is available on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release and will be published in the Federal Register soon. Instructions for filing comments appear in the Federal Register Notice. Comments must be received by September 22, 2011. All comments received will be posted at www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. (FTC File No. P084206; the staff contact is Hampton Newsome, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2889)

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call
1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

(Light Bulbs NPR)

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