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The Federal Trade Commission has voted to clarify the requirements of the Appliance Labeling Rule to permit manufacturers and others who distribute bulk cartons of incandescent light bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps not packaged for individual retail sale to make the rule's required labeling disclosures on the bulk shipping carton. Retailers must display these lamp products for sale in the bulk carton so that consumers can use the disclosures in selecting the light bulbs or compact fluorescent lamps they want.

The Commission amended the Appliance Labeling Rule in 1994 to require disclosures on labels of information that enables consumers to select energy efficient light bulbs and other lamp products, including general service fluorescent lamps, general service incandescent light bulbs (including spot lights, flood lights, and regular non-reflector light bulbs), and medium screw base compact fluorescent lamps. The primary disclosures required are light output (in lumens), energy used (in watts), life (in hours), the number of lamps included in the package, the design voltage of each lamp (if it is other than 120 volts), and an advisory statement explaining how consumers can use the information to select the most energy efficient lamp products.

The interpretative amendment to the rule becomes effective upon publication in today's Federal Register.

The Commission vote to approve and publish the final rule was 3-1, with Commissioner Mozelle Thompson dissenting.

Copies of the full text of the Federal Register notice and the Appliance Labeling Rule are available from the FTC's web site at and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-FTC-HELP (202-382-4357); TDD for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. Consent agreements subject to public comment also are available by calling 202-326-3627. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.

(FTC File No. R611004)

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Michelle Muth
Office of Public Affairs
Staff Contact:
Kent C. Howerton
Bureau of Consumer Protection