The New York Times Green Blog reports that the Federal Trade Commission has filed its first suit against a company for LEDs that fall short of their marketing claims. The agency is taking aim at Lights of America for selling bulbs that don’t match the equivalent light output of a 40W bulb. Worse, they last only a fraction of their supposed lifetime:
Longevity claims on the products also missed the mark. “The firm said that one of its LED recessed bulbs would last 30,000 hours,” the commission noted. “Independent tests, however, showed that the bulb would not last as long as claimed because it lost 80 percent of its light output after only 1,000 hours.”
Though it’s unfortunate an LED company is in the FTC’s crosshairs — and in fairness, we have yet to hear Lights of America’s side — it’s a welcome move. For LEDs and other energy efficient technologies to thrive and their prices to fall to affordable, mass-market levels, their performance and efficiency claims must be utterly reliable. Luckily, the federal government has recently started to flex its muscle when it comes to efficiency claims.
Last year, the DoE took LG to task over its use of the Energy Star label on its not-so-efficient refrigerator. And earlier this year, a gasoline-powered, “Energy Star rated” alarm clock drew the government’s ire along with promises from the EPA to start vigorously monitoring the program.
The lesson for cleantech startups and veterans alike: Watch those efficiency claims!
Image Credit: Ed Brown – Wikimedia Commons
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