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Archive for the ‘Hazards’ Category

“Dangerous GU10 LED Spot Light is Cheap and Bright but could Kill You”

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“Lighting Science issues recall of 554,000 LED bulbs because of fire hazard”

This is a quote. Original article can be found here.

Lighting Science issues recall of 554,000 LED bulbs because of fire hazard

Lighting Science Group, the Florida-based makers of Home Depot’s EcoSmart LED bulbs as well as branded products for other companies, has issued a recall for a reported 554,000 of its LED bulbs. The bulbs are being called back due to their being a possible fire hazard after internal components overheat. This is a voluntary recall that affects bulbs sold under the Sylvania, Definity, EcoSmart, and Westinghouse brand names.

The recall, which is being organized under the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), was posted yesterday, March 19th, takes place after 68 reported product failures. Eight of those failures led to “visible smoke or fire conditions” and while others caused damage to a socket, fixture, or surrounding object. To date no people have been harmed by the faulty lamps.

The affected products include not just LSG’s own products, but ones that the company has made for other brands. These are 120V household bulbs operating at 6W, 8W and 9W within A19, G25, and PAR20 (R20) bulb types. Using the CPSC’s site and the label on an individual lamp it can be determined which products are affected and which are not.

One lamp that seems to be included in the mix is Home Depot’s popular EcoSmart A19. The bulb was one of the first to be available under the $10 mark, and was viewed as both a big win for Home Depot as well as for Lighting Science (though it’s questionable how much money Lighting Science made on the deal). This was never deemed as a particularly high quality bulb, but those judgements were restricted to the quality of its light and its build, never to its safety. EcoSmart bulbs are still available at Home Depot and Lighting Science’s Definity A19 Omni V2 is still available at Amazon so it seems that newer offerings are not affected.

Any product recall is bad news (especially one that causes fires), but this comes at a particularly bad time for Lighting Science. The company has a new CEO, Jeremy Cage, as of January 2013 and I’ve been told it has lost some talent over the past year. Also, the recall comes just days after Cree’s release of its A19 LED bulbs, products that can match Lighting Science’s low prices but — from what I’ve seen — are higher quality lights. Cree’s products are very competitive and will require a reaction from companies like Lighting Science.

“Philips Recalls 99,000 LED Light Bulbs Due to Shock Risk”

This is a quote. Original blog article can be found here.

Philips Recalls 99,000 LED Light Bulbs Due to Shock Risk

by Stephen Lacey | August 20, 2013

I just spent the last two minutes unscrewing two Philips LED bulbs from lamps in my home office. And then I came to my computer to write about it.

Why? Because the bulb has been recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for posing an electrical shock danger.

“A lead wire in the bulb’s housing can have an improper fitting, which can electrify the entire lamp and pose a shock hazard,” reported the CPSC. (Hat tip to Energy Manager Today for catching the news.)

Reportedly, no one has been hurt yet. But the consumer agency recommended immediately taking out the bulbs and unplugging the fixture.

Don’t have any backups? Bulb owners can contact Philips for some free replacements.

The CPSC is recalling two models, a 12-watt and 12.5-watt Endura LED. Here’s how to know if your bulb is the right one:

“The bulbs are orange in color and have ‘MADE IN CHINA,’ ‘Fabrique in Chine’ followed by a slanted ‘S,’ and the model number 9290001829 printed on the gray plastic band on the neck of the bulbs. The date codes, 2L for the Endura bulbs and 2K or 2L for the Ambient bulbs, are printed on the metal screw base.”

The Endura was Philips’ answer to the 60-watt incandescent bulb, and was proudly displayed at the 2011 Lightfair International as part of a suite of new LED products.

Wondering what to do with a bulb would probably last another couple of years (if it weren’t potentially dangerous)? Don’t try to sell it off to an unsuspecting friend, warned the CPSC.

“Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.”

Not that the resale market would be massive — LEDs still only represent 12 percent of worldwide lighting sales. But global penetration is expected to increase to 25 percent by 2014, and possibly hit 80 percent by 2020.

Philips, a world leader in light sales, is pushing aggressively into the LED market. But it is nudging up against competition from tech competitors like LG and Samsung, cheaper Chinese suppliers and up-and-comers like Cree.

“LED products billed as eco-friendly contain toxic metals, study finds”

Source: LED products billed as eco-friendly contain toxic metals, study finds

LED products billed as eco-friendly contain toxic metals, study finds

UC researchers tested holiday bulbs, traffic lights and car beams

Irvine, Calif., February 10, 2011

Those light-emitting diodes marketed as safe, environmentally preferable alternatives to traditional lightbulbs actually contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially hazardous substances, according to newly published research.

“LEDs are touted as the next generation of lighting. But as we try to find better products that do not deplete energy resources or contribute to global warming, we have to be vigilant about the toxicity hazards of those marketed as replacements,” said Oladele Ogunseitan, chair of UC Irvine’s Department of Population Health & Disease Prevention.

He and fellow scientists at UCI and UC Davis crunched, leached and measured the tiny, multicolored lightbulbs sold in Christmas strands; red, yellow and green traffic lights; and automobile headlights and brake lights. Their findings? Low-intensity red lights contained up to eight times the amount of lead allowed under California law, but in general, high-intensity, brighter bulbs had more contaminants than lower ones. White bulbs copntianed the least lead, but had high levels of nickel.

“We find the low-intensity red LEDs exhibit significant cancer and noncancer potentials due to the high content of arsenic and lead,” the team wrote in the January 2011 issue of Environmental Science & Technology, referring to the holiday lights. Results from the larger lighting products will be published later, but according to Ogunseitan, “it’s more of the same.”

Lead, arsenic and many additional metals discovered in the bulbs or their related parts have been linked in hundreds of studies to different cancers, neurological damage, kidney disease, hypertension, skin rashes and other illnesses. The copper used in some LEDs also poses an ecological threat to fish, rivers and lakes.

Ogunseitan said that breaking a single light and breathing fumes would not automatically cause cancer, but could be a tipping point on top of chronic exposure to another carcinogen. And – noting that lead tastes sweet – he warned that small children could be harmed if they mistake the bright lights for candy.

Risks are present in all parts of the lights and at every stage during production, use and disposal, the study found. Consumers, manufacturers and first responders to accident scenes ought to be aware of this, Ogunseitan said. When bulbs break at home, residents should sweep them up with a special broom while wearing gloves and a mask, he advised. Crews dispatched to clean up car crashes or broken traffic fixtures should don protective gear and handle the material as hazardous waste. Currently, LEDs are not classified as toxic and are disposed of in regular landfills. Ogunseitan has forwarded the study results to California and federal health regulators.

He cites LEDs as a perfect example of the need to mandate product replacement testing. The diodes are widely hailed as safer than compact fluorescent bulbs, which contain dangerous mercury. But, he said, they weren’t properly tested for potential environmental health impacts before being marketed as the preferred alternative to inefficient incandescent bulbs, now being phased out under California law. A long-planned state regulation originally set to take effect Jan. 1 would have required advance testing of such replacement products. But it was opposed by industry groups, a less stringent version was substituted, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger placed the law on hold days before he left office.

“I’m frustrated, but the work continues,” said Ogunseitan, a member of the state Department of Toxic Substances Control’s Green Ribbon Science Panel. He said makers of LEDs and other items could easily reduce chemical concentrations or redesign them with truly safer materials. “Every day we don’t have a law that says you cannot replace an unsafe product with another unsafe product, we’re putting people’s lives at risk,” he said. “And it’s a preventable risk.”

“Banned LED bulbs”

Another earlier safety warning about LEDs from the Swedish National Electrical Safety Board (posted and translated by Greenwashing Lamps).

Banned LED bulbs

Dec 14, 2011

With the new energy conservation requirements, incandescent bulbs be phased out, increasing interest in alternative lighting. The National Electrical Safety Board has recently given a variety of LED lamps sales ban.

The most common reason is electrical grid disturbances, but they also interfere with radio frequencies. The lamps which the Safety Board has looked at are the incandescent bulb replacement LED bulbs. They are based on modern LED technology and all the lamps tested contain a small power pack, situated in the lamp socket.

List of products which have so far received sales ban: Lamp 1Lamp 2Lamp 3Lamp 4Lamp 5Lamp 6Lamp 7. [3 more but links required login]

Result of market supervision

More than half of the LED lights purchased through the market and tested have received sales bans. This is a remarkably high figure, which may be because most of the lights checked had built-in dimming, i.e. that they are dimmable.

Dimmable LED lamps contain control electronics that often require specific measures to achieve acceptable properties to make electrical devices work together, known as electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). This is sometimes overlooked by the lamp manufacturers. 

It is important to you as a manufacturer or importer to ensure that the LEDs have been tested properly with EMC.

How does the disturbance manifest?

LEDs produce disturbances in the distribution system which, among other things, can cause radio interference. Radio interference caused by the conducted noise radiating from the connected wires. This is because the lines, e.g. to the luminaire, act as transmitting antennas for conducted interference. The disturbance may affect other electrical products in the local area, even those that are not connected to an outlet. It can also affect communication such as wireless broadband and telephony.

What rules apply for manufacturers?

The Electrical Safety Authority on electromagnetic compatibility (ELSÄK-FS 2007:1) has to be followed. Regulations based on the EMC Directive (2004/108/EC EMCD).

Cooperation within the EU about LED lights

There is currently a campaign in the EU where LED lighting examined. The aim is to investigate if the new LED lights on the market comply with applicable EMC requirements.

A few months later, EU authorities found similar problems:

Disruptive LEDs are examined in the EU

Feb 10, 2012

The National Electrical Safety Board has in 2011 looked into LED lights, half of which got sales bans. The reason for the bans is that the lights did not meet the applicable requirements for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

Market of LED lamps 2011The lights disrupted other electrical products. Only one in five LED lamps passed the test without comment.

European survey

In parallel with the National Electrical Safety Board’s market surveillance of LED lights, the EU carried out an investigation. The EU surveillance is not strictly comparable to the Safety Boards’s market surveillance, but shows similar shortcomings. The results also show that manufacturers who use LED technology are very poor at complying with the Directive.

– The reason for this is that LED technology is so new and there have appeared many new manufacturers in the market that are simply not aware of the directive, said Ulf Johansson at the Safety Board.

Clearer rules

One of several measures aimed at improving the situation is that the European Commission gives the European Committee for Standardisation mandate to supplement and clarify standards in the field. The aim is to help traders in the market to more easily use the current rules.

Continued control

The National Electrical Safety Board will, in line with other market surveillance authorities in the EU, check the LEDs in 2012 as well. It also plans to follow up on last year’s surveillance with a campaign aimed at improving information about the LED lights.

Original sources:

Förbjudna LED-lampor

Störande lampor granskas i EU

Final Report on the 4th Cross-Border EMC Market Surveillance Campaign – 2011 LED Lighting Products

“LED tubes can be dangerous”

Earlier safety warnings about LEDs from the Swedish National Electrical Safety Board (posted and translated by Greenwashing Lamps).

LED tubes can be dangerous

May 20, 2010

To save energy, many industries, municipalities and other large consumers of traditional fluorescent lamps are switching to LED lamps. Tests show that LED tubes can compromise the security of the person replacing the lamp.

LED lampsThe new LED tubes are supplied with 230 V voltage to the luminaire lamp holder for the lamp ends. The risk is getting an electric shock when the lamp is replaced because it is easy to touch the shiny connectors at one end of the tube, while the other end is attached to the light fixture.

Can be mounted in standard fluorescent fixtures

The National Electrical Safety Board has been tested a number of LED tubes in the Swedish market. All products can be installed in conventional fluorescent fixtures. The results of the tests show such serious faults that the agency has decided to withdraw the products from end users. Importers are required to advertise alerts to reach all end users.

– The current LED tubes are sold primarily via the Internet and can be found both among consumers as that of bulk consumers, says Martin Gustafsson at the Safety Board. Those who have purchased the product should contact the place of purchase for warranty.

Safety Board has no data on how many of those LED lamps on the market, but there may be a thousand.

The corresponding study in Finland

The Finnish equivalent of the National Electrical Safety Board, Safety Tukes, has been tested a number of led tube. Test results have shown that the tested products did not comply with safety regulations, and there was a risk of electric shock when replacing the tubes. According Tukes there are in Finland several thousand LED tubes that can be dangerous. The Safety Board has contacted the LED tube suppliers in Sweden who have received the Finnish counterpart sales ban in Finland and asked them to take voluntary measures in accordance with the measures Tukes has demanded. The LED tubes tested by the Swedish Safety board have not been tested in Finland.

Original source:

LED-lysrör kan vara farliga