FTC May Require Output-based Labeling for Light Bulbs

by | Nov 25, 2009

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lighting factsWith the advent of compact fluorescent light bulbs, LEDs and other energy-saving lighting, marketers have relied on marketing schemes that might say a bulb is “equivalent to a 45-watt light bulb.”

But those days may be coming to an end as the Federal Trade Commission has proposed a new output-based label for bulbs, which would guide consumers on the light output of a bulb, rather than its energy use.

The FTC is calling for comments on its proposed rule, which would emphasize lumens instead of watts as a measure of bulb brightness.

FTC would also require wording on the bulb itself, as well as packaging, that indicates not only the lumens but also a mercury disclosure if the bulb indeed contains mercury.

The back of the package would have a “lighting facts” box similar to the Nutrition Facts box on food items (see image).

The FTC is taking comments through Dec. 28. Here is a link (PDF) to the notice published in the Federal Register.

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