GE recalls LED tubes over electrocution fears

GE IS recalling 92,000 LED tubes from the US market over fears that they could electrocute people.

The recall will be an embarrassment to GE just two months after it announced an expanded partnership with Lowe’s. In April, Lowe’s became the only nationwide home centre to offer GE’s lamps.  

The move follows the discovery that the pins on one end of the lamp can become energised during installation and removal, posing electric shock and electrocution hazards to householders.

No injuries or incidents have been reported so far.

The Chinese-manufactured light sources are universal tubes designed to replace T8 and T12 fluorescent lamps. Only the option with a cool white colour temperature is affected. It was sold in twin packs in the U.S. for about $15 (€13, £11) through the nationwide home improvement chain Lowe’s and through its website, and was available from approximately November 2017 through to April 2018.

It bears the serial number the 31243 LED13T8U840.

GE has confirmed to Lux that the product has been distributed only in the US and has not been sold in Europe, the Middle East or Africa.

The lamps are most often used in garages, basements, workshops and utility rooms. The GE logo and model information are printed on a label near the tube's white plastic base.

Purchasers of the lamps are being told to they should immediately contact GE Lighting to receive instructions on safely removing the LED tube lamps, and to receive a refund in the form of a $17 (€14, £13) gift card. Consumers are being told to should make sure the light switch is ‘off’ before attempting to change LED tube lamps.

This recall was conducted, voluntarily by the company, under the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's Fast Track Recall process. Fast Track recalls are initiated by firms, who commit to work with CPSC to quickly announce the recall and remedy to protect consumers. Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

The barcode of the affected LED tubes. Purchasers are urged to contact the manufacturer GE before attempting to remove the lamps.

Customers who are worried about LED tubes are urged to contact GE Lighting at 800-338-4999 from 8 am to 8 pm Eastern Time on Monday through Friday. They can also email the company at or contact the manufacturer online at and click on ‘product safety information’ for more information.

The recall will be an embarrassment to GE just two months after it announced an expanded partnership with Lowe’s. In April, Lowe’s became the only nationwide home centre to offer GE’s lamps.  

At the time, Ann Haines, Lowe's merchandising vice president for lighting, described GE as ‘trusted by both do-it-yourselfers and professional customers for producing some of the most energy efficient and longest-lasting light bulbs in the industry’.




  • Product liability is one of the sessions at this year's Lighting Fixture Design Conference, which takes place on Wednesday 20 June and Thursday 21 June 2018. Organised by Lux and LEDs Magazine, the event takes place at the Cavendish Conference Centre in London. For more information and to reserve you place, click HERE.

Comments 2

Well if you're changing a T12 tube in older fittings and put one end into the live socket first and touch the pins on the other end, you get a shock and it lights up, so nothing new. So much for the environment, hopefully those 92,000 tubes are going to be recycled...

So GE were distributing LED tubes under GE Brand, and only mentioning they were Chinese once they had a problem. Probably forced their Chinese factory to reduce their price, then added a massive margin because they were 'GE'. Obviously no goods inward inspection in the US. Customers would have been better off buying an openly Chinese made lamp from a more diligent, reliable, and independent importer, at a lower price, but without the Brand Kudos!!

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