Online retailers sell incandescents as ‘traffic signal’ lamps

UNSCRUPULOUS online retailers are flouting the ban on incandescent light bulbs by selling them to consumers as specialist traffic light lamps.

An incandescent lamp described as a 'traffic signal lamp' despite the fact the world's traffic lights switched to LEDs

One electrical equipment site is currently selling a banned 100W pearl GLS format with bayonet cap base, describing it as a ‘traffic signal lamp’.

‘These bulbs are sturdier than traditional incandescents, but they are just as useful for everyday lighting in and around the home,’ states the description on the website. However, traffic signals around the world mostly switched over to LED sources in the last decade.

The retailer is also selling an R80 reflector spot lamp, a 60W clear incandescent candle lamp with a small Edison screw base and a 40W clear incandescent golf-ball, also with a small Edison screw base, all described as traffic signal lamps.

The practice appears to be widespread across the online lamp retail industry. 

Other sites sell banned incandescents as ‘rough service oven lamps’, ‘photographic use only’ and ‘industrial use’ equipment. Yet there appears to be no attempt by the retailers to establish the bone fides of the purchasers as genuine traffic signal maintenance contractors, photographic studios and industrial concerns.

Attempts to cicumvent the phase-out legislation are 'unfair on companies that comply with the law and ultimately costs consumers who buy these lamps, through their inflated electricity bills' says LIA chief operating officer Peter Hunt.

Demand for replacement lamps is strong among householders despite the European phase-out programme – dubbed the Bulb Ban – which is steadily removing high energy consuming lamps as LED equivalents become available.

The Lighting Industry Association is concerned about the use of these descriptions to sell incandescent lamps to consumers.

The organisation recently raised the issue of circumvention of the phase-out regulations with a company that is consequently no longer an LIA member.

‘We also raised it with the market surveillance authorities in the UK who, we understand, are investigating,’ LIA chief operating officer Peter Hunt told Lux. ‘We believe this is a blatant attempt to get around the incandescent ban and as it is clearly aimed at consumers, is not in the spirit of the law.

‘The LIA has never heard of a traffic signal being fitted with a decorative small bayonet candle lamp. This is unfair on companies that comply with the law and ultimately costs consumers who buy these lamps, through their inflated electricity bills'.

‘We are aware of other attempts to abuse the ‘special purpose’ exemption by marketing lamps marked as ‘rough service oven lamps’ to the consumer market.

Website showing its offer of multiple formats of incandescent lamps all described as traffic signal lamps which are 'sturdier than traditional incandescents, but they are just as useful for everyday lighting in and around the home'
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Main picture copyright Shutterstock 2018

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