Here at Well-Lit, we’ve been talking about and warning people about the dangers associated with cheap LED lamps sold in the UK since we started in this industry over 10 years ago. Unfortunately, our cautions often fall on deaf ears.
Recently however, there have been multiple reports in the national press and by Trading Standards of potentially lethal LED lamps being imported from China and sold online by UK companies.
To help you avoid buying lethal LED lamps, we first need to explain about the CE mark you see stamped on LED Lamps.
The CE mark is a mandatory legal requirement that all LED lamps sold in the European Union must have.
It basically states that the product is safe and conforms to the relevant EU directives and regulations for that product. So seeing a product with the CE mark should mean the product is safe to use.
However, as we reported back in 2012, certain Asian LED manufacturers are stamping the CE mark on products regardless. They are not bound by or conform to EU laws and regulations, which has led to an industry joke of calling CE, ‘Chinese Export’.
It’s the responsibility of the importing company to make sure the products they bring into the EU comply and have an authentic CE mark, but most are not checking and some simply don’t care.
In a recent interview, Fredrik Gronkvist who is a co-founder of www.chinaimportal.com stated that 90-95% of Chinese suppliers in all industries, are “unable to manufacturer items in compliance with CE regulations” and it’s highly likely that around 90% of products imported to the EU from China that should have the conforming CE mark, don’t.
Industry and trading standards are extremely concerned about the safety and quality of imports;
But what does un-safe mean?
To put it bluntly, it mean that the products are potentially lethal and could end up killing someone.
Julian IIlet was one of the first people to make a video stating he’d bought a potentially lethal LED –
Suffolk Trading Standards recently seized a shipment of 1000 LED Lamps coming into the UK, intended for sale on the internet.
These products were extensively tested and found to contain insufficient insulation – these lamps had exposed wires, often in metal bodies.
If the exposed wire was touching the metal, in a live circuit and you touched the product, we dread to think what the result would be. This example was picked up by BBC’s Fake Britain programme too:
That’s not all.
• In 2014 Manchester Trading Standards discovered around 2500 potentially dangerous LED Christmas lights in a fulfilment house in Oldham.
• The Daily Mail reported that 25% of LED’s tested by the Consumer Group didn’t last nearly as long as the products claimed to.
• And in March this year (2015) The Guardian reported that between June and November 2014, 63% of all LED Light bulbs tested across various bored points were found to be unsafe or non-compliant.
This would suggest that the problem with potentially dangerous LED’s is not confined to the obvious places like individual sellers on EBay.
It appears that online retailers aren’t the only ones knowingly or unknowingly selling potentially lethal LED lamps. A lot of branded products are too.