FTC Sues LoA Over LEDs

The Federal Trade Commission filed suit to stop California-based lamp manufacturer Lights of America and its principals from allegedly exaggerating the light output and life expectancy of its light-emitting diode (LED) lamps.

The agency's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Sept. 7, alleges that since 2008, Lights of America Inc., Walnut, Calif., has overstated the light output and life expectancy of its LED bulbs on packages and in brochures. The agency also charges that Lights of America misled consumers about how the brightness of its LED bulbs compares to traditional incandescent lamps.

Lights of America owners Usman Vakil, president, and Farooq Vakil, executive vice president, were also named in the suit. In filing the complaint, the FTC is seeking a permanent injunction to stop the defendants' allegedly illegal conduct, as well as monetary redress for consumers who bought the deceptively labeled products.

The FTC alleges that in many instances, Lights of America's LED bulbs produced significantly less light, as measured in lumens, than the company claimed in its promotional materials. For example, one bulb was promoted as producing 90 lumens of light output, but Lights of America's own tests showed it produced only 43 lumens.

The FTC did not say which testing agency it used to evaluate the LEDs in question.

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