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Lighting Science issues recall of 554,000 LED bulbs because of fire hazard

Lighting Science issues recall of 554,000 LED bulbs because of fire hazard
Mar. 20, 2013 (1:00 pm) By: Sal Cangeloso

Lighting Science Group, the Florida-based makers of Home Depot’s EcoSmart LED bulbs as well as branded products for other companies, has issued a recall for a reported 554,000 of its LED bulbs. The bulbs are being called back due to their being a possible fire hazard after internal components overheat. This is a voluntary recall that affects bulbs sold under the Sylvania, Definity, EcoSmart, and Westinghouse brand names.
The recall, which is being organized under the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), was posted yesterday, March 19th, takes place after 68 reported product failures. Eight of those failures led to “visible smoke or fire conditions” and while others caused damage to a socket, fixture, or surrounding object. To date no people have been harmed by the faulty lamps.
The affected products include not just LSG’s own products, but ones that the company has made for other brands. These are 120V household bulbs operating at 6W, 8W and 9W within A19, G25, and PAR20 (R20) bulb types. Using the CPSC’s site and the label on an individual lamp it can be determined which products are affected and which are not.
One lamp that seems to be included in the mix is Home Depot’s popular EcoSmart A19. The bulb was one of the first to be available under the $10 mark, and was viewed as both a big win for Home Depot as well as for Lighting Science (though it’s questionable how much money Lighting Science made on the deal). This was never deemed as a particularly high quality bulb, but those judgements were restricted to the quality of its light and its build, never to its safety. EcoSmart bulbs are still available at Home Depot and Lighting Science’s Definity A19 Omni V2 is still available at Amazon so it seems that newer offerings are not affected.
Any product recall is bad news (especially one that causes fires), but this comes at a particularly bad time for Lighting Science. The company has a new CEO, Jeremy Cage, as of January 2013 and I’ve been told it has lost some talent over the past year. Also, the recall comes just days after Cree’s release of its A19 LED bulbs, products that can match Lighting Science’s low prices but — from what I’ve seen — are higher quality lights. Cree’s products are very competitive and will require a reaction from companies like Lighting Science.
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