Light bulb manufacturer ordered to pay consumers $21 million

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Updated: 2/20 6:00 pm
PALM BEACH, Fla. (PBP) -- Lights of America, a light bulb manufacturer whose LED bulbs were sold in big box stores, including Costco, Sam’s Club and Walmart, made misleading claims about the bulbs’ light output, life expectancy and brightness, the Federal Trade Commission said Thursday.

A federal court in California has ordered the company to pay up to $21 million to consumers after the FTC sued the firm for violating federal law by making deceptive claims.

On packaging and in product brochures, the defendants initially claimed their products had a 30,000-hour life and last “15 times longer than 2,000-hour incandescent bulbs.”

Later on, they dialed their representations down to a 12,000-hour life -- “6 times longer than 2,000-hour incandescent bulbs.”

The trouble was even those claims were misleading, the FTC said. As the court concluded after a four-day trial, the data Lights of America relied on showed that none of the LEDs they tested would last beyond a few thousand hours.

On its website the Los-Angeles-based company says it has been in business since 1978.

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