LED Replacement Bulbs

LED Replacement Bulbs

LED tubes are extensively marketed in the UK as replacements for traditional fluorescent tubes, either in existing or modified luminaires.

In February 2011, the Low Voltage Directive Administrative Co-operation Working Group (LVD ADCO) issued a report expressing concerns with both T8 LED replacement tubes and the modifications necessary to existing luminaires in order for them to operate correctly.

These concerns were in respect of their safety and the risk of electric shock, with many products not complying with safety requirements.

Laboratory Tests

Electrical Safety First commissioned an independent laboratory to carry out basic safety testing on a random selection of four LED linear T8 lamps, sourced from online UK suppliers.

The LED lamps were fitted in fluorescent-type luminaires incorporating both high frequency (electronic) and wire-wound (electromagnetic) control gear. The tests were designed to ascertain whether there were any potential hazards when fitting and removing this type of lamp and when a modification to the luminaire had to be made. An assessment was also carried out of the potential hazard that may arise should someone attempt to refit a standard fluorescent lamp into a modified fitting.

For two of the four lamp samples tested, the combination of voltage and current measured during installation/removal of the lamp between the live pins of the lamp and earth would in certain circumstances be considered an electric shock hazard.  After modification, the luminaire would present a hazard if refitted with the original or replacement fluorescent lamps.  Unsafe retrofit LED lamps continue to be placed on the market. 

Working with Trading Standards, UK importers have been subject to investigation and ordered to recall unsafe products.