Freqently Asked Questions: 

Federal Trade Commission Labels for Light Bulb Packaging

How will the FTC Label affect the bulb and packaging?

The FTC labeling rule will affect packaging and the bulb in three ways:

  1. The front of the packaging must provide information on brightness (lumen output) and estimated annual energy cost.
  2. The back of the package must include the FTC Lighting Facts label, which provides information on brightness, energy cost, the bulb’s life expectancy, light appearance, wattage, and the mercury content (if any).
  3. Lumen output must be printed directly on the bulb, along with mercury content (if any). 

What are the primary differences between the FTC and DOE LED Lighting Facts labels?

  • The FTC label is directed to consumers. The DOE label enables retail buyers, utilities, and lighting professionals to evaluate solid-state lighting (SSL) product performance.
  • The FTC label applies to all medium screw base bulbs, while the DOE label applies to all SSL.
  • The FTC label is mandatory; the DOE label is voluntary. DOE will not encourage the use of its label on packaging once the FTC label is required, but Lighting Facts partners should still rely on the verified information on the DOE Lighting Facts label, which can be found on manufacturer specification sheets or when reviewing products.
  • The FTC label does not require test procedures to verify performance claims. DOE will continue to require appropriate testing for products listed with the voluntary Lighting Facts program.

Does the FTC verify performance claims?

The FTC label does not require test procedures to verify the stated performance claims. The FTC encourages stakeholders to refer to the DOE Lighting Facts program for verified performance values for SSL.

Does the FTC Lighting Facts label compete with the LED Lighting Facts label?

DOE and the FTC have worked closely throughout this process, and both are committed to assuring that products perform as claimed. The FTC label is primarily a consumer label, and therefore does not conflict with the DOE label. The DOE label is a valuable tool for lighting buyers, designers, utilities, etc. The FTC encourages stakeholders to refer to the LED Lighting Facts program for SSL products, because the FTC label does not require test procedures to verify the stated performance claims.

Why is lifetime included on the FTC label but not the LED Lighting Facts label?

Though the FTC label provides lifetime estimates for CFL, incandescent, and LED medium screw base lamps, it does not require test procedures to verify lifetime claims. The DOE label requires industry standard testing for all performance metrics. At present, there is no standard method for predicting the lifetime of an LED lamp, so lifetime is not included on the DOE label. LED Lighting Facts does allow manufacturers to list a product's calculated lumen maintenance.