News that the European Union has banned some LED products for safety reasons really underlined for us the need to choose your lighting products with care. This year, EU officials have banned or issued notice to recall 20 LED lighting products because these items pose a risk of electric shock or fire. Our chosen range of products come from trusted brands,including Phillips and Armadillo. We also carry out extensive tests before we decide to offer a product to our domestic customers and commercial clients. Our suppliers use only ISO certified subcontractors for production, and regularly audit these companies to check that quality control managers are doing their job properly. But we should all be aware that there are many products on the market that have false or no certification – these are sourced mainly in Asia and the producers do not have effective, if any, quality checks. I just want to be clear that this is not an anti-China rant – two of the banned products were made in Germany! China is a very welcome low-cost production area, which is now also waking up to the fact that it should do more to be a sustainable, green economy. And we all naturally want to find the right products at the best price – but this should not mean that we go for the lowest price, whatever the other potential costs. Every global lighting company sources products from China and leading brands are included but one problem is that there are many “look-a-like” products sold into parts Europe (Germany, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Poland for example) and these find their way onto the market stalls and online reseller outlets. These products, by definition, are less safe than the real items, which is why we advocate so strongly that everyone should buy from an experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy source. OK – you might spend a little more, but you are buying safety, security and peace of mind. As Lux magazine reports: “Differences between the amount of unsafe LED products found by the authorities in different countries suggest that the handful of items identified is only the tip of the iceberg. “Finland, for instance, which benefits from a relatively robust market surveillance regime, spotted more than a third of the dangerous LED products dealt with in the whole of Europe – even though the country is home to barely one per cent of the EU’s population. “The products affected (by the EU ban) included retrofit lamps, floodlights, torches and linear fittings. Most were made in China, although two were made in Germany. In the majority of cases the products were ordered to be recalled and withdrawn from sale. “One of the products found to pose a risk of electric shock was an LED night light in the shape of Christ on the cross, on sale in Slovakia. The worst hit brand was China’s Jiage, which has had two of its LED torch products banned in Hungary because they could cause electric shocks, burns or fire.” You can search for products on the EU ban/recall list here but you can also talk to us about your LED lighting needs – just call 0845 123 5464. We’re here to help and you can also email us if you prefer that.