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Roll Up! Roll Up!

04-10-2010

I think that it's very important to support anyone prepared to bring some levity into our humdrum lives, and am deeply thankful to those fun guys at Lights of America for making a mundane afternoon much easier to get through. There I was, clicking through the usual e-nonsense when a LinkedIn notice caught my eye: FTC sues Lights of America over deceptive claims for LED lamps. What is this? Can it be that there's someone out there making unreasonable claims about LED performance and got CAUGHT doing it! No-o-o-o. They must be aving a larf. I read on.

Now, the US Government may be rubbish at monitoring the drilling activities of political lobbyists in their own giant outdoor swimming pool and fishery, but when it comes to dodgy retailing, it's right there with it's fingers on the light switch though in this case, that probably wouldn't be necessary. Lights of America got its collar felt for, amongst other things, exaggerating light output a lamp promoted as delivering 90 lumens actually produced only 43 lumens; exaggerating life expectancy (er. so now we're comparing no light, with no light at all?) a 30,000-hour lamp losing 80% of its light output within 1000 hours; and here's my favourite, though let's face it, it's a tough pick a replacement for a 40W GLS lamp that delivered a mighty 74 lm. The more I write this stuff, the more I want to go down to the beach and buy myself a candy-floss.

I've said this before, so I might as well say it again: one of the great joys about holidaying in Blackpool as a kid was that you could spend your pocket-money on all sorts of crap know that is was crap get upset when it fell apart in your hands, often before the trader had handed you the change and then go and buy another one. There was a bearded lady, a mermaid, a jungle boy and all the other freak shows up and down the Golden Mile, including a particularly exotic display of the startling effects of venereal diseases, on the top floor at Louis Tussard's waxworks. Brilliant stuff.

And now my heart leaps with joy because I can do it all over again. I can buy a 1W MR-16 replacement lamp and watch it fade away and fall apart before my very eyes. Here is what Light of America claim on their website: 1 watt LED MR-16 accent bulb with GU10 base. Saves energy 90% more energy efficient than halogen or incandescent bulbs. Ideal for recessed and track lighting. 90% - would you believe it? Could you make it up? I mean: this must be the lamp that we've all been waiting for. And just check out the performance data: Lumens: NA / Colour temp: NA / Colour rendering: NA / Life: NA.
What's not to like! I'll take a gross.

Hampton Newsome is an attorney. As monikers go, that's right up with Ransom P. Stoddard (no, go look it up for yourself). Maybe there's a bag of names at law school and you need to pick out a couple before you're allowed to practice as a lawyer like living in Glastonbury and becoming Tarot Stargazer. Anyway: great name. Hampton is Attorney in the Bureau of Consumer Protection, and its his job to makes sure that the good people of the USA are protected from such shenanigans. Like the council guy in the pacamac who'd wander along Blackpool promenade reporting merchants for selling bottles of air. He never understood that we're all here to be conned and duped. As the great man said: Never give a sucker an even break.

And by the way, if you're concerned about the freedom of the individual to rip off his/her neighbour in the home of the brave, the FTC points out that the complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendants have actually violated the law. Remember: it's the land where cowboys come from. Yippee kay-ay.

RIBA CPD in 2015

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