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  Dangerous LED Spotlight Lamps Out There? 
 Date Written 
john albrich Jan 10, 2014, 10:39am EST Report Abuse
This really surprised me. I have NOT verified its authenticity but the safety issue certainly seems possible and even likely given the intense market pressure on all manufacturers to reduce the manufacturing costs of LED lamps to the minimum possible in order to offer them at more attractive price-points. The potential for counterfeit safety/electrical certifications is also a factor.

This video really hit my home safety "button" and hence my reason for sharing.

Title of YouTube video:
"Dangerous GU10 LED Spot Light is Cheap and Bright but could Kill You"

I know this isn't a "computer"-specific issue, but I was designing the lighting for a computer workstation and considering using GU10 socket AC mains powered LED spotlights. Mostly because they're relatively cheap, run much cooler than and require less energy than equivalent light output halogens, and they provide for directed lighting (helps control/eliminate display glare).

I've now changed the workstation design and I'll either use a GFI circuit with 110VAC LED lamps, or use a 12VAC safety verified transformer and 12VAC/DC LED lamps. Using a GFI circuit would add one more thing I'd have to test regularly, so I'm leaning toward 12V power and lamps. One yard/walkway lighting 12VAC transformer would easily power 12 of the LED lamps I'm looking at using*.

Assuming this guy didn't fake any part of the video (e.g. the lamp design) or his claims...if the lamp is truly designed and manufactured as he claims, it does appear as though it would be potentially dangerous. Even IF a clear insulating plate was installed over the front of the lamp, I wouldn't trust a thin silk-screened insulator to be all that protects people from a lethal shock from the metal enclosure/heat-sink (as he mentions in the video).

I find it difficult to believe an AC mains lamp designed like this would get UL electrical certification, and I simply don't know how valid certification claims are on places like online retail sites, or whether a given site aggressively polices invalid certification claims or included images containing a counterfeit certification logo.

I don't care whether the LED lamp socket design is polarized or not...the thought that a manufacturer could design something like this and it's available at stores is truly scary. All it would take is manufacturing error or handling damage and 50% probability of potential lethality would be re-introduced. And, in the case of the lamp in the video, without a glass/plastic lens, it does indeed look like a user may still be able to touch "hot" electrical AC mains lead even if there is no manufacturing error or handling damage.

Possible manufacturing errors and handling damage are also reasons I double-check "standard" AC mains lamp fixtures (stand-alone and ceiling/wall fixtures) before I use them at my house to ensure the "neutral" AC line is connected to the outer sleeve of the threaded socket of the US design lamps.
My house's AC sockets were also all re-checked for correct wiring before use and after any repairs.


*I found 255Lumen (nominal), 30Watt halogen equiv, 12VAC/DC 4W LED MR16/GU5.3 spotlights frequently on sale from $5 to $6 each.
They have very good light distribution within their 45 degree beam-angle, and a claimed life of 40,000 hours. And, even though they are spec'd as non-dimmable, I can dim them by adjusting the voltage using a DC supply. They seem ideal for my application.



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