Which? uncovers safety issue in new TCP LED bulbLED bulb launch halted after tests reveal problem

23 December 2014

Filament lightbulb

Filament LED bulbs mimic the look and feel of traditional incandescent bulbs

TCP have postponed the launch of their new filament LED bulb range after Which? testing uncovered safety concerns with some of the bulbs.

The new range - due to go on sale the December - has been halted after Which? revealed a critical safety flaw affecting the TCP 4w B22 Filament LED bulb, during the latest lab test of .

A number of samples were found to have insufficient internal electrical insulation, meaning that the outer casing of the bulb had contact with inner parts and became ‘live’, creating potential for electric shock when handling the bulb.

At Which?, our rigorous lab tests don’t stop at safety checks. We also identify light bulbs that don’t live up to their promises, for example by burning out early or not being as bright as claimed. Read more about how we test light bulbs.

TCP takes swift action on Which? safety findings

After Which? flagged the problem, TCP conducted additional testing on over 800 bulbs and identified the cause as a production quality control issue. It has now disposed of the entire batch.

TCP CEO Thomas Luecke said:  'TCP takes product quality and consumer safety very seriously and we will not tolerate any items which have the possibility to cause any harm. Upon hearing about Which?'s findings, TCP took immediate action to identify the source of the problem and implemented a series of quality control improvements to ensure we deliver the highest quality products.'

The new filament range will launch later in 2015 now that the quality control procedures have been addressed. Which? will test the new light bulb once it is available.

Which? lightbulbs expert Matthew Knight said: 'We were very concerned to discover a potentially dangerous flaw in TCP’s new filament bulb, but commend TCP for being swift to act on our feedback, investigating the problem and taking decisive action to prevent any possible detriment to consumers.

'We have been impressed with the performance of some TCP bulbs in previous tests, so we look forward to testing the new version when it becomes available.'

To see the full results for TCP light bulbs we have tested, see our full  and .

Are filament LEDs the future of light bulbs?

Filament LEDs are the latest development in the rapidly changing light bulb market. They mimic the look and feel of traditional incandescent light bulbs, as the LEDs are arranged on a thin filament-like wire, but also offer the energy-saving benefits of LED technology.

Which? tested the first filament bulb to hit the UK market in 2013 from Calex. We will have test results for new filament LEDs - including a model for less than £10 - in our next review of LED bulbs, due in May 2015.

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