• Credit: Federal Trade Commission

Since January 1, 2012, the FTC has required manufacturers to display a "Lighting Facts Label" on the packaging for medium screw-base LEDs. It contains information about brightness, cost, life expectancy, energy used, and color temperature, and is intended to help consumers compare lighting products.

A similar label developed by the DOE applies to all solid-state lighting, not just screw-base LEDs (see example below). Unlike the FTC label, which is mandatory but does not require data verification testing, participation in the DOE labeling program is voluntary, but manufacturers must provide test results to verify performance claims. The DOE label includes most of the information on the FTC label plus the lamp's color accuracy, overall efficiency, and test compliance.

To avoid confusion, the DOE does not encourage use of its label on any product packaging bearing the FTC label, but the DOE label does appear on participating manufacturer specification sheets. Performance data for specific lighting products can also be found at lightingfacts.com/products.

Labels with the EnergyStar logo also meet the following requirements:

• Brightness equal to or greater than incandescent or fluorescent lighting, and light well-distributed over the area lighted by the fixture;
• Output that remains constant over time, decreasing only toward the end of the rated lifetime. The minimum lifetime is 25,000 hours, often expressed as 22 years of use for three hours per day;
• Color quality that ensures that the light appears clear and consistent over time;
• Efficiency as good as or better than that of fluorescent lighting.