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Table Lamp Test - 4 Found Unsatisfactory in Some Test Items - CHOICE # 407 (September 15, 2010)

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A safety test on table lamps showed that 3 out of 10 tested samples passed all the test items. For the rest, 3 were found with insufficient markings and instructions while 4 were unsatisfactory in some test items.

Results of the test, conducted by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), were reported in the latest issue of CHOICE magazine. 10 samples were tested with reference to international safety standard, including 9 table lamps and 1 clip lamp, with prices ranging from HK$58 to HK$899.

Deficiencies in construction were found in 2 samples. Inappropriate soldering of wire on the printed circuit board was found in one sample. In case the soldering failed, the wire could shift resulting in bad contact or insufficient insulation distance. The adjustable lampshade of the other sample failed the stability test and toppled after the lampshade was adjusted in the opposite direction to the lamp base and placed on a level inclined by 6 degrees.

Regarding wiring, one sample did not have the power cord properly fixed and failed the pull test. The internal wiring of this sample could be strained if the adjustable lampshade rotated by more than 360 degrees. In addition, the maximum wattage marked on this sample was higher than its actual rated wattage which may mislead users into using higher wattage light bulb which might result in overheating.

Other safety issues included: inappropriate earthing wiring, insufficient insulation distance on the printed circuit board, inadequate material resistance to flames, and missing markings and warning statements on certain samples. The EMSD had followed up with the suppliers concerned on improvements and the suppliers had undertaken to make corresponding improvements in the quality of the products.

The September issue of CHOICE has the following advice to consumers on the safe use of table lamps:

  • Purchase table lamps with detailed labelling and instructions.
  • Do not use light bulbs or tubes that exceed the maximum wattage indicated by the manufacturer.
  •  Do not cover the table lampshades with paper or cloth to adjust the lighting level.
  • Use dimmable compact fluorescent lamps for table lamps with dimmer switch.
  • Unplug the lamp from the socket when changing or cleaning the light bulb or tube.
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