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ARRL Files Complaint with FCC Over Electronic Lighting Ballasts

The ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio, has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), contented that two leading retailers are selling commercial-grade electronic lighting ballasts for residential purposes.

According to a December 2015 posting on the ARRL website, personnel at some Lowe’s and Walmart stores have advised consumers that non-consumer RF lighting ballasts were acceptable for installation in residential settings. In addition, according to the complaint, the stores routinely intermix commercial and residential lighting ballast in store displays without providing adequate signage that explains which types of ballasts are acceptable for residential use.

The ARRL complaint to the FCC was supported by reports prepared by an ARRL member that include photos of in-store displays, and recounts specific instances in which Lowe’s and Walmart store employees sold non-residential RF lighting ballasts, even when advised that they were being purchased for installation in a residential setting.

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The ARRL says that it has received numerous complaints from Amateur Radio operators of significant noise in the medium and high frequency ranges from grow lights and other lighting devices. The latest complaint filed by the ARRL with the FCC follows one filed earlier in 2015 regarding similar issues related to the sale of RF lighting devices at The Home Depot.

Read the complete text of the ARRL’s website posting on its FCC complaint.

Photo by Aislinn Ritchie

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