ARRL Lodges Glow Light Complaint

The ARRL has taken action over the sale of 'grow lights' which can cause interference across the HF spectrum 

The ARRL has again complained to the FCC to allege illegal marketing of electronic RF lighting ballasts, operating under Part 18 of the Commission’s rules, on the part of two major retailers. Letters went out this week to the FCC Enforcement Bureau and its Office of Engineering and Technology claiming Part 18 marketing regulations violations by Lowe’s and by Walmart stores. At issue is the sale of non-consumer RF lighting ballasts to consumers who, in several instances, were told by store personnel that it was okay to install these in a residential setting. In addition, non-consumer and residential-class ballasts are intermixed in store displays with inadequate signage to direct consumers to the correct choice. Both letters asked the FCC to investigate and commence enforcement proceedings with respect to the two stores’ marketing and retail sale of RF lighting devices in the US.

“ARRL has received numerous complaints from Amateur Radio operators of significant noise in the medium (MF) and high frequency (HF) bands between 1.8 MHz and 30 MHz from ‘grow lights’ and other Part 15 and part 18 RF lighting devices,” ARRL Chief Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, continued. “These devices are easily capable of emitting RF noise sufficient to preclude Amateur Radio MF and HF communications (and, as well, AM broadcast station reception) throughout entire communities.”

The ARRL has asked that all non-consumer devices be removed from retail sale and marketing at the stores and to track and recall non-consumer devices already sold to consumers.

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