/ Home & Energy, Technology

The energy-saving LED bulb that switched off the radio

An LED bulb lighting up the darkness

We get sent some weird and wonderful tales of products going wrong, but one story piqued our interest so much that we just had to send it to the lab to test it out. Can you help us shed more light on the mystery?

Last year we received this intriguing message:

‘I recently changed six halogen down-lighters to more energy efficient LED bulbs. Unfortunately when the lights were switched on, the DAB signal on my radio was wiped out!’

To try and figure out this conundrum, we sent a batch of cheap, generic 12V LED bulbs to our lab and found that when a digital radio was placed within a few metres of the switched-on bulbs the signal went fuzzy. When the radio was placed within a few centimetres of the LED bulbs, it cut out all together.

The plot thickens

LEDs are ultra energy efficient light bulbs that can last up to twenty years and have been hailed as the future of home lighting.

It seems our members are not the only ones who have had this problem. There are other accounts of LED bulbs affecting radios, with AVForums also collecting stories. Nick Tooley shared his experience:

‘I had the same problems with LED bulbs wiping out DAB reception and tried several types of bulbs, but to no avail.’

And it seems that the issue may not just be limited to digital radios – TVs may also be affected. After fitting LED down-lighters in his kitchen, Jackord noticed the following problem:

‘While the lights are much better, we then by accident noticed that the digital TV would not work (I was complaining that we had no reception at all, did not make any sense, began to think that there had been some sort of catastrophic disaster which stopped the TV stations from broadcasting…lol) then someone turned off the ceiling lights in the kitchen and, hey presto, on came the TV.’

Shedding light on cheap bulbs

So what bulbs are affected? We tested three 12V generic LED bulbs and we also compared them to branded 240V GU10 LEDs and some halogens. We found only a very minor interference with our radio signal. So at this stage, the issue seems to be limited to cheap knock-offs rather than branded goods.

We’ve only done preliminary tests on this problem, so can’t make any concrete conclusions on why this is happening or how widespread this bizarre problem is.

That’s where you come in. We need your help – have you had this problem? If so, please enlighten us in the comments below, including what model bulb you were using and where you bought it.

Comments
Guest
Gareth Parry says:
1 month 8 days ago

I bought an LED Tube Light & Batten Energy Saving flourescent T8 T12 ceiling replacement for my 6ft flourescent fitting and converted it to fit, but it interferes with my radio (non-DAB), so when we listen to the news we have to switch off the light in order to listen to it properly ! The tube is made in China and operates on 240 volts has a LOWENERGIE brand name on it. Fortunately, does not interfere with our TV , internet and powerline adaptors in the next room. I am going to “experiment” with the location of the radio to see if I can get interference free reception.

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The problem with a lot of light fittings that come supplied with LED lamps is that the quality of the lamps might be inferior to any that you might have bought yourself. I have been considering the purchase of some replacement spotlight fittings that come with LED bulbs fitted; they are significantly cheaper than the combined price of the equivalent unit without lamps and a set of lamps of my choice. The product information does not give any information about the origin of the lamps supplied with the fitting. My concern is the potential affect on a recently-acquired DAB radio. The price of LED’s does not allow for much in terms of trial and error or experimentation with different makes.

Guest

We bought a Panasonic DAB radio at Xmas, but could not get any signal until my wife turned the lights off and then the radio played perfectly. The radio is situated in the Kitchen and we have LED MR 16 bulbs, made in China. Maybe Uk bulbs will cure the problem.

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You will find LED bulbs made in Europe but I would be interested to know if any are made in the UK. It’s worth testing one before buying a set.

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I know of no UK producer of LED bulbs – as far as I am aware any that are listed as “manufacturers” have the products made for them elsewhere, China for example. Nothing wrong with that in principle as they make some very good products. But it is unknown territory. My advice would be to stick with a well-known name. This does not guarantee problem-free performance but at least you will know you are dealing with companies that have reputation, technical ability and can be contacted direct. Nothing is perfect.

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malcolm -the problem with China is there are 1000,s of smaller sub contractors or direct sellers in small factories, of all types of products, but as I keep having to post but it does not sink in to many -China builds to a PRICE -thats right – you pay in pennies – you get 10P quality .This is right across the engineering spectrum not just in bulbs.

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duncan, quite right. I was pointing out that some Chinese (for example) companies produce items for major European companies who specify technical design, component quality and product quality control to their own standards. I would trust these more than the sort of producers you refer to.

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Before Christmas I was looking at Osram LED bulbs on sale in the local Tesco. Some were made in China, others in Germany and others made in Italy. I would expect the company to ensure that standards are met, wherever their products are made.

At least the lamps clearly showed the country of origin. At Christmas I was looking at a new Dualit toaster and kettle bought by friends I was staying with. The toaster was made in the UK but I could see no indication of where the kettle had been manufactured.

Guest

I had the same problem with my Roberts DAB radio. I found the MR16 bulbs from Lidl, branded “Livarno Lux”, did not shut the radio down. I got a load of them while they had them in stock, 5W warm white with about 450 lumens output. Still running fine after a year. (I’ve seen a lot of reports about early failures in Chinese brand lamps)

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John-Livarno Lux are made in China but Lidi being a German company (like Aldi ) insist on a certain standard of goods even if they sell them cheaply (smaller profit margin ).

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I tried multiple types of Cree as well as the cheap Lowes bulbs, all led would not let my garage door open if the lights were on.

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Hi JK – Is your garage door operated by a remote control?

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Wavechange-I can see where you are going with this.

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Its taken me a while to “get up to speed ” with LED bulbs as I dont have any only halogen ones which I am happy with. It seems the major concern is not so much the transmission of radiation through your ring main but the RF radiation over the air . DAB signals are vertically polarised so positioning your aerial vertically helps but and outside aerial is even better . JK could try shielding his RF receiver in his remote unit (if he has one ) with tin foil as the lights should be in the garage leaving the receiver open at the outside end , MU- metal would be better ,of course . The harmonics range from 30 Mhz up to 300 Mhz or so. so its a wide range ,taking in many pieces of radio type equipment . It is all down to the PU ,s in those bulbs/lamp strips ,even good quality ones can have cheap Chinese SM power supplies . If using strips buy a quality low voltage high current power unit , in the case of bulbs China has two versions domestic and industrial try and buy from a recognised industrial Chinese factory . I had a look at a stripped down LED bulb while the bulb part looked okay ( the LED section ) the miniature power supply looked awful. One of the innovators of LED lighting in the US says he is now working on Laser lighting via glass fibre and light transmitting plastics . BMW,s latest hybrid car has this type of lighting.

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I said before that had and equiped our motorhome with LEDs only to later remove them. They obviously did not need a power supply but they could not stick real world 12v system where the voltage has to get to battery charge levels
Others did not seem to have the same problem others did
So if they cannot stick straight dc they wont get any better with in built chinese PSUs
I have a missionary friend in Kenya
He has been there for some 30 years and during th buld of that time used a 12v system
Last year I gave him two Trace 24v inverters and got him several more panels
He now has a load of smoked PSUs from phone chargers to laptop chargers
Both the12v and 24v inverters are/were quasi sine and both Trace and i’m assured use the same driver
Everyone blames the quasi sine and tells him to get a sine wave inverter but he has been charging for years off of quasi with no problem
I’m suggesting that yes the quasi most likely has a part to play but up to recent times the PSUs which were mostly brande in his case were made in Japan or at least of quality source whereas lately they are near all Chinese and the Chinese are rubbish at capacitors and the quasi sine will give the capacitor more abuse so rubbish capacitors will fail very quickly
Have you any thoughts on that one duncan
Back to LEDs
As best I see locally the best results are had from proper LED Driver driven circuits rather than 240v plugs ins with all the gubbins in one unit
I think the separate PSU because that is all they are really rather than led drivers have the room to have proper caps etc even if they are made in china
If I were making the choice to go for LED I would only go the proper PSU/Driver route
I have many PSUs doing many jobs
Duncan. do you know that these common or garden PSUs usually labeled S350-24 etc will run on ac from just over 100 to 290vac and again from about 90vdc to 350vdc so you can power them with nearly anything
They are also properly isolated so you can series as many as you like together from the same AC or DC supply to get high volts DC

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Dee-as regards the -S350-24 SMPS yes you are right most are pretty good with 150MV PP ripple /wide range AC line frequency (takes in US ) with overvoltage protection . Built in fan etc , the capacitors on the goods ones are rated -105 C and as most are Japanese you wil know those caps are good quality , all the high end hi-fi amps I built included Japanese caps they have it down to a fine art . And your right Chinese caps are rubbish -overheat cant take high current surges ,short life span . At present China is buying high tech knowledge from Japan by buying up Japanese companies , Stax electrostatic earphones are one of the buys , I have Stax equipment . Yes some people complain about modified sine wave PU,s , I wouldnt use them to power a high end hi-fi amp but in other regards they are okay . This is,as you say all down to quality of build , and while there are some good industrial Chinese electronic companies I would rather buy Japanese. Japan has excellent designers of electronic equipment ,especially in the Hi-Fi field , I think china is poaching them too ,it shows they dont have the innate engineering knowledge built up over many decades.

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I use them everywhere for everything. They are the power source for my turbine and heating controllers. I have used several in series to get a big dc supply for testing heating circuitry. I have drawers full of them from Japan, Korea and China. There’s plenty room in them so the chinese seem to be able to do better with plenty of room and basic boards
Nigel I worked with said he actually liked some chinese stuff because they had not mastered surface mount as others had made it standard stuff and he said surface was not as easy worked at. I agree
The stuff though that inside those little laptop and phone chargers is beyond belief. I seen a couple opened up lately and I’m no electronics guru, actually I seem to have some mental wall about things I cant see but I had no trouble agreeing that what I was looking at was rubbish. All three little caps had the ends blown right out and there were 5 chargers/psu’s all the same. The ones we have grown to accept half way along the lead.
Back to PSUs
I dismantle every one before use and cut all the badly trimmed pins and make sure the little insulation slips are in place and I have great service
They are not well made but they are basic and work
I only drive the cheap ones about 50% and they are still cheap at that

Guest

I’ve only on LED bulb and that’s currently sitting in a cupboard. I bought it for the kitchen but it was way far too bright.

There are EU standards for radio interference to which these bulbs obviously don’t comply so why are they on sale at all? I’ll willing bet each one bears a “CE” mark too which further shows how utterly useless this self-certification system is (I expect the same was true for Hoverboards and their chargers).

These are the wider issues Which? should be investigating.

Oh and isn’t one of the big advantages of digital radio supposed to be that they’re immune from interference? I’ve noticed that they are affected by mobile phones too.

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Phil -long ago when I worked for BT when it was still part of the GPO there was a division attached to the GPO called the radio interference group who dealt with electrical/electronic equipment causing radio/TV interference. This was a big issue from way back in the 30,s onward as anybody who reads Wireless World from that time onwards would verify right up to the time of the CB radio . At this rime “liberalization ” took place (guess who under) ,I knew somebody personally in it ,he told me it was getting “downgraded ” and that government emphasis was being more “open ” on the problem -ie- we wont pay for a top service any more (government jargon ) meaning -to pot with the public , we dont care , its saving money to stop all those vans equipped with interference detectors and their crews and they did .my friend having to move into a different government department . Standards fell -to me intentionally -dont call us to fix your interference problem -YOUR to blame your equipment isnt good enough to reject radiated interference (to the public ) but DR (digital radio ) already has good interference rejection but it was never envisaged that the government would allow such large amounts of harmonic radiation due to commercial expediency-aka – BB do what you want syndrome ,but it does , it wont antagonise China for commercial reasons . Sad.

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I am not really into electronics or their inherent ability to generate interference that would disable other electrical/electronics items but I headed a project and one part of that was an electronic control card. PCB and associated items that it controlled
I do understand the wave concept and I know many on here have this one much better than I.

Let me tell you that if the testing was done and checked as should be there would not be this debate about electronic interference coming for LED bulbs because if they had been tested and passed they would not interfere
These are absolute rubbish items that simply have the appropriate lettering printed on the package
This is the fault of moving away from good old fashioned B.S. standards.
Today we live with a more widely adopted CE marking and whilst some may come on here and quote endless standards that CE rating incorporates it bears no resemblance to proper product standard controls
Add to that that there almost no policing, indeed if anyone knows of an instance of any policing at all we’d like to hear of this on of quality of anything
There is no money for anything but London has never seen so many Bentleys
Just now our Gov has removed any Grants for training Nurses, like we have a plentiful supply. Is there anyone going to set up a petition to call for and end too such absolute nonsense. please. It might be time to get behind our on the floor medical staff and push the management out into the street where they belong

Quality
CE and everything it represents is so flawed as to be near redundant to the extent that like a bad police force the only thing to do with it is scrap it
Almost everything engineered underwent stress analysis. Sounds good but this stress analysis is done using a CAD program and few if any units or components ever get properly tested to destruction
Its all theory. Real time is too expensive. Lets put it another way
Stress analysis is much cheaper and has made its way into our everyday lives in ways we can only have nightmares about if we knew the truth
Is should have been left as part of the design of the machinery but has been proven so good that is is now the accepted norm for many things not be tested to destruction.
It may be good but its not that and has proven so.
Now yes stress analysis can be good but its only as good as the operator
I have seen its flaws long after the engineer has left and in this case went back home abroad
There is no claw back to the engineer or the CAD program
One might assume that such a thing a Crash Helmets would be tested beyond any possible reasonable failure and it would be very easy to assume that especially as there is a how is made about a German Brand lid and its development and manufacture.
Yes that and several more are properly designed and produced but what set me on my back side is that we in some cases are putting on our heads brands that have ONLY underwent CAD stress analysis.
Never a testing regime were many are destroyed. Never a random test of production stock The interiors that are every bit as important as the exterior to stop our brains being stirred are held in with glue so poor that it has been the case the many were sent back before they were put on the shelf. The interiors were falling out
Faulty. No recall. No one would do anything. Just try finding someone or something to come look at even a range of faulty safety ware. Impossible
Scap CE. Like most of things born out of pleasing everyone its a compromise too far

These little bulbs that make their way into the UK are for the most part junk. Indeed maybe the best of them are not so good. Seeing as they near all possess some form of CE and that few would know a correct mark form a flawed mark does the mark matter. No the mark means nothing because it stands for nothing
The fact that there are 1000s upon 1000s of items here with wonky CE marks show me that the mark is worth nothing.
Then there are the 1000s that should have a mark but have no mark and no one notices even that
We’ve seen on TV faulty bedding with faulty CE marks. How on earth did that ever make its way past out import controls. Oh, it’s not their job?? Maybe its not and they are likely understaffed also but what is fact is that our country. Every man woman and child handles every day goods that are not tested, quality controlled and never have been

Everything is not junk but we keep getting ever closer to that point
I think its Wave or John who has a washing machine that is out of the arc and thats the stuff we should all have.
My Aunt gave us a Servis Twin tube back in 89 I think
A tank. Could have ran forever and both wifey and I wish we had it today
Since tht point all we could find was junk
We have the same electric as everyone else. 210 through 240v 50hz
Our water is as good as it gets. Straight up from 370ft via Basalt. No calcium. No iron. No copper. And very important no bleach or chemicals
We then got a US machine that is a bag of problems as they all are and its from claim happy land but one thing I can do is keep it going
Its drum. Bearing carriers. Its bolts are all stainless.
I can put bearings in it without special tools or pullers in around 20 mins to an hour
The PCB is the size of a biscuit tin not like our matchbox sized ones
It’ll wash or half wash because half wash is about it by modern standards a full size duvet
It has its moments but it needs a good going over and I dont know whether to fix or scrap but the more I read here I’m leaning more to fix
The problem is that the good old electromechanical controler has been sticky pre first rinse for a couple of years and the handling and tax charges from the US are OTT but my daughter is coming home for a wedding in May and maybe she’ll bring it with her. I’d fix it again if I get that one component. the rest is a doddle. Mind the timer is actually l made in Sweden but they wont sell me one.

No. The quality in the UK has gone to the dogs despite tech being right up there we are buying dear junk. We are not buying cheap and cheerful. We are buying junk

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Dee-your right about CAD its one thing designing using a computer but in real life its an entirely different matter . All sorts of engineering problems crop up ,especially the actual PCB layout where you get small cheap caps right next to heat -sinked -mosfets / BJT ,s (bipolar junction transistors ) thyristors etc . Yes the old large PCB layouts were much better ,easier to work on and spares were available , but now you have to hunt for parts and have bench equipment capable of repairing SMD parts ,needing a bench magnifier /special soldering iron to repair. Its the young people I worry about ,where do they get the teaching in any kind of engineering, other than digital , where its “hands on ” to bring real life to work practices . Just what long range view has our government other than obeying the IMF and world banksters.

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I agree that self-certification is inadequate, Phil. We need proper independent testing of products. To sell products that are not compliant is a form of cheating by companies. Hopefully the current problems with excessive emissions by Volkswagen Group diesel cars will help encourage proper regulation of industry so that we buy safe products that work properly.

Unfortunately, Which? has not found a problem with radio interference when testing LED bulbs. Fair enough, but it might well be worth contacting some members who are experiencing problems.

DAB radio is not immune from interference, and DAB radios typically produce a bubbling sound or silence, just as they do in poor reception areas. For anything other than listening to Radio 3, I far prefer digital radio.

I’m sticking with CFL bulbs for the time being.

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Yes Wave. Every bulb in the house is CFL except for 3 LED floods. Cheapy Chinese out of Screwfix on a whim. Right beside Dads Tv aerial. ie within 6Ft and not problem Been burning on a photocell for 2 years or more and that’s a few hours
Wish i could say the same about the others out of wholesalers. All in the bin apart from one 3w that lit a hall way forever

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Dee -your dads digital TV should be okay its frequency range (depending on location in the UK ) ranges from= 474Mhz up to over 800Mhz , the harmonics from LED bulbs range from 30Mhz up to 300Mhz . Any radio apparatus within that range -30 to 300 can be interfered with including boat transmitters so think carefully if you own a boat .

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Selling deliberately defective products will not be helped by requiring independent testing. If a producer decides to make a product that does not meet appropriate standards it can still put it onto the market with fake markings – such as CE, safety marking. It is nothing to do with “self certification”, it is all to do with deliberate fraud. Just as we get fake clothing, fake drugs, fake anything.

What needs to be done is to track down who distributes these allegedly fake products in UK, test them for compliance or otherwise, and then heavily penalise the distributor. It is the distributor’s responsibility to ensure that what they sell meets relevant standards. Make it not worthwhile.

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Malcolm -while there are fake products on the market , all those LED bulbs from China arent fake they are legitimate products from China that are SUB-quality but the UK government lets them in ,thats the real problem.

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duncan, I use the term “fake” for products that do not meet European stands for safety and, for example, interference where performance standards exist. Applying a CE mark states that all relevant standards are met; doing so when products knowingly do not comply, or have never been tested for compliance, is fraud.

Poor quality in compliant products is another issue – as with all products there are good and bad and we need help to weed them out.

I don’t see how the UK Govt can possibly check every product that comes into the UK for quality, or even compliance. As I see it, practically speaking, it can only react to products that are reported to them. It then needs to take punitive action.

I believe a lot more could be done by the legitimate producers through their trade associations. Policing the market themselves, with their in-house testing facilities, would protect their own businesses from being attacked by cheap fakes; they not only damage them commercially but get the technology a bad name.

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Malcolm the government has known about this problem for at least 10 years , many websites ,years old ,be they electronic/communications/etc have been complaining for a long time .Just because Which has brought this up doesnt make it a new thing ,they have been “turning a blind eye ” to the situation .How can they pompously come out with statements that they are “looking after the public ” by setting up NGO,s or even official government bodies ,if all they do is block UK citizens complaints and let the government off the hook by deflecting criticism- it wasnt me officer it was the other guy to blame attitude. No the government should “man up ” and actually do something that works not words or propaganda.

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Malcolm – I’m concerned about deliberate fraud but I also want to know that I am buying quality products if I purchase a familiar brand. We only need to look at the white goods industry to see substandard products with well known brand names.

On Which? Conversation and other websites I have seen plenty of examples of well known brands of LED lamps that cause radio interference or fail prematurely. I am prepared to pay extra for lamps that have been independently tested. I’m not just interested in freedom from radio interference but I want to know that they are not a fire risk. I want to know that lamps will be durable, and therefore good value for money, and the best way to demonstrate that a product will last a decent length of time is to offer a long warranty.

Independent testing does not involve testing every light bulb but testing samples purchased from retailers rather than offered by manufacturers. That’s why Which? uses this approach.

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Many of us want quality, durable products when we have paid an appropriate price. I’ve been proposing this in many conversations, and I want Which? to devote more effort to researching, testing and providing information to allow us to make good choices. It should not just be Which? doing this, but all the European consumers’ associations in a coordinated way under BEUC.

Independent testing as a check on potentially fraudulent products is fine. The problem is there are such a huge amount of different products out there of all types, with specifications changing all the time, I simply cannot see their being the expertise (people with knowledge) and facilities (properly equipped test labs) to do it. So in many cases it has to be reactive.

We need, I believe, to make the distribution of fraudulent products, once they are uncovered, not worthwhile. So whilst we cannot deal with suppliers who deal direct from outside the EU, we could take punitive sanctions against those within the EU (and of course the UK). What happened to those people who were going to distribute the unsafe hoverboards, for example? They were destined for distributors who presumably were quite prepared to sell unsafe electrical equipment. Were they found and dealt with? No good just impounding the goods if you don’t follow through.

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Malcolm -as of now anybody selling those faulty boards will be prosecuted, but up to now they have been confiscated from shop owners /suppliers nobody seems to have been actually prosecuted . And now for my favourite gripe= thev fires are caused by the LI-ion batteries (proven in labs ) BUT guess where all the fire starting hoverboards batteries come from —guess– guess—- OH no ! dont say it Lucas – OH YES !! I will CHINA , thats right EVERY faulty battery was made in China -as the Professor testing them said the hoverboards fitted with Chinese batteries all went on fire BUT NONE of the hoverboards fitted with more expensive LG or Samsung caught fire . Okay my friends that is now a number of Chinese goods over different engineering aspects that are RUBBISH ! as shown on Which Don’t tell me somebody is going to come to china,s rescue and say –its only a blip -or an uncommon occurrence, I will then start believing they work for the government or BB.

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Details of recalled hoverboards can be found on the Electrical Safety First website: electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/product-recalls/

It always concerns me to read of well known brands featuring in recalls. The first page of recalls currently features products made by LG, Hotpoint and Bosch. :-(

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I have details of Chinese manufacturers selling wholesale hoverboards in the US for $150 /UK £100 approx and many Chinese manufacturers saying they had Samsung batteries when they were cheap imitation ones with a wrap round paper label saying -Samsung

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I was about to write something but I’ll just keep quiet

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Dee -I can take it , as long as its constructive , I believe in free speech .

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I don’t agree that it is not practical to independently test products. It might discourage manufacturers from producing quite so many variants that are little different.

Going back to the LED bulbs, I wonder if there is a difference between the Osram bulbs produced in China, Germany and Italy. I wonder where the other well known brands source their lamps.

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Many lighting manufacturers of LED bulbs in various countries including the UK/EU use their own LED technology but surprisingly the actual drivers in some still come from China.

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Some can’t even get the CE mark printed correctly! What does that imply about the rest of the standards?

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A load of stuff just came to me there now as it does as a prompt from Duncan’s reply to my Dads aerial

My Dads cabin. Nice new replacement for his worn out box 2 years back. All diy. Controlled ventilation, super insulated etc. Right up there with the George Clarkes Spaces thing but proper for life live in

His cabin sits at the bottom of a micro turbine tower 10kw. 75′ Actually the LED floods as above are mounted on the tower
The turbine runs from 0 to around 90hz. 0 to 320v or thereabouts
The controls are a voltage clamp (pwm). 600hz odd. The controller and the associated dump load which are both feet from his cabin have no further shielding than in the original design spec
His roof has 2kw of pv fed to the same control gear
His south wall has 900w of pv to an inverter
The controls supply storage heaters via PWM which I can just about hear
Then there are grid tie inverters close by
TV, Radio, Phones. Not a dickie bird
Properly designed and tested and what’s more proved it seems

Guest

After a remodel and installing FEIT Electric LED enhance vivid natural light 65W bulbs in can lights in all season room, dining area and kitchen, I have interference with all my radios including Sony, Kenwood stereo and RCA brand. I have to turn off the lights to listen to the radio. I have contacted FEIT Electric and am told that these LED bulbs do not interfere with all radios and the radio should be 25 feet away from the bulbs. There is a FCC label on the bulb although apparently that doesn’t matter. There needs to be a warning on the package about radio interference. Does anyone know of a brand or type of radio that the LED bulbs do not interfere with?

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toby- FEIT electric website says-quote=we manufacture lights to the highest standard -nope ! – a California company that sells at Costco /Amazon etc . While there are one or two 5 stars for their products the rest are all one star – quotes- cheap rubbish – burning smell, exploded , didnt last long ,etc . I couldnt find their real manufacturing country till I visited a social complaints website for US citizens and then a more knowledgeable US citizen – XY-Castle Rock ,USA with 4v friends and 21 reviews – said (and I quote ) – Feit Electric Company LED bulbs are trash . They burn out ,or fall apart ,within a short time ,and if you follow the return directions for failed products ,you get no response and no replacements . This is typical of —( and here,s the kicker ) — CHINESE produced junk products by rip-off companies . Spend your hard earned dollars elsewhere . –( 3 people found this useful ) -end quote . “Manufactured in California ” – ????? (aka-assembled )–1 star out of 5 given as you cant post without it.

Guest

I haven’t read the entire slew of comments here, so forgive me if the info I seek or my observations have already posted, but I have had some weird sh*t happen since I have moved towards LED bulbs in the lean-to.

If anyone has any suggestions, post em to grover dot sasparilla at gee-mail. First, my “TV” laptop, an ’08 macbook seems to lose a lot of settings when it is under a lamp with an inexpensive 60w equivalent LED bulb, and, the net seems to work not quite as well when the machine is on, online, and directly beneath the lamp, (which, for discussion, is assumed to be on). I also recently installed an ethernet switch about five feet, (laterally, at the same height) as a similar bulb in my basement. I have noticed that the net is totally hosed (at times).

Skipping to the gist of things:

Can LED bulbs directly affect a laptop? an ethernet switch? Can the interference get into the home network, and knock other machines off kilter? Finally, can a better grade of LED bulb help this? More strategic placement of ethernet cables and components?

My appreciation and regards to all!

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Grover- in a word -YES ! before anybody argues with me over this this led radiation has been used by an invention which amplifies this signal and uses it for Internet connections . I will quote -DR Magna Havas ,PhD in “wireless Internet via led “smart ” lighting “–the use of highly efficient controllable smart light sources to facilitate optical wireless communications is now a reality .Professor Thomas Little (Boston University ) is shipping a new prototype ,it goes on but becomes more technical which would bore many . The bottom line is that they noticed this phenomenon because of LED radiated interference and amplified it for use by computers . And Yes again , my own Radio communications experience in aerials both receptive and transmissive shows that a length of ethernet cable acts as as a receptive aerial and will pick up LED transmissions .

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I previously mentioned that my local Tesco sells LED bulbs made in China, Germany and Italy, according to type. I bought an 806 lumen lamp that was on sale for £7. It is dimmable, was made in Italy and has a four year guarantee.

I first tested the effect on DAB radio, using an old Pure Evoke-3 DAB portable radio tuned to Radio 4. There was no problem, even at close range. Unfortunately, there was some interference on stations with weaker signals.

FM was disappointing, with significant interference, even well away from the lamp. If I had these lamps throughout the house, I very much doubt that I would be able to use a portable radio. My FM tuner, which is used mainly for Radio 3 seemed fine, probably because it is connected to a roof aerial.

I’m disappointed but hardly surprised, in view of all the comments about radio interference by LED lighting. I have never encountered an interference problem with CFL lighting except where someone has tried to use a portable radio alongside a table lamp.

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LED down-lighters fitted to the kitchen and interference on an ANALOGUE radio!!!

Any clues as to why and how to fix?

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Nick-The frequency range of LED interference is usually =30 Mhz – 800Mhz this is on harmonics . When you speak of analogue I take it you mean FM(frequency modulation ) where a RF signal is modulated with another signal (lower frequency ) radio with a range of (approx ) 87Mhz-108Mhz . This would make it still within the interference range OR are you talking about the even older AM (amplitude modulation ) where the RF signal itself varies usual found on old valve and earlier transistor radios -ie -radio Luxemberg etc . Those old radios were very susceptible to interference from fridges/car ignitions /etc . Could you narrow it down please ?

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Duncan,,,,,,,,I know I have quoted as saying I have used loads of PSUs for umpteen jobs but I do know a bad/too cheap or badly designed PSU or is these cases called LED drivers can on its own interfere particularly with FM radio………I dont know what other frequencies they can interfere with but some of this LED interference may not be from the lights but from the power supplies if of course they are the type with PSUs
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Exactly the same goes for some MPPT charge controllers as used in stand alone PV generation systems and although seemingly unrelated to most LED uses there will be those out there who have off grid and LED being ultra low wattage are popular there…….The charge controllers can pose a problem there but because LEDs are a popular target they get hit and its not them

No disrespect to branded LED suppliers but I’ve seen some pretty basic power supplies screwed to electrical counters of late………I would not use them in my equipment!!!!!!
I like the ones like I mentioned with the entire case in metal……….Keeps a lot of the switches at bay I think……..

Just a thought for the future

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Dee -the problem is the varying types of LED drivers as well as the different sizes that are built into bulbs as compared to separate ones for strip lighting . This means they dont always resonate at the same frequency so some people wont get interference affecting their particular radio . Look at the frequency range its very wide-band , its also complicated by the fact on many bulbs the aluminum heat-sink is inadequate casing overheating /shortening of life of the miniature driver with its miniature components . Large stand alone PU/drivers have more potential to be interference free or can be shielded more easily Your right about the power supplies I would NEVER build one to their ,simplistic-cheap design all mine for my sensitive equipment are highly suppressed and analogue ,if I can help it. I build my own power supplies for expensive mos-fet power amps with a scope attached to the output measuring the ripple -under load , those types of amps should have only a few mV of ripple . Most of my bought test equipment is EX. government / WAR Dept. from a well know English company who buys from government auctions . The internals are built to extremely high standards no cheap parts -no cutting corners ,they must withstand use under harsh conditions and under NO circumstances Radiate any any RF signal or input to the mains any LF signal. Its a pity this sort of build is not applied to consumers , but there again they have unlimited tax payer funds -dont they ?

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MR16 bulbs I assume. Try the Lidl “Livarno Lux” brand. They’re the only one I’ve found which don’t squelch DAB or FM.

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N money says:
9 days 6 hours ago

I just bought one led light from asda to try in my kitchen it cost £4.99 it’s over 2 metres from my dab radio but the moment it turns on – the digital radio stops working !!

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I have a gas fire which works off a IR remote and when I ignite the fire the LED which I have installed under the fire place flickers. Does this also sounds like the same issue?

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Yes Sean the same principle applies even though it is a light beam from the transmitting diode in the remote –that light beam carries a Carrier signal of a certain frequency depending on the equipment it was designed to work with so even if it doesnt activate -say a TV because of the wrong information transmitted it will still cause the receiving led diode to flicker.