LED Lighting - Garage Door opener interference

Background

In November 2012 I started replacing all CFL and Incandescent lighting in the home with new LED bulbs. At our local 'big box' home improvement store I purchased several (35) LED bulbs and began making the switch to LEDs. Over the past several years most of our incandescent lights had been replaced with CFLs. I was not happy with the performance of the CFLs both in terms of light quality and life of the bulb. It seems like every other month I was replacing a bulb or two in the house.

Thus, the switch to LEDs.

But, be forewarned this is not as simple as going down to Home Depot/Lowes and loading your buggy with 35 bulbs and $885 dollars of lights returning home, unscrewing the old and screwing back in a new $24 - $35 LED bulb.

You are used to purchasing a 40w, 60w 75w or 100w incandescent bulbs. The new LEDs are now expressed in Lumens* not watts. Google watts vs. Lumens to understand.

Issues:

1. New Dimmers needed specifically 'rated' for LED.

2. LED 'flash' or flicker on a 3-way dimmer - 4 recessed cans

3. Garage Door remote Frequency (315 Mhz) interference

Ok - I pretty much knew I was going to have to replace a few light dimmers and the 'flicker' flash of four recessed-can lights on a 3-way dimmer is still causing me some grief (i need to add a 5w incandescent bulb to the circuit out of the way in the attic to stabilize the the dimmer - from what I have been able to research online).

But, #3 - my remote garage door opener stopped working. We have a Chamberlain HD900D Whisper Drive garage door opener. At first I thought from the master wall control that the 'lock' button had been activated which 'locks out' the remote control of the unit. I troubleshot this for about 3-days. I stood underneath the garage door opener with the remote and it would work. I went into the driveway 30 ft away and it would not work. Aww, the CR2032 remote battery needs to be changed after 5-years of operation - done... Now, it's fixed~!

Not so fast. Next day pulling into the drive way with the garage door lights illuminated (newly installed LEDs, mind you). Nope, nothing - neither remote from either car will work. The remote key pad which is also RF will not work. It must be something else - not my LEDs? Really... a google search tells me my 315 Mhz garage remote operates in reality around 288 Mhz and I find that the LED bulb circuitry operates from 30 - 300 Mhz. (read: problem is not with the LED lights but the LED circuitry within the LED bulb)

So, off to the garage I go. LED lights on - no remote working. LED lights off - garage remote work. Standing in the drive-way 50 ft away. Lights OFF, RF garage door opener works. Lights on, RF remote will not work...

Not just the lights within the opener, powered by the garage door power unit, but also the adjacent garage lighting with LEDs also interferes with the garage door remote...~!

So, YES there is LED interference that will render your 315 Mhz RF garage door inoperable~! Be forewarned.

* - Lumen defined as: "a measure of the total 'amount' of visible light emitted by a source

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Tags: Chamberlain, Chamberlin, Door, Garage, HD900D, LED, RFI, door, frequency, garage, More…interference, lights, not, opener, remote, with, working

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Comment by Insulated Garage Door on November 25, 2013 at 2:07pm

Good read!

Comment by Dale Stephens on July 11, 2013 at 8:42pm

Rick - initially I went back to incandescent bulbs and few months later found a LED bulb that does not create RFI. All has been good the past 5 months. Good Luck~!

Comment by Rick Goedde on June 25, 2013 at 11:25am

Is there any update to your problem with the interference to your garage door opener caused by LED lighting?  I am experiencing the same problem.  I recently had landscape lighting installed and when the dusk to dawn sensor turns on the landscape lighting, the garage door remote does not work.  I have extended the garage door opener antenna to the outside of the garage, but that only allows me to get out of the car, walk up to the garage door, hold the remote control within inches of the antenna, and the door will open.  It's workable, but annoying.  I recently read that if you put a clamp on filter around the cable to the LED lighting, it should solve the problem, but I can't find anywhere to buy a clamp on filter.

Comment by Dale Stephens on March 26, 2013 at 2:16am

And, for the record (and, my continuing electrical education) it is NOT the LEDs themselves that create the RFI. It is the power supply within the 'lamp/bulb' that without proper shielding - read cheaply manufactured, creates the RFI... see LED Magazine for differing LED lamps (bulbs).

Comment by Dale Stephens on March 26, 2013 at 2:07am

Still working out the RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) of the LED retrofit bulbs in the garage. And, trying a couple different LED bulbs - I will update my progress - which LED retrofits created RFI and those that did not... Maybe my LED's from the L-big box store was the culprit....?

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