Top positive review
58 people found this helpful
Radio Interference from Bulb
on 16 September 2013
Since replacing the halogens with LEDs, I'm getting so much RF interference it completely wipes out FM radio reception when the lights are on. I'm not 100% sure yet, but I suspect the drivers. I'm going to try a few ways of suppressing the noise and will report back in due course. As far as driving the lights goes, these devices get 5 stars, but if they are the cause of the interference, then I would be reluctant to give them even 1 star. If you're thinking of going LED, my advice is to try just one lamp and one driver first, and check your FM or DABS reception before any major investment.
*** UPDATE ***
I've now done some extensive testing here. All attempts to suppress interference with ferrites, screened cable, etc, failed, but finally I tried running one of my bulbs off a car battery. And what do you know, the interference was just as bad! In fact I could move the bulb around like a searchlight, and the level of RFI varied depending where I pointed it. This was a big surprise to me as I assumed, as do many websites reporting this problem, that it was the switching power supplies at fault. I'd love to know what's inside these bulbs that is generating such intense RF.
For me it's a bit of a disaster as I've invested quite a lot of money in these, but unless I sit in the dark, FM radio is completely wiped out.
Anyway, I've upped my rating on the driver, as, at least in my case, I now believe it is *not* the main cause, or even the slightest cause, of the problem. Instead, I strongly advise anyone looking to replace Halogen with LED to check that the bulbs are rated for low RFI, or at least to just try one first and see if you still have reception. Of course if you only use online radio, or have a very good aerial or are in a strong reception area, you may not be affected. But your neighbour might. There are now some low RFI rated bulbs out there, which strongly suggests that some manufacturers are aware of the problem.