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Customer Review

66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Radio Interference from Bulb, 16 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 12w LED Driver Transformer for MR16-MR11-G4 LED Light Bulb by Long Life Lamp Company
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.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Mar 2014, 23:26:41 GMT
Diy-er says:
Each LED light runs from 12V ac or dc and has a step down switching regulator built inside . I think it has a constant current output to drive the 1.2V LEDS. To be sold in the UK the lights should have Type Approval to comply with the relevant RFI approval rules of this country.I very much doubt if they have been tested against these specifications if the bulbs themselves blank out radio reception. Having taken the bulbs apart ( each section unscrews to reveal the electronics ) I cannot see any RFI suppression components within the casing.

Posted on 3 Nov 2015, 12:54:28 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Nov 2015, 12:55:56 GMT
Ray P says:
Hi, we have just changed the led bulbs in our kitchen and now can't listen to the fm radio!! No one mentions this in all the promotional blurb. I'll be changing the bulbs back and hopefully can use the ones I bought in the hallway- but it might take a long time to get through them!!
It would be interesting to know what rf output level from the bulbs is low enough to stop interference but I'm not going to go out and buy different makes to find out, I'll just have to keep my eyes peeled to see if I can find the answer anywhere...

Posted on 13 Oct 2016, 11:28:05 BST
I have have a similar issue with RF interference both DAB and FM using at the moment old style Halogen drivers which I am about to change. I think it is to do with bulb design. I had no trouble with CREE bulbs with one, two or three larger LEDs but when I replaced them with brighter LEDs using lots of small diodes, some surface mounted, then the RF issue began. There seems to be no definitive information on this and no way of telling before purchasing if the bulbs will or will not cause interference

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Oct 2016, 23:41:46 BST
Mark says:
Whether an LED bulb generates RFI seems to be a lottery. My only advice is to buy a single one initially and try it out. If it causes problems, you should be able to get a refund under the Sale of Goods Act (I'm not a lawyer, but it sounds reasonable to me as the product is violating regulations about interference - EMC Directive's "Essential Requirement", Article 5). Incidentally, I hope someone in Amazon may take note of this. Although not the manufacturers or ultimate suppliers, I would hope they take some care over the products they market. The link here may be of interest. http://www.ukqrm.org.uk/lighting.php The possibility of affecting aircraft communications and ILS is especially scary.

Posted on 8 Jan 2017, 09:57:25 GMT
greg zak says:
You can always wrap the transformer in tin foil. This may help suppress the radio interference. We have these transformers and have no issues with FM radio interference so maybe this issue is with the bulbs ?
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