LED Lights Interfering Garage Door Opener Buttons

TheGingerElectrician

Master Electrician Electrical Contractor, TN
We recently installed 8 of those wafer style LED lights in a customers house so they can have extra work light in there. Afterwards I got a call and they figured out that when the lights are on the door openers won't work but as soon as they shut the lights off they do work. Any ideas for a solution on this? Assuming the LED drivers in these lights are causing some kind of interference in the radio signal on the button openers they have in the cars.
 

mopowr steve

Senior Member
Yes, it’s a known issue. And I believe it’s Genie that has led bulbs that don’t interfere with the system. Otherwise it’s a crapshoot.
 

synchro

Senior Member
How close are those LED lights to the door opener itself? Radiated RFI (Radio Frequency interference) from the LED lights may be coupling into the receiver of the door opener and masking the desired signal transmitted by the button opener. In this case the interference is "desensitizing" the receiver, in other words reducing its sensitivity level. If this is happening, then it's likely that moving the button very close to the door opener will overcome the level of interference and allow it to operate. It might be worth doing this as a test.

There could also be conducted interference from the LED lights through the 120V wiring. Are the lights on the same branch circuit as the opener? This could make the situation worse. Another test would be to insert a Tripp-Lite or other power strip with RFI filtering before the door opener to see if this helps. If it helps then conducted interference is an issue and a line filter could be a solution.
Conducted interference from the LED lights could also be radiated by the branch circuit wiring. It's really the job of the light fixture manufacturers to provide adequate line filtering. Technically line filters could be inserted in front of each LED light but I'm not sure if there's anything available that is suitable in this case and compliant.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
The Genie branded bulbs are not guaranteed to be interference free, and some other A-type bulbs, reviewed in several threads here do a very good job of avoiding interference. The bulbs with integral drivers make it possible to get interference-free operation with any brand of can light.
But the wafer lights commit you to a particular combination of LED element (probably not the problem) and driver. Finding a wafer light with low interference specs will probably be easier than filtering out the interference from a problematic product. But that is going to involve a lot of experimenting with different products. :(
 

synchro

Senior Member
The person in the video below was able to get significant improvement by adding ferrite common-mode chokes on the wiring to the door opener and LED lights. The chokes come in a clamp-on version so the wiring does not need to be disconnected, and also in toroidal form.


He provides links to the specific components he used, but other sizes are available:

 

TheGingerElectrician

Master Electrician Electrical Contractor, TN
How close are those LED lights to the door opener itself? Radiated RFI (Radio Frequency interference) from the LED lights may be coupling into the receiver of the door opener and masking the desired signal transmitted by the button opener. In this case the interference is "desensitizing" the receiver, in other words reducing its sensitivity level. If this is happening, then it's likely that moving the button very close to the door opener will overcome the level of interference and allow it to operate. It might be worth doing this as a test.

There could also be conducted interference from the LED lights through the 120V wiring. Are the lights on the same branch circuit as the opener? This could make the situation worse. Another test would be to insert a Tripp-Lite or other power strip with RFI filtering before the door opener to see if this helps. If it helps then conducted interference is an issue and a line filter could be a solution.
Conducted interference from the LED lights could also be radiated by the branch circuit wiring. It's really the job of the light fixture manufacturers to provide adequate line filtering. Technically line filters could be inserted in front of each LED light but I'm not sure if there's anything available that is suitable in this case and compliant.
I accidentally hit report instead of reply but I don't think it did anything because I stopped the page. However, the wafer lights are installed in the garage and they are on both sides of the door opener. I don't know if they were on the same circuit as we just reused the existing switch leg and left the switch off rather than shut off the breaker but it is possible.
 

winnie

Senior Member
Also check the batteries in the transmitters. The LEDs are clearly adding noise and making things worse, but if the batteries are low and the transmitters not putting out full output that will only add to the problem.

-Jon
 

TheGingerElectrician

Master Electrician Electrical Contractor, TN
Also check the batteries in the transmitters. The LEDs are clearly adding noise and making things worse, but if the batteries are low and the transmitters not putting out full output that will only add to the problem.

-Jon
It's definitely not the batteries. Customer replaced them as a first attempt to get them to work.
 

Knuckle Dragger

Master Electrician Electrical Contractor 01752
Yes, it’s a known issue. And I believe it’s Genie that has led bulbs that don’t interfere with the system. Otherwise it’s a crapshoot.
I know what you mean by craphoot.
In my own home. I have three auto garage door openers. I replaced the light bulbs in them with six 100 watt equivalent LED's from the same batch. Just one door opener doesn't function properly because of the bulbs. No issues when first opened or closed with lights out or very close proximity.
Definite issues when trying to close immediately after opening when vehicle is out of garage.
 
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