CFL and LED Light Bulb Interference Issues

June 28, 2016

A little known, yet strangely common issue homeowners are recently having with their garages is stemming from a place most of us would never even consider; our light bulbs! If your opener is sporadically misbehaving or your remotes don't seem to be working properly and you just can't seem to figure out what the problem is, it's time to check the lights.

The problem lies in the control circuit that provides that magically long life you get from LEDs and CFLs. These long lasting bulbs get their efficiency by employing something called pulse width modulation, or PWM, which very quickly (at a rate indistinguishable to the human eye) flashes the light off and on, drastically reducing the amount of time the bulb is actually burning.

The light’s PWM is regulated by government guidelines to operate at a frequency between 30 and 300 MHZ which can possibly interfere with your garage door opener remotes that operates anywhere between 288 and 360 MHZ.

So what's the solution? Well, unfortunately, as these types of low powered products are generally classified by the Federal Communications Commission as license free spectrum or bands, they are very loosely regulated. What this means is you really never know what you're going to get when you purchase them. Your best bet is to stick with the name brand bulbs and not try to save cash with the off brands, but it's still a bit of a shot in the dark.

The silver lining here is that your garage lights are generally used so infrequently that they don't even really warrant the cost of a low consumption bulb. So save the cash up front and the headache of finding a good bulb and just go with a good old fashioned incandescent for your garage.

For this and all other problems regarding anything garage door related, please give our specialists here at Precision Door Service of Seattle a call. We will be more than happy to assist you in pinning down the problem any time of the day, seven days a week!

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