Possible Solutions to LED Lights Causing Electromagnetic Interference (EMF/ RF)

We're big fans of LED lighting here at Reduction Revolution. Over the last few years we've sold tens of thousands of LED lights from quality brands like Philips and Verbatim.

In the vast majority of cases, LED lights do what they're meant to. They provide better lighting with up to 90% less energy consumption.

Occasionally our customers do encounter a problem. One such problem is 'radio frequency' (RF) or 'electro-magnetic frequency' (EMF) interference.

Some customers have reported this interference on their TV or radio after upgrading MR16 downlights to LED. This only happens when the lights are switched on, but it can be annoying, especially if you enjoy AM radio! Apparently it can also happen with the mains voltage LED lamps, although we have not experienced this.

Understanding RF / EMF Interference

First up, let's clarify some of the terms and how this all works.

Philips MR16 LED RF Interference

Important: The LED lamp is not the only, and not necessarily the most dominant, cause of interference. The full system must be considered.

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)

All Philips LED bulbs (and other reputable brands) have full EMC compliance. This testing is normally conduced by third parties to EMC standard CISPR15.

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) - Disturbance Source 

This refers to the device emitting electromagnetic energy. In the case of lighting this could be:

  • Light bulb
  • Ballast
  • Transformer

Coupling Path - Conduction & Radiation

This refers to the interaction between the 'source' and the 'victim.' In the case of lighting it could be:

  • Fitting or 'luminaire'
  • Cable
  • Ceiling

Electromagnetic Susceptibility (EMS) - Susceptible Item

This refers to the item that may be affected by the above interference and may include:

  • AM or Digital Radio
  • TV
  • Computer

What to do if you experience a problem

Here is the list of possible solutions that we are aware of:

  1. Use a compliant LED bulb. All of our Philips LED light bulbs and fittings are fully compliant with the relevant standards.
  2. Change the transformer to one with better EMI suppression, such as our Philips LED transformer.
  3. Shorten the cable length and if possible use a shielded cable.
  4. Add an EMI filter at the input / output of the transformer. These are also called ferrite beads or ferrite chokes.

Obviously, item 2 above is only suitable for low voltage LED lights. The other suggestions can also be used on mains voltage LED light bulbs.

Looking for Quality LED Lights? Browse our full range here.

By Ryan McCarthy | | How To Guides, LED, Lighting |
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Reduction Revolution Pty Ltd (ABN 74 141 672 764) is an Australian-owned company focused on energy efficiency and sustainability.

Since 2010 we have supplied thousands of customers with training, advice, monitoring, lighting, and innovative energy saving products.

You can read more about us here.

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