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Old 25-01-2017, 10:33   #1
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RF Noise or interference from LED bulbs

Hi all,

I'm in the process of ordering LED replacement bulbs for my boat's fixtures. The reviews talk about these particular bulbs generating RF noise serious enough that they're rendering people's garage door openers useless.

https://www.amazon.com/Hyperikon-Rep...R16+LED+7-watt

I'm concerned about my electronics (VHF, AIS, radar) working properly.

I added LED lights like this to my old boat (only had a VHF) without any issues that I noticed: Sea-Dog LED Dome Light with Switch - Interior

Anyone have any thoughts to add?

Thanks in advance.

Ryan
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Old 25-01-2017, 11:16   #2
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Re: RF Noise or interference from LED bulbs

I've had many Noisy LEDS screw up OTA tv stations which are very strong signals.

What I've done is tightly twisted the power leads in a drill, and used snap on ferrites on both ends of the twisted power leads.

That reduced the interference by a good 90%.

I've been told a small capacitor (can't remember value) inbetween the leads at the LED itself would take out the remaining interference.

My laptop power supply also emits a lot of RFI, and Some line of sight shielding has proven to be somewhat effective, So I will try making a faraday cage around it, perhaps try the capacitor thing as well. My snap on ferrites seem to have no effect on the laptop power supply's RFI, at least not on the frequencies that disturb my TV.
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Old 25-01-2017, 11:58   #3
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Re: RF Noise or interference from LED bulbs

My vote would be to look at Superbrightleds.com marine bulbs.

I have had very good luck with them and they ship very fast.

https://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/boat-rv-bulbs/
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Old 25-01-2017, 12:14   #4
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Re: RF Noise or interference from LED bulbs

The best LEDs will have constant current drivers which may cause RF interference. If that happens, you may need to filter the noise as Sternwake suggests. I used small capacitors to filter the ones I bought that caused interference with my TV reception. In my case, it was only on VHF channels, not UHF.
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Old 26-01-2017, 09:55   #5
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Re: RF Noise or interference from LED bulbs

Keep an eye on this discussion:

Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude

You may be aware of this publication (Latitude 38). They are getting inputs from a number of people on their brands of tri-color. I need to check what I have, but it does not seem to interfere with AIS etc.
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Old 26-01-2017, 11:48   #6
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Re: RF Noise or interference from LED bulbs

I have used a variety of LED replacement bulbs and not had any problems. I think it is down to the quality of the electronics. If you think it may be an issue try one unit first and if it is noisy swop to different units. Also worth checking your noise level before fitting bulbs, poor earths or radio ground also creat noise and a problem can be aplified by new gear rather than caused by it
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Old 26-01-2017, 13:06   #7
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Re: RF Noise or interference from LED bulbs

Thanks for the replies and potential solutions everyone. That website superbrightLED's seems to have everything. I'm just going to buy the bulbs, install, and see...
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Old 26-01-2017, 13:18   #8
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Re: RF Noise or interference from LED bulbs

Or you might want to try marinebeam.com. They specifically state in their technical info that their bulbs are engineered to avoid that type of interference.
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Old 26-01-2017, 16:27   #9
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Re: RF Noise or interference from LED bulbs

LED bulbs with a "CE" mark do not generate Radio Interference.

"CE" means "Conformite Europeenne" in French, or conformity with the European Standard (for LED lighting in this case).

That standard puts a limit on the amount of Electromagnetic Interference of the LED. Extra components are put into the bulb circuitry to do this, at extra cost.

I have used LED's that have the CE mark, and ones that don't. The former don't interfere with Radio reception, and the latter often (not always) do. I have bought chinese manufactured LEDs that carry the CE mark, and they perform well.

I am not aware of whether or not there is a similar US standard to the CE mark for LED bulbs, or whether LED's sold in the US have the mark. IF the do, then you wont have the problem.

Hope that helps.
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Old 26-01-2017, 18:53   #10
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Re: RF Noise or interference from LED bulbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty Kiwi View Post
LED bulbs with a "CE" mark do not generate Radio Interference.
Compliance with the CE specifications is a good thing, but it's no guarantee that there will be no radio interference. If these CE bulbs are used in the cabin, then they will probably be far enough away from the radio antennas that there will be no serious interference. If they are placed on the masthead, next to the VHF or AIS antenna, then even CE-compliant devices may emit enough noise to cause problems.

Marinebeam (and some other brands) are designed to be vastly better than the CE specifications for radio interference.

And some brands are much worse.
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Old 26-01-2017, 23:07   #11
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Re: RF Noise or interference from LED bulbs

I have 3 large Marine beam spreader lights and a VHF antenna within a couple of feet and no noise

Sent from my SM-G935V using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 20-10-2017, 16:18   #12
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Re: RF Noise or interference from LED bulbs

I have a Signal Mate tricolor and it definitely effects the ais reception. I can't hear any noise on vhf radio, but ais signals are much lower power (2 watts vs 25 watts) , so they are more likely effected.

My tricolor is mounted in the center of the masthead and has vhf and ais antennas mounted on the side of the mast about 6 inches away.
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