So, you’re experiencing problems with your garage door opener’s remote unit, but you aren’t sure why. Everything else seems to be in order, but the fact remains that sometimes the door works without issue, and sometimes it simply goes haywire.
If you can’t identify the culprit, consider the fact that it may be the presence of LED lights that’s complicating matters, and here’s why.
Understanding LED light interference
As you may know, LED lights are becoming increasingly popular in businesses, homes and garages because of their energy efficiency, which stems from a phenomenon known as pulse-width modulation. Essentially, this means the LED lights are actually flashing at a rate of about 15 times per second, but to the naked eye, they emit a continuous stream of light. The control circuits that keep LED lights flashing on schedule do so by relying on frequencies between 30 and 300 MHZ, and here’s where problems can arise. Garage door openers typically rely on frequencies that fall between 288 and 360 MHZ, meaning the two can, at times, impact one another and wreak havoc.
Complications associated with “old school” lights
You may, too, experience issues with your opener if you swap out those old, incandescent bulbs in and around your garage for fluorescent models known as compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs. While doing so may save money, it can also cause considerable trouble for your opener, meaning it may not prove to be such a bargain, after all.
Companies that produce openers and other products that rely on signals, such as remote-control cars, for example, have a lot of leeway in creating them, and very little industry regulation exists when it comes to frequency emissions. Therefore, signals from some products are prone to crossing and affecting others, which causes some homeowners considerable hardship. You know how when you fly or gas up your car, you must turn off your cellphone? It’s to avoid these types of problems, and LED or CFL lights can cause similar complications within your garage.
Remedying the problem
So, now that you understand what might be causing your issues, what can you do to get everything back in working order? Consider taking the following steps.
> Recognize where LED light interference might stem from. Do you have a large Christmas light display, for example?
> Change bulb brands. This may be the most economical way to remedy the problem, and cheap, foreign-made lightbulbs are often the source of issues.
> Change your light fixtures entirely. You may have to choose less energy-efficient models, but at least you’ll be able to rely on your garage door again.
> Contact a garage door professional. If you’ve taken these steps and the problem persists, you may need assistance getting everything back on track.
Affinity Garage Door Service has seen many a garage door affected by electronic interference and can help homeowners like you not only identify the root of the problem, but remedy it.
NOTE: We’ve updated a previous version of this article that was published in November 2013.