Why you shouldn’t use LED bulbs in your garage

If you’re experiencing weird problems with your garage door, or even If your neighbors do- you might want to check your LED lights. As it turns out LED lights and automated garage doors don’t go well together.

Using LED lights is usually a good idea because they reduce electricity cost and they’re good for the environment, but the very thing that makes them cost efficient is making your garage door not responsive for no apparent reason.

How LED lights work

LED lights use pulse width modulation (PWM), which turns the light on and off 15 times per second. Human eye can’t tell the difference but the light is on only half the time- that’s why it’s using less electricity. This makes them emit radio waves at  frequencies between 30 and 300 MHZ.

Products like toy cars or garage doors work on the same frequencies –and there the problems begin. Usually it means that only one device can function properly at the same time. So, if you press your garage door opener in a exact moment when the LED light is off it will work fine, but if you press it when the light is on the door won’t  budge.

The solution

Less expensive solution is too change your LED light bulb brand and hope that it doesn’t mix with your door opener frequency.  This may or may not work , depending on both brands, and there is no way you can know for sure until you try a few brands out.

Bullet proof solution is to stop using LED lights all together.

Old school incandescent light bulbs are being slowly phased out from use for environmental reasons but they are still a better solution for garage doors then CFL’s or other new and way more expensive bulbs.

CFL’s or compact fluorescent lamps use much power then LEDs and they last significantly less time. They are also a bit too bright for your garage.

There is also one more very important note- ordinary incandescent light bulbs can stop working if you shake them too much, and obviously garage doors are going to open and close couple of times a day. So, this is what you can do, to be on a safe side :

Find “rough service “ light bulbs in your local store. They have extra support wires and heavy filaments to withstand more vibrations.

It is of course true that ordinary incandescent light bulbs are considered to be less “green”, but they don’t cause trouble with your other products and garage doors aren’t opened for that long anyway.


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