Don't Do IT!

dodge59April 10, 2013

I have a Liftmaster garage door opener.
"So WATT"! , you say , "What's that got to do with lighting"

Stay tuned to find out
(It might save you a service call on your opener)!

Remote for the opener always had a great range, all of a sudden range is down to 6 feet or less. Replaced batteries in remote, even tried a spare remote with new battery, No Help!!!!

So I spent an hour or so googling as I did not want to waste money on a service call for it.

Most posts I read suggested an " Electrical Interference Problem". (IE, noisy circuit breaker or florescent lamp, some kind of RF transmitter----etc etc etc.

Sounded "Logical" to me, but I had none of the above problems and the other 2 garage door openers worked fine.

So I try to recall what had changed since the problem began, (as far as "Interference" goes)hmmmmmm????


I changed the bulb in the opener as old one was burned out.
Wanting to save power, I replaced it with an LED bulb.
Replaced that with an incandescent---PROBLEM SOLVED!!

Hopefully this might save somebody else some googling or worse yet the cost of a service call, (that more than likely) would not be solved on the 1st visit!


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This is interesting. Too bad it cost you $$ for the LED bulb you bought and had to remove.

Okay, so I can see that an LED, being a diode, could result in waves that might cause interference. But I wonder how big the sphere of influence would be? And might it interfere with, say, radio reception?

Maybe not much is known about this yet, but I hope somebody knows something. In my small shop building, where I'd like to switch over to LED lighting, I've got a radio. The radio got fuzzy reception in that location, until I put special grounding on the antenna the radio came with. I feel the radio reception is a bit precarious... and the only decent position to leave the radio in is about 12-14 feet away from where the overhead fixture is that I want to put two 800-lumen LED bulbs into.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 2:32PM
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I have LED's in the Garage, Home Depot's, 8 watt, (40 watt equivalent), they do not cause a problem,

It was only when I installed the LED light in the garage door opener did the problem crop up, even when the light was off.

That is probably due to the solid state circuitry they use to feed the lamp, it is never "Truly off", just enough current to cause the electronics in the light to emit interference, but not enough to light the bulb.

It was a "Strange One", and I checked a lot of web-sites and never saw a post about LED's and garage door openers, so I figured It be a good idea to post it! Ya thinks?


    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 5:43PM
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Thanks for the tip but I have to ask why you would put an LED bulb in a garage door opener?

A 40 watt equivalent bulb (or even two) is not enough light, and you would never realize enough energy savings to break even.

I use two 60 watt bulbs (the four for a dollar variety) in my two garage door openers and they've been in service for about 7 years since I bought the house.

I do use CFL in the recessed lighting in some heavily used rooms, and I don't think they last any longer than the incandescents. They last about a year on average, and take about 4 minutes to come up to full brightness. I don't know what is worse, using more electricity with incandescents or producing mercury tainted electronic waste with the CFL's.

I've stockpiled hundreds of 100,75, and 60W incandescents for other lighting that either isn't on for 8 hours a day or needs the lighting characteristics of an incandescent.

I am saddened that the government has forced the use of CFL's on us, along with washing machines that don't clean clothes and "water saving" toilets that need to be flushed multiple times.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:06AM
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"I changed the bulb in the opener as old one was burned out.
Wanting to save power, I replaced it with an LED bulb.
Replaced that with an incandescent---PROBLEM SOLVED!!"

LED and CF bulbs all invariably have switching power supply that makes a LOT of electrical noise.

Put a battery powered AM radio near them and you can usually tune it find some of the noise being created.

It often goes to much higher frequencies than the AM broadcast band the radio covers.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:32PM
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Im so agreed!!

I swictched to led bulbs .And they save my bill up to 80%!!!

I brought from Amazon: LOHAS-LED

Here is a link that might be useful: great energy saving led bulb

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 3:50AM
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Consider this: You have been away from home for at least a half-hour. The door has been closed and the light shut off automatically about 4 minutes (per factory programming) after the door was last operated. As you drive home, the LED is not powered until after the door operator is actuated. So in that instance, the LED should not affect the operator at all. But when leaving from the garage, or if closing the door with the remote immediately after arriving home, if the light is still on, the LED might be the problem.
Are you sure that the LED causes a problem even if it is off?

I have CFL in one of my (Sears, basically the same as Liftmaster) openers and incandescents in another. The CFL have not yet created a problem.

This post was edited by bus_driver on Sat, Apr 13, 13 at 10:07

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 10:03AM
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Yep, The LED was NOT Lit and the range was still 6 feet.

I put up with this for a couple of months before I decided to fix it.
I would take the remote from one of the other 3 garage doors and put it in the car I was driving, (a pita) and sometimes I would forget to grab the remote.

So I figured I best fix it, or replace the opener. So googled and as ya saw from my earlier post, most post about problems like mine indicated some type of interference, and when I "backtracked" on what had transpired between when the opener worked and when it didn't was the bulb change to an LED.

The reason I put the LED in there, was I was having the garage door replaced, Wife's twin sister crashed thru it with her truck, but fortunately missed my 64 Dodge I bought brand new when I was a 22 year old kid.

Anyway, I ask the guy installing the door if he could replace the bulb in the opener as long as he was adjusting the opener, (The old bulb was burned out). He says sure, so I grab the bulb that was handiest, one that was already in a socket in the garage, figured I could replace it later as it was a lot easier to get to than the one in the opener.
I also figured due to the life of LED bulbs, I would never hafta change it again.

So now You know the rest of the story. Range was still 6 feet even with light OFF, for the reason I explained, solid state electronics to turn bulb on/off instead of a relay, An old Genie with a relay for bulb control would probably work as long as bulb off, On???? Your guess as good as mine!

I suspect as time goes by more and more folks will be replacing all their bulbs with LED's ---that is my goal, but "im an early bird, and I hate our Electric company----so I do my best to give them as few dollars as possible (typically $50-$60/month).


    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Until I did some testing, I would still not be fully convinced. My openers were bought about 2003. There is a definite click, as of an electro-mechanical relay, when the light goes off on my openers. I would check for voltage at the lamp socket with the socket empty and with the LED installed but not producing light. If no voltage in either case, I do not see how the LED could cause interference when not energized. If voltage at the socket only with the LED installed, then additional questions arise.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 10:05PM
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Ya know that click got me too, so at first I discounted it being the LED, light, but I will be more than happy to get out my video camera and show it to you, alto my wife will holler at me for getting up on a ladder, which I do need to do to reach the bulb in the opener.

The opener never worked with the LED in it, probably a couple of months, It always worked before that, (for years), and it works fine now (nary a burp or a 2nd push needed on the remote, (from the street, no less).

I can not blame your doubting this, I'm an Electronic Engineer myself, and had somebody told me this, I would said, "Say Watt"

There is a "Possibility" that when you first hit the remote it turns the light on, then it keeps the door from opening, I guess the only way to prove that is to screw in the LED again and see if the LED comes on when I hit the remote from a distance over 6 feet.

Anyway the whole point of the post is to save somebody the hassles I've had!!!


    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 10:59PM
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If a light fixture is near the opener, installing the LED in that fixture should be an interesting test. The typical wall switch is absolutely off in the marked position. Testing the operator with the LED on and off would be revealing. Or a dropcord could be used to place the LED at the operator.
And an LED from a different manufacturer could be tried in the operator.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 10:22AM
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The click is more likely a mechanical relay for a motor, and solid state controls are often used for the light.

Motor loads do NOT work well on solid state controllers without some careful design of the motor.
'ON' from a solid state control is not the same as 'ON' from a relay contact.

A solid state control even at 'full on' still distorts the electric waveform (voltage and current).

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 11:59AM
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When the opener opens or closes the door and the motor stops, the light remains on for about 4 minutes. When the light goes off after that, either by the timing feature or by the light button on the wall control, there is a distinct click at the opener.
If the door is open, the light has timed to off, and the safety reverse sensor beam is broken, the light switches back on with a distinct click.

This post was edited by bus_driver on Sun, Apr 14, 13 at 14:31

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 12:26PM
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