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8 Replies Latest reply: Oct 5, 2011 2:02 PM by Don Ellingham RSS

Noise on powerline from LED bulbs?

Lively
Currently Being Moderated

I am interested in the Philips Master LED GU10 dimmable lamps. I have just fitted out a new room using GU10 fittings and the Varilight Touch/Dimmer switches - the latest models that support low wattage LED lamps. The problem is that the "generic" (ie NON Philips) dimmable LEDs I have tried so far obviously emit a very high level of mains power "noise" back onto the house lighting circuit. The evidence for this is that some X-10 powerline signalling switches used elsewhere in the house (not in this room) are completely "jammed" (in the radio sense) by the noise coming from the LEDs. With halogen bulbs there is no problem but with the LEDs ON - dimmed or otherwise) the X10 switches don't work at all even after I put a special X10 filter on the lighting supply to the new room to try to isolate it.

So the question is what can Philips tell me about the noise or lack of it coming back out of their Master LED bulbs? Is it likely to be much lower or hopefully non-existent?

I have no way of measuring the noise produced so even if you give me some numbers on the noise it might not mean much to me!

 

Many thanks for any input on this - I think Varilight told me they had tested their new switches with Philips Master lamps but this wouldn't have identified any noise issues.

  • 1. Re: Noise on powerline from LED bulbs?
    Effervescent
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi John,


    Thanks for posting your question! I've submitted your question to the LED Expert Panel so keep an eye out from a response from them.

     

    Kind regards,

    Allison

    LightCommunity Community Manager

  • 2. Re: Noise on powerline from LED bulbs?
    Lively
    Currently Being Moderated

    Allison, do you think I will hear from the LED Experts sooon?

  • 3. Re: Noise on powerline from LED bulbs?
    Effervescent
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi John,

    Apologies for the delays. I've been in touch with the experts and they're investigating your question at the moment. Hopefully you'll hear from them soon!

     

    Thank you for your patience.


    Kind regards,

    Allison

  • 4. Re: Noise on powerline from LED bulbs?
    Active
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks for your query. Masterled lamps are fully conforming to the standards. The issue of noise at times is a system issue concerning more than the lamp itself. I am attaching a presentation that should help you in better understanding the issue at hand and enabling you to solve the problems with noise.

  • 5. Re: Noise on powerline from LED bulbs?
    Lively
    Currently Being Moderated

    Ravi, thanks for that. I have now experimented with some Philips Master Dimmable GU10's and they do not affect my other equipment. This is much better than the non-branded bulbs I had tried before so I think this is a plus for the Philips bulbs!

  • 6. Re: Noise on powerline from LED bulbs?
    Effervescent
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi John,

    I was cruising the questions and this is one I can add to. The paper Ravi posted is a good one. Powerline dimmers are intended for linear resistive loads, and of coarse LEDs and their power supplies are anything but linear. A dimmer, solid state lamp, the wiring and everything on that wiring are a "system" and the way it behaves is a function of the interaction of all those parts. 

     

    X-10 controls (I have personally used them for maybe 20 years) are not only very sensitive to noise but some units like the lamp remotes include TRIAC dimming. ANY  LED lamp used on a TRIAC switch or dimmer MUST be a dimmable device-not many people know that.

     

    X-10 devices powering non-linear electrical devices can jam themselves! Further, as I am sure you know, almost no signal jumps from one powerline phase to another in X-10, so unluss you use the X-10 powerline "bridge", devices on opposite line phases will be flakey at best.Unfortunately, the powerline bridge does not always fix this, due to other noise sources. If you have problems, I would try to figure out which line phase your devices are on. If you are on opposite phases, try the bridge. If that doesn't work, also try to place the  transmitter and receiver on the same phase, especially if you are dimming. Sometimes outlets in different locations within a room are wired to different phases.

     

    Dimming a switching supply (in any electronic lamp) generates harmonics and switching noise back into the line. Even the very best FCC-approved products products genereate some in response to the rapid switch transients caused by the dimming TRIAC. As the phase cut changes, the noise moves through the sinewave and hits the zero-crossing, which is where X-10 transmits its coded tone-bursts. SO, at some process in a dimming sweep through the 0-100% range, an X-10 device can jam itself. If you are using the programmable X-10 computer interface, you may be able to program dimming steps that do not hit those points, but it may take more patience than you may have. I could tell you stories.........

     

    Good Luck- Let us know if you get it all working- if not, I can help you off-line

    Don

  • 7. Re: Noise on powerline from LED bulbs?
    Lively
    Currently Being Moderated

    Don, just to clarify as originally posted, the dimmers in question are latest electronic LED compatible ones, the X10 devices being affected are elsewhere in the house. It was definitely the "cross-pollution" from the non-Philips LED bulbs that turned out to be the problem. The caveat for other users is to beware of the differences between different LED manufacturers products in respect of their "noisy-ness" back onto the house wiring (as well as many other characteristics I'm sure.

    By the way it is quite unusual for UK homes to use more than one power phase - although as it happens this house does due to high off peak tariff demands but again this is completely unrelated to the original issue.

  • 8. Re: Noise on powerline from LED bulbs?
    Effervescent
    Currently Being Moderated

    Sorry, John. I am new to Light Communty and did not realize the country of origin is visible under the profile. Had I checked that, I would have seen you are in the UK.

     

    I didn't think X-10 was popular over there? Perhaps my posting is a better subject for a US whitepaper. I personally have struggled with X-10 issues for many years, yet once you finally DO get it working, it is pretty good, and relatively innexpensive. I once could not communicate with lights on the sacond phase but my neighbor could----reliably. Drove me nuts. Thanks for the note

     

    Don

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