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LED Lights Vs DAB Radios

Updated: Apr 1, 2019

Lighting Has Come A Long Way

LED Lighting is everywhere nowadays. Homes, Offices, Cars... You name it, it has it!

Electricians and home owners alike love the things!

They're bright, they're Energy Efficient, they come in all different shapes, sizes & colours!

What's not to love?!

Long Story Short

Yesterday, we received a call from a customer in Rushden, “When I turn on my lights in the hall, my radio in the kitchen turns off... and when I turn them off my radio works again. What’s going on?”

Sound familiar? Ever Had this Problem? Never had this problem but want to continue reading anyway?


So... What is actually going on?

Without getting too technical or boring, the problem is most likely down to Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) or Electro-Magnetic Frequency (EMF) Interference, coupled with the lack of Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) between the LED internal electronics (which convert mains voltage electricity to the low voltage used to supply the LED Lamp), the wiring system in your house, and the DAB radio (particularly if it’s an old one).

What can I do about it?

This problem generally does not occur if branded LED Lamps are:

  • Made in the European Union

  • Have the CE mark

  • labelled EMC compliant.

Low cost LED bulbs are unlikely to meet the requirements for RFI, and cheap DAB radios are unlikely to conform to EMC standards for immunity or susceptibility to interference.  If the problem started immediately after the LEDs were installed by a qualified electrician, then get him/ her back, as it’s down to them to sort out the problem. 

If not then here’s what you can do:

  1. If practical then try to plug in the radio into another socket outlet or move the DAB radio as far as possible from the LED bulbs. 

  2. Ensure the antenna, usually a thin white- or black-coloured cable plugged into the back of the radio, is not close to any mains cables or socket outlets.

  3. If this does not work and if non-compliant EMC LED bulbs are installed then replace them with EMC compliant bulbs.  In order not to waste your money it’s better to replace one-by-one, and see if there is any difference (after removing all old bulbs first).

  4. If still no success then use it as an excuse to splash the cash on a new EMC compliant DAB radio.

Hopefully that's helped you out. Please let us know if you’ve had a similar problem and what you did to resolve it.

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