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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2020
    What ho one and all,

    In our kitchen, we have eight LED downlights. We also use a mains powered radio on which we listen to either 5Live (AM) or an FM music station.

    The FM reception is just fine. But recently, if the radio is tuned to AM and the lights are then turned on, there is a loud buzzing, like a dam of electrical energy, that over one minute disperses and then the audio is clear.

    I did a test, and if the LEDs are on and the radio not, but then turn on the AM station, there is no buzzing.

    This is a 'recent' phenomena that I would like to understand what is happening and eradicate if possible.

    Any things would be appreciated.

    Thanks and toodle pip to
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2020
    Assuming these are normal MR16 form-factor (normally with GU10 pins on the base) directly mains-powered LEDs (rather than ones supplied by separate low-voltage power supplies) then it's almost certain that the interference is being transmitted by the electronics in the base of the “bulbs” which converts mains down to the few volts needed by the LEDs.

    Obviously, equipment shouldn't do that and if it is it's likely because one or more of the lights is faulty which isn't too surprising as those bits of electronics are built down to a very low price and, in downlighters, sit in a very hostile environment as they tend to get very hot there and not have the long and happy life they theoretically should.

    Probably as the thing warms up the fault causing the interference “heals” or just changes frequency so it misses the 5Live frequency.

    The interference could be directly transmitted through the air or carried over the main wiring. A quick test would be to try with a battery-powered radio - if it picks up the same interference then it's obviously airborne.

    If it's mains-borne then perhaps a ferrite core on the mains lead to the radio would help if you were sufficiently bothered by it.

    Another experiment would be to try with different combinations of the lights removed to see if it's one particular one which is causing the problem. As it's a recent phenomenon I'd think that's likely.

    It'd be interesting to note if you turned the lights off then back on fairly quickly whether the interference recurs or not. My guess would be that it either wouldn't or might but for a shorter time.
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2020
    Posted By: Ed DaviesAnother experiment would be to try with different combinations of the lights removed

    This is what I would try first. Remove one lamp. Test. Remove a different lamp instead. Test. etc
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