LED bulb garage door opener interference

While installing a new garage door opener, I found a curious statement in the manual: Don’t use LED bulbs. Why can’t you use LED bulbs in a garage door opener? Six words: LED bulb garage door opener interference.

LED bulb garage door opener interference
Some garage door openers don’t like LED bulbs.

Fortunately I had a couple of incandescent bulbs buried in a closet, so I installed those. Then I researched why you can’t use LEDs, and I’m glad I did.

Most LED bulbs emit radio waves at the same frequency as your garage door opener’s remotes. So the bulbs will work in the opener, but your remotes probably won’t. I’m glad to say I learned that by reading it online, rather than personal experience. But I do wish the manual would say why, because it would save some people some heartache.

Since the lights stay on for as long as the door is open, I’ll probably want to put CFLs in there since there’s no point in chewing up 80 watts of power and blasting out 80 watts of heat for a full hour while I mow the lawn. I suppose I can experiment to see if any of the LEDs I have don’t interfere with the remotes, but we’ll see. I still have a few CFLs hanging around, so that’s the easiest choice.

In a few years if we start seeing special LED bulbs for garage door openers, that’s why. Until then, you can’t use LED bulbs in a garage door opener. I do recommend them elsewhere though. Here’s why.

As for the opener, this was the first time I changed one. Thankfully, the Chamberlain opener I bought was a bolt-in replacement for the old Craftsman unit I had. That made the job much easier because I didn’t have to replace the track or the chain. I don’t know if they’re all standard like that, or if I got lucky. It took about three hours to swap it in, including installing the safety sensors and making a trip to the store to get brackets so I could mount the sensors. My previous opener was old enough not to have sensors. After that, it took another hour or so to staple the wires to the wall to get them out of the way and clean up the excess.

I saw people online say it took them 5-6 hours to install one, including installing the track. Based on my experience, that sounds about right.

One thought on “LED bulb garage door opener interference

  • July 4, 2013 at 9:27 pm
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    I’d urge caution with the idea of using CFLs in that garage door opener. A quick Google for “cfl garage door opener” reveals problems ranging from remote interference – just like LEDs – to fire hazards. Some manufacturers are producing more CFL-friendly openers – including Chamberlain, actually. Still, I personally am adverse to using CFLs where vibration service lamps are recommended.

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