Imagine your garage door's incandescent light bulb finally gives out. Sounds like the perfect time to replace it with something a bit more economical and energy-efficient, right? Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are popular replacement choices thanks to their extraordinary efficiency. Not only are CFL and LED bulbs far more durable than incandescent bulbs, but they also produce light while using a fraction of the energy.
Now imagine swapping out your old light bulb for a new CFL or LED bulb, only to run into trouble opening and closing your garage door. Could your new lights be to blame? Read on to find out more.
Unlike incandescent bulbs, CFLs and LEDs generate electromagnetic interference during operation. In the case of CFLs, the interference comes from the ballast that regulates current delivery to the bulb. LEDs also generate light and control light intensity using pulse-width modulation, causing them to operate at frequencies that can also interfere with your garage door's operation.
In rare cases, your garage door's infrared sensor can detect CFL and LED light and accidentally interpret it as an infrared signal. However, this only works when your CFL or LED bulb produces light at the same wavelength as the garage door opener remote.
If you're having problems out of your garage door opener after installing new CFL or LED bulbs, don't lose hope just yet. The following offers a few ways you can get your garage door opener working the way it should without giving up on your new, energy-efficient bulbs:
- Rule out other issues with your garage door opener first. Make sure it's not experiencing other problems that could prevent it from working properly.
- Check your owner's manual. Some manufacturers call for specific LED bulbs to be used with their garage door openers. Make sure the bulb you're using is on the list.
- Ditch the generic bulbs. Generic, off-brand CFL and LED bulbs may be cheaper, but they're also more likely to cause interference due to poorer quality control. Invest in higher-quality name-brand light bulbs instead.
If the above solutions don't work out for your garage door opener, you may have no other choice than to return to incandescent bulbs. They're nowhere near as efficient as CFLs and LEDs, but you can lay your energy-wasting fears to rest - after all, your garage door light is usually on for only a few minutes each day. You can also reach out to a garage door service to see what they suggest.