There have been a large number of reports in recent months of LED radio interference, the suspected cause being “electromagnetic interference”. Several customers have made comments on various blogs indicating that their change in lamps has affected their radios reception.


‘I change all my GU10 bulbs to LEDs purchased from ******. Not only did they cause severe interference on my clock radio (not DAB), but they failed so often that after 9 months I took them all out and put the original bulbs back. After a bit of a fight ****** have given me a credit (it was over £200 worth), but they only sell LEDs so it is wasted money. The bulbs did save electricity but it was not worth it as changing them was not easy and as I get older standing on a step ladder and struggling above my head is not welcome and to reduce this was one of the reasons for changing. Perhaps I should look at a better brand, never thought that the brand was the problem.’

‘I had the same problems with LED bulbs wiping out DAB reception and tried several types of bulbs, but to no avail.’

Which? magazine tested a wide range of light sources, from premium high street to low-cost lamps. They discovered that in many cases it was caused by a significant electromagnetic interference (EMI) radiating from the LEDs. Under the European markets legislation LED lamps should carry CE mark which is a statement by the manufacturer that the product complies with all relevant European rules. Specifically EN55015 of the legislation covering electromagnetic interference.


Due to cost-cutting large numbers of overseas manufactures lack regulatory enforcement. Most of the interference may be caused by very high frequency emissions, typically in the 30 – 300 MHz range.


This review has raised the issue of market surveillance; are trading standards doing enough to enforce the specific requirements made by governing bodies? There is increasing concern within the industry, that large amounts of low-quality and poor performing LED products are bypassing EU regulations and reaching the market. Products that don’t comply with EU regulations can under perform, damaging the users experience preventing them from fully adopting innovative LED technology.


Have you had a similar experience with cheap LEDs? Let Us Know.