Static interference from flourescent lights.

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Giles, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Giles

    Giles Retired tool & Die and Mechanic

    Aug 28, 2007
    N.W. Alabama--Florence--
    I have several florescent light fixtures in my shop. When they are on, I get a lot of static on AM radio stations and sometimes on FM stations.
    Why do they cause this and what can be done to correct the problem?
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  2. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Apr 18, 2005
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area

    I got this problem too but my guy who does all my sound system stuff told me it's inevitable.

    They make suppressors but he said the most of the time they don't work.

    Those lights that operate off an electronic eye are the worst.
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  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    Have the receiver far away enough from the lights that there is no noise and run speaker wire to a speaker in the room...
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    cheap fluorescent ballasts....aka "shoplights" will have more interference.

    You can try replacing the ballasts, and if they are not already electronic, switch to an electronic ballast.

    Every light in my house is now flourescent, and we do not experience any ill effects.

    BTW, get rid of any dimmers, electronic light timers, or motion controls. These are more likely to cause interference.
  6. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Jun 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    To cure these problems follow these steps

    Step 1 – Using a 22 ounce framing hammer strike the radio firmly several times

    Step 2 – After striking radio several times, using a broom sweep up broken parts.

    Step 3 – Place radio in a container large enough to hold all the shattered parts and set in place

    After following these three simple steps there should be no more problem with static noise from the radio.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Flourescent lamp fixtures just plain make a fair amount of noise in the AM band - especially if they have starters. CFL bulbs are usually better. Most motors are also noisey in this band.
  8. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Oct 7, 2005
  9. rgsgww

    rgsgww New Member

    Jul 5, 2008
    It could be getting through the the radio powered by cord? If so, is it on the same circuit as the fixtures?

    If not, it may be pretty difficult to get rid of the rfi.

    With tv antennas, I just make a braid breaker...but thats another frequency.
  10. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Apr 2, 2008
    Does the ballast say "For commercial use only"?

    This is why they say that...
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