NPSTC Releases Report on RF Interference From Energy-Efficient Lighting (7/2/15)


The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 required improvements in energy efficiency of lighting equipment.  These requirements have led to the gradual phase out of traditional incandescent lighting and helped spur the development of energy-efficient lighting technologies.  As a result, homes, businesses, and local, state and Federal
government facilities are transitioning to compact fluorescent lighting, LED lighting, electronic ballasts, and other forms of energy-efficient lighting products.  Therefore, energy-efficient lighting is a fact of life in our current environment.  While energy-efficient lighting products have many benefits, experience shows they can also cause radio frequency (RF) interference, impacting nearby communications equipment, including that of public safety entities.

NPSTC was approached by several individuals and organizations who reported interference to public safety radio networks from energy efficient lighting. In October, 2014 NPSTC issued an initial query to the public safety community through the NPSTC Participant’s Listserv which resulted in dozens of responses. For example, Lake County, Florida reported interference to the public safety VHF band and Amateur bands after installing new tower lighting on its radio sites. Las Vegas, Nevada experienced extreme interference in the UHF band from a business using excited plasma lights.  An incident management team operating at a fire in northern California in August 2012 had set up and tested all of its communications equipment. During the evening operational period all communications failed. The source was determined to be a string of overhead fluorescent lights. Quebec, Canada reported interference problems on its public safety VHF trunking system from LED lighting made by a variety of manufacturers, which created a strong interfering signal within 100 meters of the building.

For the full report click on the following link: