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Thread: LED Bulbs Not Turning Off

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018

    LED Bulbs Not Turning Off

    I've had a legacy RadioRA system for many years and have been happy with this system. I've been using incandescent bulbs throughout this period. This week, I tried some experiments with high efficiency LED BR30 bulbs. All tests failed badly. The most concerning issue is that I was unable to turn off any lights unless there was also an incandescent bulbs on the switch . For example, if an switch controlled 2 bulbs and both bulbs were LEDs, then I would be unable to turn the lights off. However, if 1 bulb was LED and other other incandescent, I was able to turn the lights off. Other issues include blinking and not being able to dim below ~60% of the lumens I am used to with incandescent on maximum. The LEDs seem to work better the more bulbs are on the switch. For example, a switch with controlling 4 LEDs would work far better than a switch with a single LED. Perhaps the problem is too low a minimum load. Most of the dimmers I tested were RA-6Ds, which have a listed minimum load of 50W, so 4 LEDs is near the rated to minimum load, but 1 is far below the minimum. Does anyone have ideas/solutions for getting legacy RadioRA to work with high efficient LED bulbs? Or more detail about why LEDs do not turn off on my system?

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2019

    Good Morning Citizen!

    Original Radio RA was not a system designed with LEDs in mind at the time. LEDs are a fairly new type of lighting and one that lacks any sort of standardization. What you are running into is a classic case of incompatibility. There is no way to make the system function cleanly with LEDs without the use of incandescent loads to drive the process. If your goal is to use LEDs with what you have you could integrate a PHPM-PA-120 with a RA-6ND and control LED's approved for said PHPM-PA-120 found here ( The only other way to move your problem forward would be to start replacing the older dimmers with a more current set of controllers such as Radio RA 2 or perhaps RA2 select. I hope this helps Citizen.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    There are 2 issues, the minimum load that you referenced and the electronics that Vive Man noted.

    For the minimum load,
    - Try a different manufacturer. I have had good results with Cree, Philips and EcoSmart (HomeDepot house brand). There is a lot of trial and error involved. - Try larger bulbs. You are gong to dim them anyway and will sill get significant energy savings. - Is it possible to add a fixture or two? You may not need them but if it makes the system work... - Make sure the bulbs you select use forward phase dimming. Sometimes called leading edge or "incandescent."

    For the electronics
    Lutron makes a synthetic minimum load (LUT-LBX). It retails for $160 (MSRP), is mounted in a 2-gang box and has a large heat sink on the front. That's ok if you only need 1 or 2. Keep in mine the price of a new RadioRA 2 dimmer is $139 (MSRP). You might even be able to use Caseta ($72 MSRP).
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    I'm new to this forum. Just bought a house that has the original Lutron RadioRA system. Only incandescent or halogen bulbs are currently used with dimmers. We want to replace some of the older fixtures by LED fixtures. Is it possible? We've tried some but lights remain on even when the dimmer is "off" and cannot be dimmed correctly unless we leave a standard bulb installed on the same circuit. Questions are: Can we use LEDs with the RadioRA (not RA2 nor Caseta)? If so, what model of dimmer should be used? May a load adapter such as Lut-MLC be added to the circuit in order to use LEDs? Help will be greatly appreciated!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Don- the answer is very complicated. Old RA dimmers weren’t designed to control LEDs and therefore any LED operability is going to be trial and error. You could try installing many large bulbs, and several different manufacturers. The RA-6ND would be better, but if you’re going to be replacing dimmers you might as well jump to the newer RadioRA2. It is waaay better in basically every way. Check the Lutron Where to Buy tool to connect with a local dealer. Hope this helps!
    Evan Kirkhart- Home Electronics Solutions
    Santa Barbara, CA

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Thanks Evan. I'm looking to replace fixtures in 3 or 4 rooms (out of about 20). That's why I'd rather keep the current RA and just replace dimmers in specific rooms. If I understand correctly, installing a RA-6ND instead of the RA-10D currently in use would do the trick? What if there is no neutral wire?

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