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Thread: Retrofit LED Can lights buzzing - I've tried 4 brands

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    22

    Retrofit LED Can lights buzzing - I've tried 4 brands

    I've tried several brands of LED retrofit can lights in my basement, and 3 of the 4 emit a buzzing sound, even when the dimmer is set to full brightness.

    The dimmer I'm using is the Lutron PD-5NE.

    I'm a homeowner, not an electrician. I hired an electrician- he was unable to figure out what's causing the buzzing sound.

    Here's a video I made in which I demonstrate the buzzing sound:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9abl5XAV0rE


    Complete information with every detail I can think of:
    https://paper.dropbox.com/doc/LED-lights-buzzing-Ben--CJ1lHcnT7Eb6dqGB2yYt7YlEAQ-ipyQ0u9LBgMdv1r2yNW8J

    Summary of problem


    • Video demonstration on YouTube
    • In the basement, I have 8 ceiling lights connected to one light switch.
    • The switch is an expensive ELV switch from Lutron: the PD-5NE.
      • These ELV switches generally work very well. They’re specifically designed to be used with LED lights.
      • This switch requires a neutral wire.

    • 6 of the 8 ceiling lights have “can” housings.
      • This is the model of cans that we have: The Halo H7RICAT
      • These cans are very difficult to remove.
      • Each can has a junction box which is virtually impossible to access.

    • Installed into the cans are 6 LED “retrofit” lights made by Juno.
      • Here’s a link to the retrofit lights - Juno 65BEMW HL SWW5.
      • These 6 lights emit a buzzing sound when installed inside the cans and turned on.
      • The buzzing occurs when the lights are at full brightness and when dimmed.
      • When the lights are lowered from the cans, still connected to the power, and turned on, the buzzing stops.

    • If I remove the switch and connect the 2 wires together (this is called “bypassing the switch”) then the lights turn on and do not buzz.
    • The remaining 2 of the 8 lights are “canless” wafer lights, also made by Juno.
      • Here is a link to the wafer lights. Juno WF6 SWW5.
      • The wafer lights do not buzz.
      • These lights have a copper water pipe and an HVAC duct above them.
        • I assume this is why the contractor didn’t installs cans here.

    • The only other things on the same circuit (that I’m aware of) are a pair of LED ceiling lights in our 1st floor pantry.
      • I wonder if these lights are causing the problem.



    Other notes



    • We have 6 Juno canless LED wafer lights in our upstairs bedroom.

    • I turned off every breaker on the breaker box one at a time. This did not stop the buzzing.
    • I spoke to an electrician about the buzzing and he is unable to pinpoint the cause.
    • If the noise is caused by electromagnetic interference (EMI), I could try wrapping the fixtures in “Faraday fabric” like this or even try aluminum foil.
    • I placed an order for 4 different brands of LED 6-inch retrofit lights.
      • Update 2/19 - 3 of them arrived, and 2 of those 3 buzz. Scroll down for more information on this,
      • I like the Juno lights a lot and would like to keep them or replace them with a light that I like equally.



    Product images



    Product Image
    Lutron switch






    • High quality ELV dimmer



    • If I bypass the switch, the buzzing stops

    Halo can housing






    • These were here when I bought the house



    • 7 of the 10 lights in my basement have these cans



    • Very difficult to remove

    Juno “retrofit” lights






    • These buzz loudly when in the cans and very softly when out of the cans

    Juno “wafer” lights






    • These do not buzz








    Testing out different brands of retrofit “can” lights


    Brand + Model
    Result
    Satco S11835
    • Tested on 2/19/24



    • Emits a soft buzz which gets louder when dimmed
    LUXRITE LR23795
    • Tested on 2/19/24



    • Silent
    Maxxima MRL-615205B
    • Tested on 2/19/24



    • Emits a buzzing sound even when out of the can
    Nora NOXTW-5631BB
    • Arriving February 26 - February 29






    Last edited by benrub; 02-19-2024 at 12:12 PM. Reason: added more detail

  2. #2
    Lutron Technical Support
    Join Date
    May 2023
    Posts
    150
    Hello benrub,

    We are sorry to hear about these buzzing fixtures and appreciate your findings and troubleshooting efforts. The Caseta ELV+ PD-5NE is the safest choice to hopefully address buzzing due to that neutral connection. Since dimmers work to turn the fixtures ON/OFF 120 times a second, sometimes this can cause the fixtures to hum or vibrate in their housing. This can explain why bypassing the dimmer or installing a switch resolves this trouble.

    It does not appear that we have conducted testing on these exact model fixtures. Have you had a chance to try any of the fixtures on our "LED Finder" tool here: LED Compatibility Tool | Lutron

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    22
    Thank you for this reply Brandon.

    I decided to return the Juno lights. I tried lights from Satco and Maxxima which both buzzed (already returned them)
    And Halo and Luxrite which do not buzz.

    I was hoping to keep the Juno lights because I really like the way they look, but the buzzing sound was too bothersome.

    By the way, I tried the LED Compatibility Tool using the link you provided above. When I enter something into the search field, such as "Halo" the page refreshes and does nothing. It seems as though the search feature doesn't work.

    Thank you again for getting back to me. I love LED lights but I really detest the buzzing sound, especially in my home office where I'm working in a quiet environment.

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