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Thread: Radio buzz whith MACL-153M dimmer

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Unhappy Radio buzz whith MACL-153M dimmer

    Installed the above dimmer from Amazon. Purchased bulbs from Home Dept. I believe I have the acceptable bulb according to the Lutron site information.
    60 W / 9.5w LED A19 bulb in soft white. the model number reads 9290011840B.
    When I turn on the bathroom lights I get a buzzing in my portable (not plugged in) radio that I like to listen to in the morning. Turning off the dimmer causes the noise to go away in the radio. The noise also is on a small shower radio within the shower stall.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Try bypassing the dimmer and see if you still get the noise. If so, the problem is in the bulbs.

    Make sure you have the dimmer wired correctly - power in on the black screw.

    Make sure the neutrals are not crossed.

    The dimmer should not cause radio interference. You may need ot return it.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

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  4. #3
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Hello RonaldS,

    Thank you for your post!

    Dimmers can cause radio interference that is both conducted and radiated (what you are experiencing). The reason behind this is due to the line noise all bulbs generate when first turning on. This is not something typically seen on a mechanical switch as it only turns on the load once and instantly, however a dimmer turns the lights on and off 120 times per second. This creates constant line noise which can cause radio frequency interference. We have an application note discussing this that I have linked below. Please keep in mind this app notes solutions are only intended for incandescent and halogen loads.

    Because you have LEDs, our best recommendation to reduce the amount of line noise and therefore reduce or eliminate the RF interference on your radio would be to try a reverse phase dimmer. Reverse phase dimmers reduce the amount of line noise bulbs can generate on dimmers. However, we have not tested this bulb with any of our reverse phase dimmers so we cannot guarantee its performance. The dimmer we would recommend to try that is rated for LEDs is the MRF2S-6ELV120, this has the same design as the MACL. Please keep in mind this does require a neutral connection, I have included its spec sheet below. We would not recommend changing the bulbs to a different LED, as LEDs tend to be much more noisy than incandescent and halogen. You could try incandescent and halogen, as again they do not create nearly as much noise as LEDs.

    App Note 519

    Spec Sheet of MRF2S-6ELV120:

    Hope this helps!

    Julia K.

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