Radio static after LED light install

Pappybilly1

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Nov 2, 2019
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I have a 2010 wrangler, and just installed led headlights and fog lights. Now when I turn the lights on the radio is very static. Looking for suggestions on possible fixes for this if anybody else has had this issue.
 

Chris

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Sep 28, 2015
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This is LED driver circuit noise.

All LED light modules have the LED (light emitting diode) mounted to a "driver" circuit board. The circuit allows the same voltage to get to multiple diodes and handles a few things that are needed to get them to light up.

It takes a little bit of engineering to make sure the driver circuit does not emit large amounts of "junk" radio frequency noise. Any device that needs FCC approval is required by law to have a very small amount of emitted junk noise.

Since car parts do not need to be approved by the FCC, then any first year electronics student can design the driver board with no thought of what noise might be coming off their circuit. This usually happens in parts made in countries with not-so-good engineering backgrounds.

If you have a noisy light, there really isn't much you can do.

My recommendation is to return these lights as defective.

If enough customers start returning garbage driver circuits, and telling the manufacturer why they were returned then they might hire a contract electrical engineer for the 10 or so hours of work it would take to design a circuit that won't cause the radio to not work.

I know from experience that some manufacturers have thought about this problem. My rigid lights have no effect at all on my radio gear. They started off their business making the blinking red/blue light bars for cops, and the cop radio had to work while the bar was on.

I'm sure there are other companies out there that also do good testing.

Call them and ask before you buy! If they thought about this then they will know about it. If they don't know what you are talking about then buy someplace else.

If you really want to try something, then you could do this, but it probably won't work.

You could take 2 sheets of a conductive material (aluminum foil) and wrap it all around the driver circuit, then ground the foil and it will cut out the noise. Don't let the foil touch the circuit board or you will fry your light when you turn it on. The problem is that then your lights won't light up since they are encased in a foil box. The foil would probably also fall off on the freeway. Covering only part of the light (like the back half, inside the housing) might do something, but won't help the noise coming out the front. Since your antenna is in front of the light bar on the front of the Jeep, it's unlikely this will do much.

If you do try this, then a metal mesh will work better then 2 sheets of foil, but is harder to find. You need conductive mesh, so don't use the plastic kind used for bug screens.