Garage door remote not working after changed bulb – fixed
Short answer – LED light bulbs frequently interfere with the garage door remotes. Changing to a standard light bulb will fix the problem.
Long version: So after having some service done on my garage (again – I’ll eventually write a post on what happened and what fixed it) our light bulb stopped working. Yes, I tried a new bulb and it still didn’t work. I’ll have to write another post on that issue, but luckily my garage door opener has spots for two light bulbs and the second spot still works. Because I’ve been an early adopter of LED bulbs, that is primarily what I have in our house. I put a new 60 watt (equivalent) LED bulb in the second spot and the bulb there works.
Using the remote, the garage door still closes fine, so we didn’t seem to have any issues. I’d read that some LED bulbs can interfere with remotes and that they make special LED bulbs for garage door openers. I assumed those bulbs are meant to be a little more durable to tolerate the vibration and also better insulation from wireless interference. One post I read said that if the bulbs are labeled that they are in compliance with the FCC regulations (which my LED bulb claims to be) then you shouldn’t have any problems. That was wrong, but it took a week before I figured that out.
Apparently the signal to close the garage door must be less prone to interference than the signal to open the garage door. At some point I’m sure I’ll find and share an explanation, but I know that there is a simpler signal to close the garage. I know this because our wireless keypad I installed can close the garage door without us having to enter a code (try yours if you don’t believe me – just press the enter button on your keypad and if your system is like mine, the garage door will close – obviously you need to enter the code in order to open the door). The reason this seems important is because we never had an issue leaving the house and using the remote to close the garage. The door always closed fine, even with the LED light bulb. The problem was discovered when I left the house and then shortly thereafter, my wife got home and she calls me, frustrated, that her remote is not working. Of course, she assumes that I broke something on the garage door opener, which in this case, wasn’t far from the truth. I told her to wait a minute and try again, once the light turns off. In a few minutes I get a text from her that it worked on the 7th try.
Interesting. I’ve since repeated the exercise and the door will close fine with the light bulb on, but will not open when the LED bulb is on. Annoying buy was easily fixed by replacing it with a standard, old fashioned (and inexpensive) incandescent bulb.
I’d be curious if other people have run into this problem and experience the same issue with it only not working to open the garage but not for closing it. In other words, if you are going to try an LED bulb, make sure you test your remote to open the garage door and not just closing it.
Here’s a video someone put together demonstrating the issue: