Light Bulbs and Garage Door Openers

Garage door openers include a light fixture, and the bulb used in this lighting fixtures can cause several types of problems with the functioning of the opener and the light bulb itself.

Problems with Garage Door Opener Light Bulbs

There are three types of light bulbs in use today, incandescent, fluorescent, and LED, and each one can create its own type of problem when used in a garage door opener.

Incandescent bulbs are now becoming less common because they create more heat than light, making them energy-inefficient, but many people still prefer these old-fashioned bulbs and use them in the garage door opener.

One reason people prefer this type of bulb for the garage door opener has to do with radio frequencies. Garage door openers work by sending out a radio frequency which activates the opener. However, fluorescent and LED light bulbs also create radio frequencies, and this can interfere with the functionality of the opener.

While incandescent bulbs do not have this problem, they often burn-out quickly when used in garage door openers. The reason for this is vibration.

Garage door openers pull a heavy load when they are operated, and this work load results in significant vibration in the door and opener. Incandescent bulbs do not hold up well when subjected to vibration, and this leads to incandescent bulbs burning-out sooner than they do in other, less vibration prone fixtures.

If you prefer using incandescent bulbs in your garage door opener, or if that is the type of bulb recommended by the garage door opener manufacturer, there are two things you can do to make these bulbs last longer.

First, make sure the opener is tightly screwed down to the framing of the garage ceiling. Use screws at least 2 Ω inches in length to attach the opener to the rafters or other framing material where it is situated.

From time to time, check that these screws are not working loose from the vibration caused by the opener. You can coat the screw with a layer of construction adhesive to make the connection stronger, or you can use bolts going all the way through the framing for a better grip.

Another way of lessening the chances of premature burn-out of incandescent bulbs is by replacing them with a rough-duty incandescent bulb. These bulbs cost more, but they are especially designed for rough service, such as the vibration caused by a garage door opener.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, are available in types which can be screwed into a regular light fixture. The bulb itself comes in several designs, ranging from a spiral shape to a cluster of small tubes.

Fluorescent bulbs are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, because they rapidly flicker on and off at a rate which cannot be seen by the human eye. However, they do not come on instantly like incandescent bulbs, and this can be annoying. Fluorescent bulb ballasts can also interfere with the operation of a garage door opener.

If you have CFLs in your garage and are having problems with the functioning of the opener, the brand of light bulb may be the source of the problem. Inexpensive bulbs are more likely to cause problems, and switching to a better brand may solve the issue.

You can also contact the garage door opener manufacturer and ask which brand of CFL bulb they recommend for the best operation with your opener and remote.

Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, are the newest type of light bulbs available, and they are much more energy-efficient than other types of bulbs. An LED bulb uses 85 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb, and they can last as long as 25,000 hours of use. They also produces very little heat.

The problem with using LEDs in a garage door opener is that they emit radio frequencies which can interfere with the functioning of the opener. Both LED bulbs and openers use frequencies in the range of 300 MHZ, and this means they can overlap in signals, causing the opener to malfunction. However, the bulb itself will not damage the light fixture.

If you want to use an LED light source in your garage door opener, be sure to contact the manufacturer of the opener first and check whether this type of bulb is compatible.

If you are having any problems with the functioning of your garage door or the opener it is also a good idea to contact your professional garage door specialist for expert advice and a consultation.