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This article presents empirical laboratory and field data documenting electromagnetic interference between high-efficiency electronic lighting and certain other electronic devices. Typical equipment involved are power-line carrier systems, security systems, and remote controls for televisions and VCRs. Reported cases involving both electronic lighting emissions and immunity in building power systems are summarized according to basic interference mechanisms. To illustrate the potential complexities of this problem, the article describes a case where high-efficiency lighting interfered with a hearing aid. The discussion of the case includes a field survey, laboratory investigations, and recommended solutions to the problem. To conserve energy, electric utilities have carried out demand-side management (DSM) programs that include installing electronic lighting in commercial and government buildings. Millions of electronic ballasts and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) have been installed. Several cases of new electronic lighting interfering with other appliances have been documented and are being studied by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Power Electronics Applications Center (PEAC). This research will help to determine how appliances interact with radiated and conducted emissions from ballasts. Although these cases do not represent a large percentage of installations, lighting manufacturers have risen to the challenge of identifying design solutions to several of the problems that have been identified.
Date of Publication: Jul-Aug 1998