You could be inadvertently disrupting your client’s Wi-Fi with your LED installations. The team at Zano Controls explains why, and what you need to do now to stop it.
Wi-Fi interference is a growing problem in today’s connected world. As more IoT enabled devices are introduced into homes and workplaces, reliance on Wi-Fi connectivity is growing, but so is the strain on our Wi-Fi networks.
The problem, surprisingly, isn’t actually IoT overload. In fact, most high-quality connected devices these days aren’t linked to household broadband: instead, they connect to each other (and devices) by secure Bluetooth connections or personal area networks like ZigBee or ultra-wideband.
Any interference actually tends to come from old fashioned technology clashing with Wi-Fi signals, such as cordless phones, microwaves and….Triac LED dimmers.
Triac dimmers disrupt Wi-Fi
For such a small device, a Triac dimmer paired with LED can create a huge amount of disruption, interfering with wireless or radio signal electronics from DAB radios or wireless doorbells.
In fact, Zano recently spoke to the owner of a commercial premises which had to entirely refurbish its brand new lighting system due to the interference it caused to its Wi-Fi networks; a costly call back for the contractor, a headache for the client and all of it easily avoidable.
It all comes down to the copper coil found within every Triac dimmer – the same coil that creates flicker and buzz.
The coil is designed to absorb the voltage spikes caused by the Triac vibrating on and off at the peak of the mains cycle, disrupting the current to the lamp. Thanks to their simple resistive loads, this works fine when paired with incandescent or halogen.
LED lamps, unlike their halogen and incandescent counterparts, operate on a continuous forward current. Therefore, when the Triac dimmer switches at the peak of the cycle on an LED circuit, the energy has to flow somewhere.
Where does it go?
Through to the coil, which tries to absorb it, and across the cable network, which bleeds it into the LED power supply, creating flicker. As this spike radiates out across the cabling on the circuit, it can disturb Wi-Fi and radio signals throughout the building.
How to stop it
The only effective answer is to remove the coil from the equation, and that means saying goodbye to Triac dimmers for good.
An LED dimmer fitted with a digital microprocessor can control without interference (and without flicker and buzz). No coil, no problem – and now that Zano has launched its ZGRIDLED150 and ZMO150 dimmers, digital dimming is an even more affordable choice.