Radio Interference

Why is there Noise coming from my speakers when my lights are on?

Some noise is common on any switching type of power supply due to the nature of the power conversion, especially in boats with sensitive electronics and tight cable looms. As long as there is switching of this type, there will be noise generated. Most lights have a switching power supply in it, as is the case with many electronics today. There are several solutions to reduce or eliminate this noise. Outlined below are the best solutions for our Lights.  The steps below are suggestions, it is important to consult a professional on your installation before changing any wiring or adding any noise reduction circuitry.

Step 1. Separate the power wire running to the lights from any other wiring. When the power lines touch (in same conduit, zip tied together) it can cause transference that is causing the speaker noise. 9 out of 10 times this eliminates the noise.

Step 2. Install a relay between the lights and the shortest distance to the power supply, then connect your switch to the relay. At this stage you should have separated all power wires to the lights from any other wiring. The Relay should be rated for approximately 20% more than the total amp draw of the lights installed.

Step 3. In addition to the above; try installing a 4700 µF Electrolytic Capacitor across the positive and negative power terminal at the back of the amplifier (or radio).  As long as you get one that is 35V or higher, and over 4700 µF, it ought to do the trick. The capacitor has a polarity marking (stripe with - symbol goes to the negative terminal) so be sure not to connect it backwards.

It is also important to note that the radio itself may not be EMC compliant or have a faulty suppressor circuit and will be picking up interference where other radios may not.  Be sure to use quality electronics in any case, especially when boating.

Looking for quality lighting for your vessel?  Check out our range of LUMITEC Extreme Environment lighting. 

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