It's a little later in the afternoon and you have a lot of work to do. No problem, it's warm in the cab and the radio is on. In short: it's nice on the tractor.

You're busy for a while and slowly it gets dark. So time to turn on the lights. But what the hell? As soon as you turn on the LED work lights to keep everything in sight, the radio starts to interfere.

You turn the lights off again and the radio immediately does fine again. So now you have a dilemma: do you turn the lights back on, or do you leave them off. Without extra lights, you won't see anything at all in a moment, but you don't really want to miss the denouement of the Top 40 either.

Why do LED work lights interfere with radio?

The noise you hear on the radio is caused by the electronics that are in the LED bulbs. Not by the LED bulbs themselves, but the electrical circuit behind them. This emits too much electromagnetic radiation. If this is the same bandwidth used by the radio, the reception of the radio is interrupted by the LED work lights.

By the way, this problem does not only occur with the radio. Other equipment can also be affected by the electromagnetic radiation from LED work lights. A well-known example is the GPS module of excavators that enables very accurate excavations. Whereas interference from LED lights on the radio is especially annoying, interference on the GPS module can lead to more serious consequences.

Failure can have major consequences

An inaccuracy when excavating on a project where precision is very important, for example, because there are cables in the ground everywhere, can have major consequences just like that. If a cable is accidentally hit, and the power goes out all around, this not only delays the work, but also leads to fines that can be high.

And all because of a few LED work lights causing interference.

Sato GO 625

Stylish oval LED work light with good light output.


How do you prevent LED work lights from interfering?

Big question, of course, is how do you keep work lights from interfering with other equipment on the vehicle? By purchasing good LED work lights, is the simple answer. In fact, low-quality work lights almost always interfere with other equipment. That's because the cheapest electronics are used in those types of lights to keep the purchase price of the lamp as low as possible.

But if those cheap work lights turn out to be the cause of interference on equipment, it might have been wiser to invest in some better lighting after all. This is because good quality LED work lights are "de-energized," allowing you to simply work with the machine whether the LED work lights are on or not.

Which LED work lights do not interfere with equipment?

Thus, an LED work light must be suppressed to ensure that it does not cause interference to other equipment. A work light is suppressed if it complies with electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) guidelines.

EMC test equipment with, from left to right, an oscilocope, spectrum analyzer and pulse generator.

Before purchasing LED work lights, find out if they meet EMC guidelines. If so, they will not cause interference to other equipment in the vehicle.

Nordic Lights' LED work lights meet EMC guidelines and therefore do not provide interference to other equipment in the vehicle.