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Thread: Head scratcher

  1. #1
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    Head scratcher

    Had my garage door go out me last week, long story short got a new motor under warranty and got her put back up today...the strangest thing, notice just before I went to bed, looking through the window the door openers light was glowing (not on, just not completely out, not dark) ...turned it on, nice bright light, turned it off, still kinda glows...I replaced the light with two of them 60 watt LED's they are selling at Walmart. So I am wondering if the opener has some power still leaking into one of the sockets after it's turned off or some thing to do with the LED's. Made me a little nervous, knew I wouldn't be able to sleep thinking about this, so for now just killed the breaker, every thing is dark now, no glow. Since I didn't feel like playing with it at 10 pm almost bed time...lol...any body experience anything like this before, this is a new one on me. Guess the easy fix is to go back to normal bulbs, but still if there is an electrical leak..problem needs to be fix shouldn't it, or do all light fixtures have some leaking, not an electrician so don't know ...how would you even test for some thing like that....or should I just ignore it, and be happy I have a new night light feature...lol

  2. #2
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    Any chance it has a night light feature?
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
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    Live every day like it's your last, but don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arnold View Post
    Any chance it has a night light feature?
    lol...does now...but hadn't noticed one in the last 11 years, looked though the manual did not mention one. Got to have some thing to do with the LED bulbs, must have a tiny leak of power in the socket, enough to fire off one or two LED's in the bulb. Got the same bulbs in several fixtures in the house, and doesn't do this, so little confusing why it is happening on the opener. It's a Chamberlain Whisper drive model HD800, put it in back in 2006, were no led bulbs back then..

  4. #4
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    I have found in my effort to replace nearly all of our incandescents with LED's that it takes very little power to make them glow. One thing I discovered in our home is it can matter how the light gets its power. I had 3 different areas where I had problems with glowing. When I opened the switch boxes I found that the switch had been wired into the neutral side of the circuit. So, even though there was no completed circuit there was still enough leakage to make the lamps glow. Rewiring the switches into the hot side solved the problem. In another instance I noted that having a switch with a light in it (glows at night so you can find it) also allowed some current to pass through and fire up the LED's. Finally, sometimes you come across a situation where the power is run first to the fixture and the switch is placed 'downstream' completing the circuit after the fixture. I have no idea if that is up to code and prefer not to do any of my wiring this way, but this can also cause LED's to glow.

    Obviously this is not your issue because the opener is not switched. However, the unit is hot all of the time. My guess (and it is only a guess) is that the opener was never intended to use LED's and the design may allow for some small amount of current to reach the socket - enough to fire up an LED or two. This should be easy to determine using a meter. I don't see a need to replace the opener. If the 'night light' bothers you you can always go back to the incandescents. Otherwise just enjoy the 'new' capability!
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rennie Heuer View Post
    I have found in my effort to replace nearly all of our incandescents with LED's that it takes very little power to make them glow. One thing I discovered in our home is it can matter how the light gets its power. I had 3 different areas where I had problems with glowing. When I opened the switch boxes I found that the switch had been wired into the neutral side of the circuit. So, even though there was no completed circuit there was still enough leakage to make the lamps glow. Rewiring the switches into the hot side solved the problem. In another instance I noted that having a switch with a light in it (glows at night so you can find it) also allowed some current to pass through and fire up the LED's. Finally, sometimes you come across a situation where the power is run first to the fixture and the switch is placed 'downstream' completing the circuit after the fixture. I have no idea if that is up to code and prefer not to do any of my wiring this way, but this can also cause LED's to glow.
    A switch leg like this is not uncommon as long as it is connected to the power hot wire. It is just an extension of the hot wire thru the switch. On the other hand, if the switch leg is connected to the neutral side, you have the same conditions as the neutral wired switch you described above.

  6. #6
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    Wow..doing some research and it seems this led glow effect is not as obscure as I thought it was...happens all the time I guess, primarily because low level of power that these led's can operate on were never considered years ago, not to mention all most all the articles I read said it will almost certainly happen if motion detectors or timers are involved and my opener has both a motion detector and a timer. No real harm is associated since the current leak, if we call it that, is by design to accommodate the timers and motion detectors, so I guess I just have a new capability in my door opener now...a night light...lol...cool

  7. #7
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    Like Rennie said it might be because of the wiring. I would still check to make sure that the wiring is correct if it is plugged into a socket are the hot and the neutral are wired to the correct sidesof the recept.
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  8. #8
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    i've replaced all of our bulbs in the apartment to 60 watt led bulbs. the only interesting thing, other than saving a bit on the bill, is that when they are shut off, they go down to a dull glow before they go completely off.
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  9. #9
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    I had an different issue with LED bulbs in my garage door opener, but just another example of technology needing to catch up with technology.

    Several years back I replaced my older incandescent bulbs with CFL, which was fine, but living in WI, in the winter time (which is basically 8 of 12 months) the CFL's would glow dimly until the warmed up. Since the garage light is only on for a few minutes at a time, the warm up time made them pretty useless, so I reverted back to the old reliable incandescents. Then came LED bulbs, so I replaced with the new LED's which are instant on, which was wonderful, or so I thought. I then noticed that sometimes the garage door opener would not open until I got close to the door, so I tried to replace the batteries in the remotes, but that did not make a difference. I was confused, since sometimes the door opened/closed from the same distance from the garage, but most time not. Then I discovered that I only had a problem if I was leaving and the door needed to be closed, and if I waited long enough that the remote would eventually worked, which was because the lights shut off. So, the issue is that the LED bulbs which uses a swith mode power supply, was interfering with the frequency of the remote. It was not an issue if the light was off, which is why sometimes I could open or close the door from the same "far" distance. Anyway, I had to replace my LED's and have moved back in time to the 1990's with my old incandescent bulbs.

    So, eventually (and maybe they have already) I assume the makers of garage door openers will improve on the RF receiver, to filter or eliminate this issue.
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