How to Test for Electromagnetic Interference in Commercial Lighting Systems

How to Test for Electromagnetic Interference in Commercial Lighting Systems

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can cause major issues in commercial lighting systems. As lighting becomes more technologically advanced with LED and connected lighting systems, proper EMI testing is crucial. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to test for EMI in commercial lighting.

What is Electromagnetic Interference?

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) occurs when electromagnetic fields disrupt the operation of electrical or electronic systems. It can be caused by both natural and artificial sources.

Some common sources of EMI include:

In lighting systems, EMI can cause issues like:

Proper EMI testing allows lighting systems to be hardened against these disruptive effects.

EMI Testing Equipment

To test for EMI, specialized equipment is required to measure electromagnetic interference over a range of frequencies. Common EMI testing devices include:

Certified EMI test labs will contain specialized shielded rooms to isolate the equipment under test and eliminate ambient interference.

EMI Testing Methodology

EMI testing on lighting systems involves several important steps:

1. Visual Inspection

2. Radiated Emissions Testing

3. Radiated Immunity Testing

4. Conducted Emissions Testing

5. Electrical Fast Transient (EFT) Testing

6. Surge Testing

7. Low Frequency Emissions

Mitigating EMI

If EMI testing reveals problems, steps can be taken to mitigate interference:

With proper testing and mitigation measures, commercial lighting systems can operate reliably free from the disruptive effects of EMI. Careful testing identifies weaknesses and ensures lighting does not interfere with or get interfered with by surrounding equipment.