We wanted to add a hanging light fixture to our dining room. The room had two can lights already. The idea was to extend the wiring from one of the cans to this new light fixture and re-use the existing switch. I hired an electrician from Thumbtack who did a great job of the extension and installation. The new fixture was powered by six led bulbs. Brightness galore!
The one drawback – I could not independently operate the can lights and the new fixture. Together it was too bright for the space. Creating independent switches for can lights and the fixture was too involved and not worth breaking up dry wall.
I hit upon a workable idea. We could replace the can lights with two smart bulbs and use Alexa to turn off the cans whenever I wanted to. I got two CREE smart bulbs and hooked it up to Alexa. All good for now.
A few days later, I happened to work on my laptop under the dining table. There was a audible buzzing noise coming from the ceiling. Once I turned off the switch, the buzzing noise was gone. So, I figured the problem was in the new light fixture. The noise was quite annoying, but not loud enough to take critical action.
The electrician and the lighting store asked me to change the dimmer on the switch to a regular switch and look for recurrence of the noise. I changed to a regular switch and the noise was still there. Next, I removed all the the LED lamps on the fixture, but the noise continued. Sometimes the noise would happen in the morning and not in the evening. I was 100% convinced that the transformer or something else in the light fixture was the issue.
A few days pass by and I kept getting more annoyed. The lighting store guy asked me to a bunch of stuff and I replied “This is too complex for me. I’m not an electrician”.
Now, stop for a moment. If you have guessed the source of the noise, kudos to you. You are a bright bulb indeed. I even declared to the electrican that I was 100% sure it was the fixture. He asked me to check for other sources.
Next was the Eureka moment. Why had I discounted the Smart Bulb? I brought out the ladder, removed one bulb and then the other. Voila, the noise disappeared.
Later, after doing a web search, I came to know that some smart LED bulbs can cause a buzzing noise.
Moral: Don’t always focus on the new shining big object. Consider all changes to a system, however small.