Radio Transmitters - Legal Power regulations


I love blinky lights :)
Community project designer
Dec 27, 2010
The legal power is and always will be useless for Christmas lights. Probably the only way is could be made to work would be for the transmitter to be located at the curb and due to the power it would only have a range to reach to maybe 1 car either side of that.
I'm also looking forward to hearing the outcome of your battle with the MIB. I don't promote in the media that I'm transmitting as it's a vital part of the show and if the MIB ever investigated it would be closed down to never return again.


Full time elf
Dec 1, 2012
Here is the email I got from ACMA last year, take from this what you want.

As discussed, the most likely solution to providing an FM signal for your Christmas lights display would be the Low Interference Potential Devices (LIPD) class licence. Essentially, this is a standing authority that covers many types of very low power transmitters, such as garage door openers, wireless modems and microphones, baby monitors etc. As long as you comply with the requirements of the class licence, you are covered by it and do not need to apply to the ACMA for an individual radio apparatus licence.

Information on this class licence can be found on the ACMA website:, and you can download a copy from the comlaw website: Schedule 1, Item 21 covers transmitters in the FM band, 88-108 MHz.

This is a very low power allowance for transmitters in the FM band. Schools sometimes use this to teach kids about radio by transmitting to nearby classrooms, and we’ve had anecdotal evidence it could cover half a football field, so a stretch of the street for viewing of Christmas lights should be feasible.

If you need to cover a larger area, then you would need to apply for a special event licence. Guidelines for applying for these can be found on the ACMA website: If approved, ACMA engineers will do a frequency assessment and determine a frequency that could be used without causing or receiving interference from other licensed broadcasters. Due to this there is a licence issue charge, incorporating $41 broadcast spectrum tax, plus the administrative charge for their work calculated at $197 per hour. A typical special event licence costs around $420-$630. In difficult areas with limited frequency availability, it could cost more.