Although halogen light bulbs were a revolutionary invention, we are not a big fan of them anymore. Since LED light bulbs are more energy-efficient and provide much better illumination, we all love them. However, there’s a little problem with them.
Have you ever noticed that LED light bulbs sometimes flicker, even if they are off! We recently noticed that and believe we are not the only ones to witness it. Hence, we did a little research and thought to share the science behind it with all of you. Thus, if you have any queries going on in your mind about LEDs, you may find your answers here. So, make sure to read this article until the end.
Why LEDs Flicker and How to Stop it?
Flickering of the LED bulbs is pretty normal, and almost everyone has witnessed it at least once or twice. If not, you will also see it happening someday. Well, the question is why does it happen? Basically, LED bulbs have electronic drivers in them that deal with voltage and make the bulb illuminate.
Not all the LED bulbs are of the same quality, neither their electronic drivers, some are good at managing voltage fluctuations, some are not that good at it! So, when the voltage fluctuates, the LED bulbs tend to glow more or get dim depending on whether the voltage is high or low. The instability in the voltage flow makes the LED bulbs flicker. Thus, stopping the unnecessary flickering can be simply done by fixing the voltage fluctuations in your home’s circuitry.
Why are My LED Lights Dim?
As we discussed above, LED lights do get dim when there is instability in the voltage flow. There are certain reasons for voltage fluctuations to happen, which can eventually make the LED bulbs in your home flicker or get dim for a certain duration, let’s check out:
Inrush current from appliances
There are certain appliances in our homes that require a little more power at the startup, like Refrigerators, Air Conditioners, Washing Machines. Due to that reason, if such appliances in your home are connected to the same circuit on which the LEDs are connected, the flickering will happen for sure. You can simply fix it by calling an electrician and making connection arrangements on separate breakers for such appliances.
Just like any other appliance in your home, a proper circuitry connection is required for the LED bulbs as well. In case the LED bulb is loosely connected to the fixture, it can flicker. Just make sure the bulb is fixed in its position firmly, and also check if the wiring to the fixture is in well-condition or not.
For those who are renovating their homes, or thinking of upgrading the lighting in their homes, we have a little tip. Dimmer switches are available in the market which resists flickering if happens. However, the only prerequisite is that you have to buy both the switches and LED bulbs which are compatible with each other. Not all LED bulbs are compatible with Dimmer switches. Hence, we recommend you purchase the best quality LED bulbs only for a better experience.
Problems caused by Flickering LED lights
There are two ways in which the LED light bulbs flicker, visible and invisible flickering. And, either kind of flickering is simply bad for your health.
While the invisible flickering does not seem to be much harmful, since you can’t notice it with bare eyes, it does cause many harms to you. An LED bulb with invisible flickering may cause you to feel eye strain, headache, and even trigger severe problems like migraines.
On the other hand, the visible flickering is just too disturbing and may cause epileptic seizures to some people.
The 5 Reasons Behind Flickering LED Light:
- The majority of homes have basic solid-state switches for turning the lights on and off. Whenever you turn on the switch, a small amount of current usually leaks out and does not reach the LED bulb. In case the switch is somewhat loose, the amount of current leakage would be more, resulting in the flickering of the LED bulbs.
- Although such problems of current leakage can be monitored and fixed by installing an IR sensor in the circuit board. But, if that too does not solve the issue of flickering, the sensor must be loose or may be clogged by dust. On the other hand, factors like exposure to sunlight, rain, etc., might also affect the sensor’s condition and make it work incorrectly.
- Another possible reason for the LED lights to flicker can be current leakage from the capacitors of switches. Hence, it is always suggested to make electrical connections firmly and neatly. With time, the connections might become loose, so keeping a check on them regularly to avoid such issues is suggested.
- Some electrical switches do have their own pilot lights which indicate if there is current or not. Such pilot lights usually take up a fraction of the current to stay illuminated. In the case of low voltage, if the right amount of current is not delivered to the LED lights, they will flicker for sure.
- If you have a complaint about the LED lights flickering even after you turn them off, it simply happens because of the residual current left behind in the circuit. We will also be discussing it in the article, so make sure to read it until the end.
Why Do Lights Flicker and Dim in the House?
We often see lights flickering in our house, so what makes it happen? Let’s try to understand this in the simplest way possible. As you already know, to make a light bulb glow, it requires current to pass through the circuit which exactly happens when we turn on the switch. Since current flows through the circuit in the form of a stream, a fraction of current gets left behind in the circuit once you switch it off back.
Now, no matter if the switch is at Off position, there’s still some current left running throughout the circuit. However, the flowing current is not constant enough to make an LED light bulb glow continuously. But, the LED bulb still consumes that small amount of current and glows abnormally, which eventually appears to be flickering.
Why does Residual Electricity Come Through the LED Light?
Many of you would say the residual electricity is meant to go directly to the ground, yes that’s correct. So, why does the residual electricity reach the bulb then? Generally, you will see the wiring behind the switchboards is quite congested, and even the entire wiring going around your house is pretty close. So, there are chances that current may induce into other wires because of electromagnetic induction.
On the other hand, if the earthing of the neutral wire is not done properly, or the earth wire has too much resistance potential, the residual current may remain in the circuit. In both cases, the current will eventually reach the bulb, but since the current is not enough to make the bulb glow properly, it flickers instead.
Why does LED Light Glow with the Residue of Electricity Instead of Other Bulbs?
As you might already know, LED lights are quite energy-efficient since they consume almost 85% less electricity than a basic halogen bulb. Unlike halogen bulbs, there is no filament used in LED bulbs, instead, there are diodes that glow much faster without heavy current requirements. Thus, the residual current may cause an LED bulb to glow or flicker, but not other bulbs.
How to Stop LED Lights Glowing When Off?
So, what can you do to stop the LED lights from flickering when they are turned off? As we have already explained what causes the LED lights to flicker, residual current. You can fix the flickering issue by dealing with residual electricity. Hence, make sure the earthing is done properly all across your home’s wiring, Even if the problem persists, installing separate anti-flicker components, or Zener diodes will resolve the problem completely.
Dimmable LED Flash | How to Solve It?
The ability of dim LED Lights is a boon. But if not implement correctly, you get a flashing or flickering LEDs when you try to dim them.
If you are facing this Dimmable LED Flash issue, then here are some feasible solutions that you can look into.
Check if LED are Dimmable or Not
The first thing you have to do is check whether the LEDs in your living room or bedroom are actually dimmable or not. If they are dimmable, then you can look for other solutions.
But in case the LEDs are not dimmable, then you have to replace them with proper Dimmable LED Lamps.
Most manufacturers usually mention the “Dimmable” feature on their packaging, website, or on any sales site (Amazon, Home Depot, etc.).
Is the Dimmer Compatible with Your LED Lamps?
If you are using an old dimmer switch or controller with LED lamps, then chances are it doesn’t work properly and you will get the Dimmable LED Flash problem.
There are several LED Dimmer Controls in the market that are not only cheap but have a wide compatibility with modem dimmable LED Lamps.
Make sure that you use a proper set of Dimmable LED, Dimmer Control, and also both of these things are compatible with each other.
Check the LED Driver
Unlike traditional incandescent lamps, LED Lamps need a special electronics circuit, commonly known as LED Driver, to power them. If there is a problem with the LED Driver, then you get Dimmable LED Flash issue.
LED Drivers are not user serviceable. So, replacing them is the only way to ensure your LED Lamps work even when dimming.
Is the Wiring Good?
Loose connection or improper wiring can be a cause for flickering LED lights. We recommend calling a professional to check the wiring as it involves working with 120V Mains AC Supply.
LED Lamps are Dimmable. But Still Flickering.
If you are certain that everything is okay i.e., LED Bulbs are dimmable, there is no issue with the driver or wiring, and the dimmer is compatible and working. Even with all these checks if the LED Lamp is still flickering, then the obvious problem is a faulty LED Lamp (or fixture).
To test the fixture, take out the LED Bulb and use it with another light fixture, preferably with a dimmer switch. If the LED Lamp is working fine and is dimmable without flashing, then we can confirm that the problem is with the old fixture.
There is no way to test a faulty LED. If the bulb is under warranty, then contact the seller or manufacturer to claim the warranty. If it is not under warranty, purchase a new LED Bulb, from a reputable brand.
Make sure that the replacement or new LED Bulbs you get are dimmable and compatible with your existing dimmer switch.
We have almost discussed everything related to the flickering of LED light bulbs in this article. So, the final tip we have for all of you is that always pick the best-quality products for your house, don’t compromise on it. The wiring, other components like switches, and even the LED light bulbs, all things must be of good quality in case you want to avoid facing issues such as flickering. Also, if you don’t have any experience with electrical things, don’t try to fix anything on your own, call the professionals instead. In case of any other queries regarding the LED light bulbs, you are free to comment down below and share them with us.