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10 reasons why your LED lights Flicker

Last updated on February 21, 2022

A flickering LED light can be very annoying, making the room where the light is flickering unbearable to be in and necessitating a quick fix.

As LED lights function just like a computer, you will be able to notice a malfunctioned LED light immediately as it will rapidly turn on and off. This is referred to as flickering.

why do Led lights flicker
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Flickering of LED lights can be very disturbing and occur due to a range of technical reasons that cause the LED bulb to keep flickering.

If your bulbs flicker frequently, you should investigate and solve the problem, not only to relieve the discomfort they might cause but also, in rare cases, they might lead to an electric-induced fire.

This article highlights 10 of the most common issues that lead to flickering LED lights and proposes potential solutions to the problem.

LED Light Flickering – The reasons

Faulty Drivers

An LED driver not only manages electrical current but also acts as a protective cushion. LEDs are supplied typically with one of two types of drivers: either constant voltage or constant current.

The constant voltage LED driver is specifically designed to maintain the efficiency of lights that require consistent DC voltage to function correctly.

The constant current LED driver is responsible for ensuring everything functions well in the p-n junction.

If the drivers are faulty, they will more likely deteriorate from the heat over time, causing the LED lights they supply to flicker.

Loose connections of the bulb or the circuit

If you are suffering from LED light flickers, a common cause is the circuit connections. If the circuit wires were fixed loosely to the bulb, the current flowing through the loose points will cause the light to flicker.

Poor Electrical Wiring

Another cause of flickering related to wiring is poor electrical circuiting work, which might occur at different points in the house, in junction boxes, at the breaker in the panel, or at different endpoints.

These loose wires can lead to flickering bulbs and retightening the connections can often solve this problem.

Using Incompatible Dimmer Switches with the LED lights

Dimmer incompatibility is another common cause of light flickering. Sometimes when using old dimmers installed with halogen fixtures on replacement LED lights, the dimmers could cause the LED lights to flicker.

Always make sure that the dimmers used are compatible with your LED lights.

Dirty Sockets

The problem with flickering light can sometimes be as simple as accumulated dust on the sockets of the light bulb.

dirty sockets cause LED lights to flicker
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When left unremoved, the dust can pile up in the socket and interfere with the current flow into the bulb, leading to flickering. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the sockets and bulbs can completely avoid this problem.

Using Non-Dimmable LED Lights on LED Dimmers

Attempting to dim non-dimmable LED lights using LED dimmers can cause the bulbs to flicker. This method of operation can also reduce the lifespan of the LED bulbs and disrupt their function.

Make sure you use dimmable lights with LED dimmers to maintain the quality of your bulbs and avoid flickering.

Overloaded Circuits

This cause is not a direct result of the operation of the lights, but more generally of the full energy consumption in your household.

If your meter box is fitted with appliances up to its full capacity, and all the devices operate at the same time, this can cause the lights to flicker.

This is because running appliances draw varying amounts of current during their operation, which can strain the full current that the meter box can supply, ultimately drawing some of the currents away from the lights.

If more current is needed, the circuits will overload.

You can hire an electrician to check your meter box and its capacity to meet your energy demands. Ensure you get a meter box with a higher rating if your current one doesn’t meet your needs.

This will also help you avoid possible electrical hazards.

Cheap LEDs

It is wise to purchase and install economic and price-competitive options for lighting. However, what you might gain on the price, maybe lost on the quality of the bulbs.

Cheap LED lights generally have a high frequency which can interfere with the operation of the bulb and cause flickering.

Additionally, cheap lights might have sub-standard parts which could cause connection problems and lead to flickering.

Surge in wattage

The power wattage affects how your LED light works. If, for instance, you connect an appliance that requires a high power load along with the LED lights on the same circuit, you may experience flickering.

This is because repeated surges slowly wear down the LED drivers and cause problems over time.

Electric Utility Service Issue

If you are experiencing flickering lights throughout the neighborhood, the problem may probably be a direct result of the electrical utility. Talk to your neighbors to check if this is a common problem and report the issue to the utility.

Fluctuations in the power grid

This is one of the most common reasons for LED lights flickering at homes. The most effective way to troubleshoot this cause is by alternating the locations of the LED lights to check if they still flicker.

Also read: Do LED lights get hot?

Frequently Asked Questions on Flickering LEDs

How Do I Stop My LED Lights From Flickering?

This depends on the cause of your problem. You might need to hire an electrician to root the cause of the problem, only then will you be able to take the appropriate action.

My Bulbs are Flickering. Should I Worry?

Flickering LED lights are a cause of concern in many households, as flickering might occur due to several reasons. Some causes can be harmless and require simple adjustments to get rid of the discomfort.

However, other causes could be indicative of greater problems and need rapid repairs.

To determine the cause, the gravity of the situation, and to solve the problem quickly, it is always advisable to hire a professional electrical to explore the causes and determine the potential solutions.

Why Do My LED Lights Flicker Even After Turning Them Off?

Some LED lights indeed flicker even when turned off. This is common, especially in lights with extra features like a dimmer, night light, or a tiny indicator light.

Such LED lights require a small additional when on standby for all the additional features to function correctly. Incorrect wiring in the wall switch may also cause the lights to flicker even when turned off.

Why Do All My LED Lights Flicker in the House?

A sudden voltage drop is the most common reason for all your lights to flicker simultaneously in the house.

Having many appliances operating and consuming energy at the same time reduces the current drawn by the bulbs, causing them to flicker.

Munazza Umar

Munazza holds a degree in electrical engineering. She loves writing about energy efficiency, energy hacks, and environmental sustainability.

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