LED lights flicker on a dimmer is an annoying problem that can happen in your home occasionally. Do not ignore it because this condition implies many causes and has serious effects without a proper solution.
The hardest part is determining the reason behind this condition. If you have no idea, scroll down to learn.
Is LED Lights Flickering On Dimmer Dangerous?
If the cause of this abnormality arises from a fault in the electrical circuit, your wiring poses a fire hazard. This condition accumulates and gets worse over time.
When you notice frequent flickering, it is a good idea to check it out yourself or get help from an electrician before it is too late.
Act as soon as possible, as flickering, especially those visible to the naked eye, certainly influences your health. At first, they disturb your vision and concentration.
Once the unsafe operation of LED lights repeats often, it leaves serious consequences, such as dizziness, headache, eye strain, visa impairment, or seizures.
What Causes Dimmable LED Light Bulbs Flickering?
Wrong LED Bulbs
When your light fixtures flash, check your bulbs first. A common trigger of flicker is that you are trying to dim an item that does not function with a dimmer.
LED bulbs produce light based on a semiconductor-based mechanism. Unfortunately, not all are the same – some are dimmable, and others are not.
When you insist on adjusting the functions that are not provided, problems appear during use, along with flickering or flashing.
Some common symptoms include a humming sound and ghosting, which refers to a light that glows even when off.
Another possible problem with flashing lights is that they are too old. The little power left in the final stages of life makes them unable to meet their needs of use anymore.
Besides, you can also refer to a product with substandard quality. On the bright side, it is straightforward to come up with a solution for this case – buy a new one, of course.
Loose Or Damaged Wiring
If the LEDs are no problem, it’s time to shift your attention to the circuit. Chances are that your power cord is loose or damaged.
Suppose you have been working with your home’s electrical system recently; you may have accidentally loosened or disconnected the terminals.
You may also have done a few things wrong, leading to a voltage drop. Worse, your power cord can suffer from fraying or breaks due to wear and tear after extended usage.
Another unexpected factor is the dimmer switch which may not be compatible with your bulb.
Some older models installed with leading-edge technology and high loads often work well with incandescent or halogen bulbs rather than LEDs. Your item lacks the resistive load to trigger the correct operation of the switch.
Instead, you should aim for trailing-edge dimmers (leading-edge ones are also possible in rare cases).
It is best to check which switches are recommended for your purchased bulbs. Manufacturers often provide a long list of suitable options, leaving you with tons of choices.
Overload Or Underload
The final possible issue for flicker comes from the wattage rating. Every dimmer has its load, and you should strictly stick to its specification. Compared to incandescent lights, LEDs have a low power rating of about 150W.
If your circuit handles too many devices that exceed the maximum range, the dimmers suffer from overloading and flashing. Therefore, most experts recommend reducing the load rating to 70-80% to prevent excessive pressure.
It would help if you also considered this advice when using multi-dimmer switches in series. This setting increases the resistance in the circuit, builds up heat, and decreases the rating.
On the other hand, flicker also occurs when you reduce the light level, usually below 50%. Not all LEDs are ready for such under-loading, although some modern models allow less than 10% dimming. In this situation, flickering is considered a warning sign for your misuse.
10 Tips To Prevent LED Bulbs Flickering
Make Sure That Your Bulb Is A Dimmable
It is simple to solve if your problem comes from the first cause – a wrong type of bulb. All it takes is shopping for a new product with the right functionality, as you expect. So what exactly is your target?
The dimmable LED bulbs are equipped with power supplies capable of converting wattage into different energy levels. Hence, these options can respond to your instruction in a flash.
To ensure the functionality of your item, double-check the packaging or product description on the official website. Make sure you buy one that says “dimmable.” You can also talk directly to a salesperson or specialist for a thorough consultation.
If you install multiple lights in the same space, mark the dimmable ones. It is likely that you do not check when you enter the room and make random adjustments. This isn’t good for the circuit and is also time-consuming.
Keep An Eye On Loose Wiring
You have a lot to do once you encounter a loose wiring harness. Your duties include finding loose or damaged electrical circuits and fixing them immediately.
We recommend a professional repair service for the inexperienced to ensure safety and efficiency.
Install Dimmable Power Supplies
While warranted power is a great way to power many applications, you can face unexpected problems with dimmable lights.
Not all products are compatible with these outlets or power supplies. Sometimes the LED and the dimmer cannot communicate with each other to deliver the right power.
US consumption reports show that the PMW (pulse width modulation) socket is the best choice for LED lamps. This tool applies phase-dimming that works well with most bulbs.
Despite the high price, some extra dollars are worth it to enjoy the bright light throughout the whole day.
Check The Dimmer Switch Or Control
For common issues with the controls, check its sensitivity to light bulbs first. Please ensure that both operate on the same electrical phase.
Another quick solution is a universal dimmer that serves both leading-edge and trailing-edge technology. It runs on all bulbs and offers full-range functions.
You should also invest in compatible new switches when you have a new installation.
Another idea is to replace the controller when it has been around for a long time. This time, seek LED-sensitive dimmers that have microprocessors for smooth operation.
Set The Dimmer In The Programming Mode
If you have checked everything with the bulb and switch and found no errors, be aware of the working mode.
Some items are flashing because they are in boot mode. You may accidentally activate the setup by hitting the knobs, or your child has played some prank.
Do not worry. Get rid of flickers by going back to programming mode as instructed. Skip this solution if you do not own an advanced flashlight.
Invest In Reputable Product
Having new items sometimes solves any inconvenience. However, you need to commit to quality LED bulbs to limit potential risks in the future.
The popularity of LED lights has fueled the growth of the market. New manufacturers appear more and more, but not all are reliable.
They try to beat the competition with attractive pricing strategies, but this doesn’t make sense when the product lasts only a few months.
It is best to invest in reliable dimmers. These products have gone through many stages of testing to ensure quality. Another plus is the wide compatibility and specific manufacturer instructions for increased longevity.
Have An Adequate Driver
Regarding an electronic driver, what to consider includes wattage rating and bulb type. Specifically, you must know the total wattage of the bulbs and current models to build a good connection.
Let’s say you have a bar of LED bulbs. Does it work with drivers for large items? The quick answer is NO. That’s why you should prepare a matching driver in terms of dimension and load right from the beginning.
Prevent Voltage Underloading And Overloading
An unexpected fact is that small errors in the load can destroy the LED or the entire circuit. Fortunately, you can prevent this situation by learning the specific warning about load distribution and following it.
You must know the maximum number of dimmable bulbs you can connect in your space. Also, do you meet the minimum load? Thorough inspection prevents short circuits.
Try a dummy or resistive load, which cheats on the required load levels in the system.
Try Wireless Dimming
This option uses radio waves to transmit light control signals. No cables between the switch and the light circuit mean fewer labor costs and more flexibility in usage.
It is also a great idea to prevent problems from arising in the electrical system. Another charm is the better control of brightness and ease of upscaling.
Carry Out Mockup Tests
Finally, testing should come before application. If you want to limit bugs in the long run, you should carry out mockup tests. This idea implies that you simulate your space and examine how the components interact.
Try to be as close to reality as possible to discover potential problems. It would be best to work with a lighting professional to set up a complete system and get a thorough consultation for your goals.
What Happens If I Dim A Non-Dimmable LED?
It never works as you expected. The worst scenario is that the bulbs are damaged.
Is It Normal For Dimmable LEDs To Flicker?
Yes, if your light flickers occasionally. However, when the problem repeats continuously or occurs with an isolated LED, a big problem occurs behind the scenes.
LED light is a good choice to save your energy bill, but occasionally malfunctions and causes visual disturbances. Luckily, investing in good quality products has reduced the risk of LED light flickering dimmer by half.
For the rest, you should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and ask for expert support when needed.