Why LED Lights Flicker and How To Fix It

LED lights have become popular for residential and commercial lighting due to their energy efficiency, long lifespan, and eco-friendliness. However, one common issue many users encounter is flickering. 

Flickering LED lights can be frustrating and may even cause headaches or eye strain. Understanding the causes of flickering and how to fix it can help ensure your lighting remains consistent and comfortable. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the reasons behind LED light flickering and provide practical solutions to fix it.

Understanding the Causes of LED Light Flickering

LEDs Can Flicker From Inrush Current

Some specific electronic appliances at your place require more power when switched on. The inrush current of motors inside the appliances causes the voltage to drop, and if the lights are on the same circuit, you might even see the dimming of these lights. This is true for several types of lighting, including LED lights.

Keep in mind that you always need to have electronic appliances like a dryer, washer, stove, and fridge on different breakers, and this will help mitigate any flickering LED lights you may have.

Voltage Fluctuations

Voltage fluctuations are one of the most common causes of LED light flickering. LEDs are sensitive to changes in the electrical supply. When the voltage drops or spikes, even slightly, it can cause the light to flicker. This is especially common in older electrical systems or in areas with inconsistent power supply.

Incompatible Dimmer Switches

Many LED lights are not compatible with traditional dimmer switches designed for incandescent bulbs. Using an incompatible dimmer can cause LEDs to flicker, as they are unable to handle the lower electrical loads that LEDs require. This often results in an unstable current flow, leading to flickering.

Loose or Faulty Wiring

Loose wiring connections or faulty wiring can cause interruptions in the power supply to your LED lights. These interruptions can result in flickering, as the LEDs may momentarily lose power. This issue can occur in both the light fixture itself and in the overall electrical system.

Driver or Transformer Issues

LED lights often use drivers or transformers to convert the mains electricity supply to a lower voltage. If the driver or transformer is faulty or not correctly matched to the LED, it can cause flickering. This issue is particularly common in low-quality or poorly designed LED systems.

Dimmer Compatibility Flickering

Some brand-new and even existing dimmer switches might not be compatible with LED lighting, or there’s a possibility that you might even have a non-dimmable light in a dimmable fixture. 

Carefully reading the labels on your LED Light’s box, and ensuring you have the correct Light for the job can easily fix this. Dimmers further have wattage ratings, which differ based on the type of light source. This severely affects the number of light fixtures on a dimmer based on the particular wattages of each. 

Overloaded Circuits

When too many electrical devices are connected to the same circuit, it can become overloaded. This can lead to a drop in voltage, causing your LED lights to flicker. Overloading a circuit can also pose a safety hazard, increasing the risk of electrical fires.

Poor Quality LEDs

Not all LED lights are created equal. Low-quality LEDs may have inferior components that are more prone to flickering. Investing in high-quality LED lights from reputable manufacturers can reduce the likelihood of encountering flickering issues.

How to Fix Flickering LED Lights

Check for Voltage Fluctuations

If you suspect voltage fluctuations are causing your LED lights to flicker, the first step is to check the voltage supply. You can use a multimeter to measure the voltage at different times of the day. If you notice significant fluctuations, you may need to contact your electricity provider or consider installing a voltage stabilizer.

Upgrade to LED-Compatible Dimmer Switches

If you’re using a dimmer switch, ensure it is compatible with LED lights. Look for dimmers that are specifically designed for LEDs, as they can handle the lower wattage and provide a stable current. Replacing your existing dimmer with an LED-compatible one can often resolve flickering issues.

Inspect and Secure Wiring Connections

Loose or faulty wiring can be a significant cause of flickering. Inspect the wiring connections in your light fixtures and electrical panels to ensure they are secure. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, it’s best to hire a licensed electrician to check and fix any wiring issues.

Replace Faulty Drivers or Transformers

If your LED lights use drivers or transformers, check these components for faults. Replacing a faulty driver or transformer with a high-quality, compatible one can eliminate flickering. Ensure that the new driver or transformer matches the specifications required by your LED lights.

Avoid Overloading Circuits

To prevent overloading your circuits, try to distribute your electrical devices across different circuits. If you suspect a particular circuit is overloaded, reduce the number of devices connected to it. An electrician can help you assess your electrical load and suggest ways to balance it more effectively.

Invest in High-Quality LEDs

Using high-quality LED lights can significantly reduce the likelihood of flickering. Look for LEDs from reputable brands that offer good warranties and have positive reviews. While they may be more expensive upfront, they are likely to provide more reliable performance and longevity.

Preventing Future Flickering

Taking proactive measures can help prevent LED light flickering from occurring in the first place:

  • Regular Maintenance: Periodically check your electrical system and light fixtures for any signs of wear and tear. Regular maintenance can catch potential issues before they cause flickering.
  • Quality Installations: Ensure that all LED installations are done by professionals who follow best practices and use quality components.
  • Stable Power Supply: Consider investing in a whole-house surge protector to protect your electrical system from sudden voltage spikes.

Stop Your LEDs From Flickering

Flickering LED lights can be a nuisance, but understanding the causes and knowing how to fix them can help you maintain a stable and comfortable lighting environment. 

You can significantly reduce or eliminate flickering issues by addressing voltage fluctuations, using compatible dimmer switches, ensuring secure wiring, replacing faulty components, avoiding overloaded circuits, and investing in quality LEDs. For more tips and high-quality LED lighting solutions, visit LED Lights Unlimited, your trusted source for all things LED.

For further assistance and a wide range of LED products, visit our website, LED Lights Unlimited, and enhance your lighting experience today.