Dimmable LED Flashing and Flickering

What are 30 Dimmable LED Flash Issues along with their Solutions

What is Dimmable LED Flash

Dimmable LED lights have transformed the lighting industry. These energy efficient and versatile lights provide you a delightful user experience. However, some flickering issues in these lights tend to dim  their  benefits to great extent. Many users have experienced the problem of Dimmable LED Flash, which can be a concern for both comfort and health.

If you are facing light regulation issues and want to know solution of your problem, here in this write up, we will discuss causes of LEDs Flashing & Flickering and provide their solutions.

Understanding Dimmable LEDs

What are Dimmable LED Lights?

There always arises a common question in Layman user’s mind, “What does Dimmable LED mean?”

Dimmable LEDs are light-emitting diodes. Their brightness can be adjusted to the desired levels. Unlike traditional lighting gadgets, dimmable LEDs are comparatively flexible in producing the required aura. You can adjust the brightness or Lumens as per Your requirement.

What is the difference between dimmable and Non-Dimmable LED?

Dimmable vs non-Dimmable switches
Dimmable vs non-Dimmable switches

User can regulate the Lumens or intensity of brightness upto required level in Dimmabe LED bulbs while this facility is not available in non Dimmable LEDs i.e. More Lumens are required for performing focused work like office assignment whereas Watching TV or performing some other activity for enterainment puprpose requires less lumens. This way only Dimmable LEDs help you to control the light as per your requirement.

How Do Dimmable Lights Work?

LEDs work on principle of Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). This regulating principle let the user control amount of light they emit. PWM technology speedily helps to  turn the LEDs on and off, creating the  dimming LED Lights illusion. Although this method is resultantly very effective yet it can lead to flickering problems, which we’ll explore further.

Can any light be Dimmable?

It is not necessary that all the LED Lights you bought from the Market are dimmable. You need to make a rational decision when choosing LED. Always read the product description on packaging of LED Bulbs. Discussion with the shopkeeper will also give you a better choice to choose among Dimmable and non-dimmable LEDs.

Why do LED Lights flash when dimmed?

Dimmer Switches, most of the times have a minimum load of 40 watts. Not maintaining this load may lead to Dimmer Light Flickering on low.

In addition to that, outdated firmware in the LED driver may result in flickering problems.

“Ghost voltage” (produced by energized circuits and non energized wiring located very close to each other) is also one of the phenomenon which can multiply flickering.

solar-outdoor-led-lighting shade
solar outdoor Up & Down LEDs-Lightingshade

Here are 30 possible causes of Dimmable LED Flashing and Flickering in lights:

  1. Incompatible Dimmer Switch: Users can come across LED Flicker in dimmable lights due to several reasons. One of the prominent cause is the use of incompatible LED dimmer switches with the LED bulbs.
  2. Low-Quality Dimmer Switch: Poorly made “LED dimmer switches” may not regulate the current flow effectively, causing flickering LED Light issues.
  3. Improper Wiring: Faulty and in-appropriate wiring can hinder the flow of electricity.This in-efficiency can result in ” LED ligths dimming by themselves”.
  4. Overloaded Circuit: A circuit with multiple  devices or gadgets extracting power can cause fluctuations that lead to flickering.
  5. Voltage Fluctuations: Unstable voltage supply from the source can be a cause of LED flashing.
  6. Loose Bulb Connection: A loose connection between the LED bulb and the socket can cause irregulated flickering.
  7. Poor Grounding: Sub standard grounding can produce electrical interference that causes LED Light Strobing.
  8. Ghost Voltage: Residual voltage in the circuit can trigger LED Lights flickering even when the switch is off.
  9. Old or Outdated Dimmer: Dimmer switches with outdated technology may not be compatible with LED lights and lead towards Dimmable LED Flashing and Flickering.
  10. Dusty Sockets: Dirt can be accumulated over Your bulb with the passage of time. This can creep into the socket which causes flickering problem.
  11. Inadequate Load: Using a dimmer with a load that is too low for its capacity can lead to flickering.
  12. High Inrush Current: Certain LED bulbs may have a high inrush current, causing flickering LED Lights during startup.
  13. Environmental Interference: Electromagnetic interference from nearby electronic devices can affect LED performance.
  14. Incorrect LED Driver: Using the wrong LED driver can result in LED Bulbs flicker due to incompatible power delivery.
  15. Temperature Fluctuations: Extreme temperatures can affect LED performance, leading to flickering.
  16. Aging Components: Deteriorating components in the LED driver or dimmer can cause flickering over time.
  17. PWM Frequency: Low PWM frequency in dimmers can lead to noticeable flickering.
  18. Voltage Drop: Voltage drop in long wire runs can cause flickering at the end of the circuit.
  19. High Harmonic Distortion: Electrical noise and harmonics distortion in the system can result in flickering.
  20. Inrush Current from Other Devices: Other devices sharing the same circuit can create inrush currents that affect LED performance and lead to Dimmable LED Flash issue.
  21. Improper Installation: Incorrectly installing LED lights can lead to Dimmable LED Flickering issues.
  22. Software or Firmware Issues: Outdated or malfunctioning software/firmware in LED drivers or dimmers can cause LED Light Bulb flickering.
  23. Overheating: Excessive heat build-up in LED fixtures can affect performance and cause dimmable LED Flashing and flickering.
  24. Faulty LED Driver: A defective LED driver can result in flickering LED Lights and inconsistent light output.
  25. Voltage Regulator Issues: Faulty voltage regulators can cause flickering due to irregular power supply.
  26. LED Driver Compatibility: LED drivers may not be compatible with certain LED bulbs, leading to flickering LED Bulb.
  27. Magnetic Interference: Magnetic fields from nearby transformers or equipment can cause strobing.
  28. LED Bulb Quality: Poor-quality LED bulbs may have inconsistent dimming performance, leading to flickering.
  29. Rapid Switching: Frequent on-off switching of LED lights can cause LED Light Flicker issue.
  30. Mains Noise: Electrical noise from the main power supply can contribute to Dimmable LED flashing.

Video Credits: Health WHYS

Impact of Dimmable LED Flashing & Flickering on Health and Well-being

Flickering lights may not only cause discomfort and annoyance but also have adverse effects on health. For some individuals, flickering and Flasing can lead to eye strain, headaches, and even migraines. It can also disrupt concentration and may be particularly concerning for those with photosensitive conditions.

Solutions for Dimmable LEDs Flashing 

Here are 30 solutions of flashing in LED lights:

  1. Use LED Dimmer Flicker Resistor: It is recommended that You must be  using a dimmer resistor specifically designed for LED Dimmable Light.
  2. Go For High-Quality Dimmer Switches: Use of best Dimmer switch for LED Lights leads no flicker. Always Opt for well-made dimmer for LED Lights that regulate current flow effectively and reduces flickering.
  3. Review and Fix Wiring: Inspect and overhaul any odd electric points or faulty wiring to ensure a sound  electrical connection.
  4. Balance Electrical Load: Avoid overloading the circuit by connecting devices haphazardly.
  5. Stabilise Voltage Supply: Rationally install voltage stabilisers or surge protectors to ensure a steady voltage.
  6. Secure Bulb Connection: Ensure the LED bulbs are securely connected to the sockets to eliminate intermittent Dimmable LED flashing and Flickering.
  7. Improve Grounding: Properly level the electrical system to reduce interference and flickering.
  8. Eliminate Ghost Voltage: Hire a professional electric expert to identify and rectify ghost voltage issues in the circuit to avoid dimmable LED Flash issue.
  9. Upgrade Outdated Dimmers: Replace old and worn out dimmer switches with modern dimmers like 3-way LED Dimmer Switch. For instance 3 way dimmer with 1000W Wifi produced by Leviton can be used to overcome the problem.
  10. Clean LED Sockets: Unscrew You LED Light and give your sockets a deeper clean.
  11. Ensure Appropriate Load: Balance the dimmer’s load rating to the total wattage of connected LED bulbs.
  12. Choose LED Bulbs with Low Inrush Current: Opt for LED bulbs with reduced inrush current to prevent flickering during startup.
  13. Minimize Electromagnetic Interference: Keep LED lights away from electronic devices that emit electromagnetic interference.
  14. Use the Correct LED Driver: You need to ensure, ” the LED driver matches the specifications of the connected LED bulbs.
  15. Control Temperature: Properly ventilate LED fixtures to maintain an optimal operating temperature.
  16. Regular Maintenance: Periodically inspect and maintain LED lights and dimmers to identify and fix Dimmable LED Flashing and Flickering issues early.
  17. Upgrade to Higher PWM Frequency: Consider dimmers with higher PWM frequencies for smoother dimming.
  18. Address Voltage Drop: Install voltage boosters or use thicker wires to minimize voltage drop over long runs.
  19. Harmonic Filters: Install harmonic filters  to reduce electrical noise and harmonics affecting LED performance.
  20. Isolate Circuits: Separate sensitive LED circuits from circuits with high inrush current devices.
  21. Follow Installation Guidelines: Properly install LED lights following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  22. Firmware and Software Updates: Regularly update the firmware and software of LED drivers and dimmers.
  23. Improve Heat Dissipation: Enhance heat dissipation in LED fixtures with cooling fans or heat sinks.
  24. Replace Faulty LED Drivers: Identify and replace defective LED drivers to prevent Dimmable LED flashing and Flickering.
  25. Voltage Regulator Maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain voltage regulators for optimal performance.
  26. LED Driver Compatibility Testing: Test different LED drivers to find the best match for your LED bulbs in order ro combat Dimmable LED Flash issue.
  27. Minimize Magnetic Fields: Keep LED lights away from transformers and other equipment that produce strong magnetic fields.
  28. Invest in High-Quality LED Bulbs: Choose reputable brands with consistent dimming performance.
  29. Reduce Rapid Switching: Avoid frequent on-off switching of LED lights to reduce strobing.
  30. Use Mains Noise Filters: Install mains noise filters to reduce electrical noise affecting LED performance.

Preventive Measures for Flickering Issues

Regular Maintenance and Inspection

Performing regular maintenance checks and inspections on dimmable LED lights can help identify potential Dimmable LED Flash and flickering issues early on. Ensuring that all components are in good condition can prevent flickering problems from arising.

Proper Installation and Wiring

Proper installation and wiring of LED Dimmable lights are essential for optimal performance. Hiring a qualified electrician can ensure that the installation is done correctly, reducing the risk of Dimmable LED Flash and flickering.

LEDs installed Outdoors-Lighting shade
LEDs installed Outdoors-Lighting shade

“Dimmable LED” refers to a Light Emitting Diode (LED) that can be accomodated to regulate required brightness levels. Unlike non-dimmable LEDs, use of advanced technology let you to adjust the brightness according to your requirements.

Manufacturers often label their LED bulbs as “flicker-free.” Look for this information on the product packaging or inquire with the manufacturer.

Following these steps You can determine if your LED is dimmable or not :

  • Product packaging or user manual contains  the information about dimming capabilities. In order to educate the users, manufacturers are also required to mention on product documentation whether the LED light is dimmable or not.
  • You can also consult the manufacturer’s website to extract the information.
  • Using a dimmer switch for already installed light can also give you a better understanding.  lf your LED responds in connection with dimmer switches, it means you are using dimmable LEDs and vice a versa.

Dimmers work by regulating the amount of electrical power provided to a light source. The specific functions for dimming depends on the type of dimmer being used. There are several types of dimmers, but two most widely used are:

Phase-cut Dimmer (Leading-Edge Dimmer):

Phase-cut dimmers are designed for incandescent and halogen lights. They work by cutting off a portion of the AC (alternating current) waveform to minimise the power provided to the light. The dimmer delays the voltage being supplied to the light source by cutting off the leading edge of the AC waveform. This reduces the effective power and brightness of the light.

Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) Dimmer (Trailing-Edge Dimmer):

PWM dimmers are particularly made for LED and some other types of energy-efficient lighting resources They use rapid on-off switching of the power supply to regulate the brightness of the LED. The dimmer adjusts the duty cycle (the ratio of on-time to off-time) of the rapid pulses. A higher duty cycle results in brighter light and vice-a-versa.

Regular Incandescent and Halogen lights are dimmable with the use of standard dimmer switches. Incandescent and halogen lights have comparatively a simple design, and their brightness can be easily controlled with traditional phase-cut dimmers, also known as leading-edge dimmers.

While it must be noted that not all types of light bulbs are dimmable. Compact Fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and some older LED bulbs might not be compatible with standard dimmers.

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