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Why Do LEDs Flicker? – How To Fix It

Mr Emergency Plumbing

No One Wants to See Their LED Lights Flicker

When it comes to modern home lighting, LEDs have taken centre stage for Australian homeowners, praised for their energy efficiency and longevity.

However, a common hiccup often clouds their brilliance. Simply put, LEDs flicker. These flickering lights can range from a subtle, barely noticeable shimmer to an annoying, persistent strobe effect that can disrupt the ambience of any room.

Let’s explore the reasons why LED lights flicker, and offer practical solutions to ensure your home’s lighting is as reliable and comfortable as it should be.

How Do LED Lights Work?

LED lights, or Light Emitting Diodes, are a bit like the superheroes of the lighting world, especially for Aussie homeowners looking to save on their energy bills. These clever little devices work by passing an electrical current through a microchip, illuminating the tiny light sources we see as a bright, efficient glow.

Unlike traditional incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs don’t use filaments that burn out. This helps them to last longer and provide far greater energy efficiency. So, when you switch to LED light bulbs in your home, you’re not just lighting up a room; you’re embracing a smarter, greener way to shine. So as good as they are, exactly what makes LED lights flicker? Here are a handful of possible reasons.

LED light fixture

Common Causes of Flickering LED Bulbs

Noticing a constant and consistent flicker from your LED light bulb can be quite a distraction, right? As it happens, there may be several reasons why this is occurring. They can include:

  • Incompatible dimmer switches
  • Loose wiring or loose connections
  • Fluctuations in your home’s electrical system

Understanding these common gremlins is your best plan of attack if you want to stop your LED lights from flickering.

The Role of the Dimmer Switch

Ah, LED dimmers, the magic wands of lighting. They enable us to set the perfect mood, from bright and bustling to soft and serene. But here’s the rub: not all dimmer switches play nice with LED lights. Many of us have an incompatible dimmer switch designed specifically for the old incandescent bulbs. This can lead to our modern LED light bulbs throwing a flickering fit. The issue lies in the mismatch between the dimmer’s technology and the needs of the LED bulb.

Ensuring your dimmer switch is LED-compatible is key to a flicker-free life, keeping your Aussie home lit just the way you like it, without the unintended light show.

Electrical System Fluctuations

In the complex network of your home’s electrical system, unexpected fluctuations in power can lead to LED lights flickering. This is similar to the effect seen when a high-power appliance is turned on and transforms a relaxed living room setting into an unintentional strobe-lit space. These power variations could be attributed to changes in the communal electrical grid or might occur within your own home, particularly when numerous devices are competing for electricity on the same circuit. It’s akin to an overburdened system where the balance is disrupted, causing flickering light bulbs.

By monitoring these electrical fluctuations, you can ensure a consistent and serene lighting environment in your home. One that enhances both comfort and ambience.

Importance of LED Drivers

The heart of any LED lighting system lies in its driver, a crucial component that controls the power of the LED to ensure a smooth and consistent light output. Think of an LED driver as a conductor of an orchestra, ensuring every instrument (or every LED bulb, in this case) performs harmoniously without any flickers. There are two main types: the constant current LED driver and the constant voltage LED driver. Each of these is suited to different types of LED setups.

Selecting the right LED drivers is instrumental in stopping your LED bulbs flickering. It also helps preserve the longevity and efficiency of your lights and ensures your home remains bathed in steady, beautiful light.

Quality of LED Lights

The quality of LED bulbs plays a pivotal role in ensuring your home is illuminated without any unwanted flickering.

High-quality LED light bulbs are designed to provide a consistent and reliable light output, reducing the chances of flickering and extending the lifespan of your lighting. On the other hand, cheap LED lights may seem like a bargain but can lead to issues such as uneven lighting and more frequent flickers, which can disrupt the ambience of your space.

Investing in quality LED lights means investing in the comfort and aesthetic of your Australian home, ensuring it remains a flicker-free sanctuary.

Box of LED bulbs

Wiring and Connections

Secure wiring and stable connections are fundamental to the performance of LED lighting in your home. Loose or deteriorated wiring can lead to intermittent flickering, disrupting the harmony of your lighting environment. It’s crucial to ensure that all connections, even loose wiring from the light switch to the bulb socket, are tight and correctly installed.

In Australia, it’s not just best practice but a legal requirement to have any electrical work, including wiring and connections, carried out by a licensed electrician. This ensures safety, compliance with regulations, and the integrity of your light fixtures, keeping your home well-lit and flicker-free.

Solutions to Prevent Flickering LED Lights

To combat the nuisance of flickering LED lights, you can employ a couple of key approaches:

  • Firstly, ensuring that your light bulb dimming switches are compatible with LED technology can make a world of difference. If you have non dimmable LED lights, or old dimmers for incandescent bulbs, consider upgrading to a more contemporary LED light bulb solution.
  • Secondly, verify that all electrical connections are secure and that your home’s electrical load is appropriately managed.

For each of these options, for loose connection adjustments or conversions from traditional bulbs, remember that Australian regulations mandate the use of a licensed electrician for all electrical work. This not only guarantees the safety and compliance of your lighting solutions but also preserves the tranquillity and aesthetic appeal of your home’s lighting.

Advanced Solutions for Persistent Issues

For persistent flickering issues that basic troubleshooting can’t resolve, advanced solutions may be necessary. Upgrading your home’s electrical panel can enhance its capacity to handle modern LED lighting demands.

Addressing more complex problems, like neutral wire issues, may also rectify flickering. Integrating smart switches with a night light can offer greater control and compatibility with your LED light systems.

When to Seek Professional Help

There comes a point when flickering LED lights may signal deeper electrical issues within your home. If you’ve tried basic fixes like checking bulb compatibility or ensuring connections are tight, and the flickering persists, it’s time to call in the professionals.

In Australia, it’s not just advisable but legally required to have a licensed electrician handle any electrical work. This ensures that any underlying problems are diagnosed and resolved safely and in compliance with stringent regulations. Seeking professional helps to protect your home from potential electrical hazards. It also restores the harmony and brilliance of your lighting, ensuring peace of mind and a well-lit home.

Lighting the Way Forward

Addressing LED light fixture flickering is key to maintaining the comfort and aesthetic appeal of your home. From ensuring the compatibility of dimmer switches to securing professional electrical assistance for an LED driver, each step plays a crucial role in achieving steady, reliable lighting.

Remember, when it comes to electrical work, the expertise of a licensed electrician is indispensable, not only for compliance with Australian regulations but also for your safety and peace of mind. By taking proactive steps and seeking professional advice when needed, you can illuminate your home beautifully, free from the distraction of flickering lights.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.

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