Is your LED ceiling light flashing on and off? Do you feel that this is a cause of concern? As we will see later in this article, LED lights can flash for varied reasons.
Some of these causes can start a fire, and others are not harmful. In some situations, you can stop the flickering of lights by changing a bulb or an LED light fixture.
If there is a wiring fault, you can solve flickering with the help of an electrician.
Flickering of lights can be worrisome if this is your first time. Inspect your LED light bulbs to see if they are flashing. If yes, you have voltage fluctuations, or there is interference in your local power supply station. Call a professional technician to troubleshoot the problem.
Meanwhile, read this guide to get to the depth of this problem.
Table of Contents
Are Flickering LED Lights Dangerous?
Yes, the flickering of lights can lead to health problems. Eyes cannot quickly adjust to the fluctuating light outputs. An attempt to use your flashing LED lights could strain the eye muscles.
A lot more problems can arise from there, including eye fatigue, blurry vision, migraines, inferior performance when working, etc.
Also, voltage fluctuations and loose electrical connections cause resistance. If resistance overheats cables and the surrounding connections, it might lead to sparks or a real fire.
What Are Causes of LED Ceiling Light Flashing on and Off?
LED ceiling light flickering is a prevalent problem. Sometimes it is a temporary situation that occurs because of power interruptions from heavy rainfall or a problem at the local power station.
Other times, the flickering of light happens frequently and does not end by itself. If you have noticed this problem, any of the following factors can be the cause.
01. Loose electrical connections, including loose bulbs
Electric current should flow directly rather than jump over gaps. A loose connection in a power switch or outlet can trigger these gaps.
Electrical connections should be tight to avoid fire risks and flickering of lights. If you do not use a dimmer switch and your LED lights keep on flashing, you might have a loosely fitting bulb.
For a bulb to produce consistent light, it must contact the socket. If it fits loosely, the contact is incomplete and so slight bulb movements can lead to the flashing of light.
Solving this issue is as easy as making the bulbs tighter. But, if the problem is in the circuit breaker, the only way to end the flickering of lights is to hire a professional.
02. Outdated and old wiring system
Your wiring system is faulty or outdated. Some of the cables might no longer have insulation.
Also, if you have aluminum wiring or knob and tube wiring, they can pose a risk of fire when they get old and useless.
Damaged or outdated wiring can trigger the flashing of LED ceiling lights. A guaranteed solution is to redo the wiring process, which can be expensive but helpful.
03. Soiled sockets
LED bulbs can collect dust over time, and some of it can find its way into the socket. If you have neglected cleaning your fixtures for long, their sockets are dirty.
A dirt build-up can make the bulbs go on and off. Thus, unscrew the bulbs from the lighting fixtures to ensure you unclog their sockets. Clean these sockets only after turning off the main power switch.
04. Inappropriate dimmers
Are you using your LEDs with traditional dimmers? If yes, the two are incompatible and are causing your lights to flicker.
Led bulbs will continue to function if there is an electrical current. Once there is no more flow, the bulbs will stop producing light.
On the other hand, incandescent bulbs with a high wattage load can rapidly go on and off to reduce the current flowing into a circuit.
If there is no more electricity, these bulbs will gradually switch off rather than immediately like LEDs. Thus, traditional light dimmers work better with incandescent bulbs than LED bulbs.
If you use non-dimmable LED bulbs with dimmers, you might experience the ceiling lights flickering.
Regular light flickering can reduce their lifespan. So, the solution is to install dimmable LEDs in a socket with a dimming feature.
05. Voltage reduction
Be observant to notice if your ceiling lights flicker when you turn on other household appliances.
Heaters, air conditioners, electric cookers, and washing machines are high-wattage items. If you turn them on, they suck a lot of electric energy.
As a result, they can reduce voltage and affect LED lights using the same circuit. LED bulbs use less energy than incandescent or halogen bulbs.
Further voltage reduction can make them flicker. Solving this problem is as easy as using a separate circuit system for household appliances.
06. Circuit overload
Does your current electric meter box meet your growing energy needs? If you keep adding appliances and using the same circuit, the meter box might no longer power them all.
If that is the case, flickering LED lights might be a good sign. Get an upgraded meter box with a higher power rating to use all your current appliances and avoid hazards.
How to Fix Flickering LED Lights?
01. Bulb and socket:
A straightforward way to stop your ceiling lights from flashing on and off is to check if the bulb is loose. Before you tighten the loose bulb, make sure its socket is clean.
Also, remove dust and dirt from your LED fixtures to ensure a firm bulb and socket contact.
If after making these changes the flickering persists, get a new LED bulb, and attach it tightly. If the flickering stops, you will know that the bulb has a problem.
Open the faulty bulb to see if it is beyond repair. If a capacitor seems to have swollen up, substitute it for a new one and test if it will continue to flicker.
02. Electrical panel:
Are there loose wires inside the panel? If you have no electrical knowledge, we highly recommend seeking professional help.
An expert will check if your power supply is working and confirm if you have drivers on the bulb chip.
03. Incompatible LEDs and dimmers:
Check if your LED fixtures are running on the correct dimmers. If you are unsure of the dimmers they should use, enter your LED bulb model number on Google.
Search for its most compatible dimmer switch and compare it to the one you currently have. If they are incompatible, buy new dimmer switches from Amazon.
If not, buy a Smart LED Bulb to avoid the problem of a LED ceiling light flashing on and off for good. If you find it expensive, try a zero-to-10V step dimmer.
04. Circuit overload:
If you already have high-power appliances, they can cause flickering of lights. Create a separate circuit for these to stop them from affecting your lights.
As we suggested earlier, get a professional to check if your current meter box is receiving more power demands than it can meet.
If not, get a Voltmeter and use it to determine the overall current entering your home. A total voltage of 120V or less is okay for all homes.
Most Common 12v LED Lights Flickering Problem
First, LED lights seem to work better using direct current (DC), and most homes use alternating current (AC) that flows at 50Hz per second and switches back at the same rate.
LED bulbs can flicker because of this alternating cycle. For conversion of AC to DC to happen, you need to install your LED bulbs correctly.
One way to ensure continuous and stable light from your LEDs is to make sure they have PDV drivers on their chips.
Drivers ensure that LED bulbs receive a constant voltage flow to deliver consistent lighting.
You are using the wrong dimmer switch. So, check if you are using old dimmers with new LED lamps. Additionally, see if you are using non-dimmable LED bulbs on dimmable sockets.
Why are my LED lights flickering without a dimmer?
If your LED lights begin to flicker without a dimmer switch, one of the following could be the cause.
First, it could be that the wires within the fixtures are shorter than six inches. So, all you need to check is the length and swap the wires if they are not six inches long.
Secondly, the cables connecting the LED bulb, lighting fixture, and wall switch could be loose. If the bulb is defective, the capacitor is already faulty and needs a change.
Any person can attempt to change a damaged capacitor after watching a video or following a step-by-step guide.
Loose wiring in the circuit breaker could be the reason behind the constant flickering of light. So, you need to open the electrical panel or fuse box for a thorough inspection.
Follow safety precautions if you want to troubleshoot the meter box at home. Otherwise, call a local professional to assist.
You might think the problem is small only to find out that your home’s wiring system is faulty and risky.
Still, it might turn out that your neighbor in an apartment or on the same power line loves to connect many appliances and electronics at once.
We already told you how that can lead to a power surge, causing the lights to flicker.
If your area rained heavily the previous day, or a few hours back, perhaps it caused damage to the power lines, and you are not aware.
Next, do you have incandescent bulbs and LED bulbs on the same circuit? If yes, these could be absorbing excess electrical current, leaving little energy for your LED bulbs to use.
If you want to solve this issue, reduce the number of incandescent bulbs, or use a separate circuit for them.
Why Do LEDs Flicker Even When Lights Are Off?
Did you know that some LED bulbs continue to flicker even after switching off the lights? Incorrect circuitry can make these bulbs flicker even when you have turned off the lights.
By this, we mean an incorrect wire connection between the wall switch and the bulb.
If the LED light bulb runs on the negative wire and the wall switch on the neutral wire, residue power may occur in the capacitor.
Residue capacitance and current leaks will complete the circuit, causing lights to flicker or glow. Other causes of flickering of lights when the power is off could be:
- An incompatible dimmer switches
- Electrical circuit issues
- Voltage fluctuations lead to power surges.
FAQs On LED Light Flickering
01. Will LED ceiling lights burn out after flashing on and off?
Your LED lights will end up burning out if you do nothing to correct the situation. Usually, they will start to get dimmer and dimmer before they explode.
If you have noticed them becoming dimmer than usual, they might soon start flickering. Take the time to study the problem and determine whether to replace or repair the bulbs.
02. Why should I even bother to check my flickering LED lights?
Lights can start flickering when you are running short of cash and that is okay. But do not keep using flickering lights because they will damage your vision.
Before vision loss, you might endure throbbing headaches, eye strain, dizziness, and less productivity at work.
Correcting damaged vision is more expensive than replacing faulty electrical components. Moreover, you can prevent a possible electrical fire problem and have peace of mind.
03. Is there a safe flicker limit?
Yes, the IEEE standards PAR 1789 California place the safe flicker limit at thirty percent. If you have flickering ceiling LED bulbs, check if they are above this limit.
If they are, find out why the problem of LED ceiling light flashing on and off is happening and solve it. Even if you do not eliminate the flicker problem, reducing it can protect you from eye issues.
LED lights are more modern and perfect for saving energy. However, if the bulbs or the wiring system connecting them to a wall switch is faulty, they can start flickering.
We have also discussed other probable causes and solutions. LED ceiling light flashing on and off is so common and now you know what to do.
Ensure that you can repair or replace an electrical component before you do it to avoid hazards. We highly recommend hiring a reputable electrician to help you find the root of the problem and solve it.