What Makes an LED Bulb Flicker and How to Solve the LED Flicker Effect

Guide to LED Flickering

With fluorescent lighting gradually being displaced in favor of LED, many thought the days of dealing with flickering lights were over. Despite flickering being less present in LED than with fluorescent systems, it is certainly still a factor. What are the causes of this, and are there solutions?

Types of Flickering

There are two types of flickering with lights – visible flicker and invisible flicker. Obviously visible flicker is the one our eyes can see, which is when the light output from a given source changes rapidly. It is considered that anything below a frequency of 100Hz can be seen.

There are health concerns with visible flickering. Short-term exposure to frequencies in the 3Hz to 70Hz range are associated with epileptic seizures, with the highest possibility of occurrence being in the 15Hz to 20Hz range. With 1 in 4000 people suffering photosensitive epilepsy and many more who have not been diagnosed, this has become a public safety issue.

Invisible flicker is just as much of a problem if not more. It is the flicker that is present but we cannot see. The symptoms include dizziness, eyestrain, headaches, migraines, impaired thought, and other general sick-feeling symptoms.

Where does flicker come from?

To better understand flickering in lights, consider the theatrical effect known as strobe lighting. This is a deliberate flicker effect that delivers light at certain frequencies, causing the brain to interpret moving objects as if they were in slow motion. These specified frequencies are generally just a few flashes per second, but they are very close to frequencies that cause epileptic seizures.

Unintentional flickering in lighting equipment can be traced back to our power companies that designed electricity flow to use alternating current (AC) as opposed to direct current (DC). With AC power, the sine wave will peak both positively and negatively. This leaves it susceptible to being in a range that will cause flickering, or sometimes an audible hum.

How to solve LED flickering issues?

LED flickering can be tied back to the driver component within the lamp. The essential purpose of the LED driver design is to rely on a simple circuit to control output current, but without altering the frequency, the LED becomes likely to show visible flicker. However, this can be fixed by using constant current drivers, which remove the peaks of the sine wave.

Power correction components within the driver circuit must also be addressed. Without this, ripple currents in the power flow will cause flickering.

Ultimately if the driver design of the LED bulb meets the requirements of both a stable DC current and ample ripple suppression, there should be no flicker. If flickering is present in your LED lamp (and you are not dimming with it), it was likely created with cheap driver components. The technology in LED lighting has advanced to the point where this should not happen, unfortunately there are companies that care more about their bottom line than the health of their customers.

How Dimming Causes LED Flickering

Another challenging variable for LED lamps to avoid flickering is through dimming. Most standard wall dimmers work by phase cutting, which removes part of the sine wave and reduces the voltage. However, this can have negative affects on an LED circuit and actually result in the flicker effect being amplified to a potentially dangerous level (3-15Hz range).

This is one of the main reasons why it’s hard to trust old dimming systems with new LED bulbs. The only way to be sure no flickering will be present is to get LED-specific dimming solutions for your LED lamps. It all comes back to the fact that LED is a long-term investment. In turn it is worth doing research to ensure you are getting a quality LED bulb, and that if you plan to dim with it you are getting an LED dimming system that has been tested as being compatible to the LED bulbs you intend to use.

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86 Responses to “What Makes an LED Bulb Flicker and How to Solve the LED Flicker Effect”

  1. SteveMay 16, 2017 at 9:43 am #

    I have changed out fluorescent lamps to LED lamps and changed out the ballast, and they still flicker. What would be the problem then.

    • PremierMay 16, 2017 at 9:45 am #

      Did you install a new ballast or used Type B LED T8 lamps that wire direct? If you got a new ballast, it’s possible it’s not compatible with the lamps you have. Direct wire (Type B) LED T8 lamps should not flicker unless you have a power fluctuation issue (either that or the lamp is defective).

    • Jon LaBranchJuly 27, 2017 at 7:32 pm #

      Steve, I replaced four fluorescence tubes in two fixtures. One works perfectly and the other flickers and then dark. Fixtures are identical as are the bulbs. Any thoughts?

      • MarkSeptember 29, 2018 at 7:27 pm #

        change the starter in the fluorescence fixture,also vturn tht bulb ends back & forth to make a better contact…….pull the starter from the one that don’t flicker,switch it with the one that does,then you’ll know if it’s the starter .
        Good Luck!!!

        • David FowlerOctober 2, 2018 at 6:50 pm #

          Mark, starters for fluorescent lamps haven’t been used since the late 80’s.

    • RakshithMay 10, 2018 at 10:29 pm #

      Same I am facing this problem too

      • Mothra (AKA Mishra)May 25, 2018 at 7:07 pm #

        Most of the LEDs I’ve bought either flicker upon installation or start flickering within some number of days or weeks. It’s patently ridiculous that these are being marketed as “earth-friendly” when you have to throw most of them out when they are still relatively new. No, I’m not using dimmers.

    • davidSeptember 3, 2018 at 3:02 pm #

      There is more to this than, shall we say meets the eye ! Avoid strong lights for reading, especially near bed time. The ballast needs to operate at the same frequency as the lamp. otherwise you get dirty electricity. Note also, that the most advanced is 80,000 hour LED.. A softer lamp using less blue light is desirable. The negative aspect of strong blue light is the interruption of the production of melatonin as strong blue light can interrupt sleep patterns, and this can then in turn reduce the effectiveness of healing during sleep.

      LED under the full blue lspectrum is like that of a full moon effect at 3,000 kelvins. Note that people tend to be more emotional & subject to poor behaviour issues as a full moon. Blue and white supresses melatonin production being used at night periods, like the street lighting. Without melatonin you can’t sleep, and also can not properly heal and rest the body. This would also inhibit the egg for female reproduction.

      The lack of knowledge on epilepsy is amazing however, because this is a symptom of someone that has a familiar spirit, and has nothing to do with flicker rates of lighting. The only potential for this, is that a familiar ( known by this since the spirit is familiar with the person), and indeed spiritual effects in negative behaviour take place statistically more intensely during a full moon. City services such as hospitals, police and fire fighters at the higher echelons would be aware of this phenomena. Any large hospital statistician has this record.
      It is also a need for the body to gain the benefits of normal sun exposure on the skin for production of vitamin D. During the winter, it is even of greater need for a person working under the LED strong blue spectrum ( not so soft as a dining room setting), to take 8,000 units of vitamin D per day during the winter. Note also that food not grown in the open sun, will not contain the same level of life giving properties the body needs.

      The minerals, through each of their lines of form are the main captors of LIGHT, of biophoton energy, which becomes biophotons for all living organisms.

      • DavidSeptember 15, 2018 at 9:57 pm #

        What does this comment about the impact of light on people have to do with flickering bulbs?

        • david McCallumOctober 22, 2018 at 10:54 am #

          To eliminate flicker, just match the frequency of the bulb with the correct frequency, achieved by top quality ballast and don’t use cheap bulbs. If it’s picked up by camera equipment, then use other lighting as well to soften the effect, which can effect a focus issue, or check the shutter speed trying other equipment if need be. Some people are more sensitive to the older T-12 fluorscent bulbs, just as some people are electro sensitive. The T-12 uses the most energy, from there is the T-8, and from there is the T-5, then the LED types, are the most efficient. You want at least a 50,000 hour to top quality 80,000 hour bulbs like I use. You just don’t want to use these for reading, which need a low voltage softer yellow light.

      • DavidOctober 2, 2018 at 6:55 pm #

        Sounds as though you speak as one having great knowledge. I’d love to hear more about your familiar spirits theory. My Email is: IBEWelectronut@aol.com

      • DavidOctober 2, 2018 at 6:56 pm #

        My email is IBEWelectronut at aol dot Com.

      • JonOctober 20, 2018 at 8:24 am #

        Thanks for minimizing a serious medical condition that is well known and understood and can be observed in the brain to your ridiculous “spiritual” garbage. You should be ashamed of yourself.

        • david McCallumOctober 22, 2018 at 10:37 am #

          Ashamed ? Hardly. There is no drug treatment protocol to cure epilepsy ! It IS a familiar spirit. PERIOD. I’m not the one taking false medical opinions like epilepsy as treatable and cured by medical means… It can be minimized somewhat, that’s all. It’s like being bled to heal in the middle ages… flat ignorance ! First, The very purpose of the scientific principal is because mankind comes from a place of ignorance. You cannot establish a truth, by a gallop pole in any institution of society or field of study. Example; EVERYBODY knew the world was flat, even though the Venetian sailors were centuries ahead, and even the vikings. Columbus merely rediscovered it. Heck, there are even NOW… flat earthers, believe it or not.
          So, before you spout off on something you are ignorant about, try going to the most advanced medical mind on the planet, that teaches specialists in many fields all over the world. See… http://www.nutrimedical.com

        • Saliha AllanDecember 7, 2018 at 7:24 pm #

          Hmm. It sounded so strange to me, that I thought he was being tongue-in-cheek. Seriously, though, and I’m just getting started on the new electrical, (as well as all the other) technology. I grew up being interested in technology, some of it anyway, and in grammar school, we had clubs that we could go to where a teacher had us working on such things as “Batteries & Bulbs”, which was a lot of fun. I was the only girl there, but I don’t remember any disrespect from the boys there. BTW, What IS the current medical knowledge about epilepsy, migraines(which I now get–ugh!), and other neurological issues related to lighting, its frequencies, and the other sensory inputs? I have a feeling it needs to be better known than it is. I for one hate those super-bright LED’s they have now. I was delighted,pun not intended, when I found a soft yellow LED, a Duracell Ultra 2700K 40-watt equivalent, 470 lumens–the only kind of LED that didn’t make my eyes, and everything else in me feel “icky”. I think the bugs, as it were, must still be being worked out, on LED’s, Halogens, Compact Fluorescents, and all the rest. My great grandparents had electric lighting in, I think, the nineteen-teens, or the early nineteen-twenties, and they didn’t use it as they couldn’t stand the flicker, and they used, I think, the Kerosene lamps that they had been used to while they were growing up. My great-grandmother said the electric ones gave her eyes the “jimjams”, and as anybody who has them knows, that’s rough. I’d be using Kerosene,too, if I could get it. Some of us are just a mess that way, and our bodies don’t adjust well to all the environmental changes out there

          • Dr. C.E.PoolJanuary 10, 2019 at 6:26 am #

            Great comment – I agree with your question or comment on the intensity of light from LEDs. While some people can see a shimmer from fluorescent light bulbs – and even hear the high pitch whine – most folks are oblivious to the issue. I don’t have “Jim-Jam” that your grandmother felt or had with electric lighting, but I do care for migraine sufferers. Bright light can trigger migraines, stress can trigger migraines, some dietary spices can trigger migraines, all this information is available out there with your medical professionals – if they have time to share with you given our current reimbursement system.

            Not to change the subject, but when I can only pay my staff and make a decent living by seeing patients for 10 minutes and letting LPN or less qualified personnel perform my intake information gathering, I don’t feel I have a true sense of them as a person or of their concerns outside of the ONE REASON they came to see me. Until the system changes where we physicians are paid for our time and the insurance companies aren’t nickel & dime-ing everyone from patients to care-givers to medical providers then WE TOO have to live with the limited time & give-n-take that made medicine fun years ago.

            I don’t have any answers to your questions other than to say rapidly flickering light DOES affect the brain and can trigger migraines and trigger seizures although I am not sure if the same flicker frequency does both. Or if the same light intensity does both. That is up for neurologists to study and it might already have been studied and reported in the specialty literature for neurologists. It isn’t the common medical knowledge (intensity, frequency of flicker, probability of seizure or migraine onset given specific aspects of light, etc) that we GPs read in our constant study of the field.

            Good luck with your migraines, keep your nutrition in check, reduce your stress, learn the onset sensations/feelings of your migraines and adapt your behaviors as you can. I feel for you and wish I had answers but you need to see a migraine specialists – one will click with you and your healthcare plan – and you will get your answers….and then have more questions and you know more, but that is the nature of the human equation, isn’t it?


        • Uncle SamDecember 12, 2018 at 2:33 am #

          I agree Jon, it’s on a level similar to that believed by flat earth theorists – it’s seriously ridiculous, I’m guessing David’s not a medical doctor!!! May I add, I’ve seen first hand the horrific results of non medicated epilepsy suffers, cause and effect…go back to sleep…

      • Dr. C.E.PoolJanuary 10, 2019 at 6:09 am #

        I like to read scientifically vetted information, even if the idea or theory arose among the folks commonly referred to as “Crackpots”. That said, I am looking for an explanation, not a theory floated out there, as to why my Feit lightbulbs (60 W equivalent) flicker. No dimmer, no matter what outlet screwed into – it flickers. Damn thing is practically brand new. Poor quality driver? So it is junk? I need to throw away a utility companies freebie bulb?

        Now, about the medical terms and minimization of scientifically vetted information. We medical folks know there are more events during the full moon. We also know the people who don’t have to be up after dark getting into things have more opportunity as the moonlight grows stronger and slowly waxes. The spirits and gravity of the moon effect people, it is proven….coincidentally. The light of the moon, the opportunity to perpetrate mayhem, and the reduced incident of accidents (stumbles, sprained ankles, problems related to vision difficulties) doesn’t indicate spirits or gravity promoting the activity and directed (versus accidental) actions prompting medical care under the full moon cycle. The damned light quantity – whatever the color – gives opportunity and incentive to those who want something for effort and daring, while those who want to work for something in the open and the light of day are busy trying to sleep.

        Epilepsy requires more than nutrition – Epilepsy DOES require proper electrolyte intake and careful attention to diet. Pharmaceuticals have helped, even marijuana has proven to help with specific intractable seizure activity. To spew theory in a forum where we want to know how to minimize the flickering of our LED bulbs without addressing the risk of seizure DUE to the rapidly flickering light – thereby worsening an epileptics course of the disease for which the only cure to date has been the surgical removal of the trigger neural tissue – is a waste of our time and a waste of space on this forum.

        Epilepsy is an unfortunate disease, whether genetic or injury induced. Flickering LEDs can cause seizures and uncontrolled seizures worsen the disease and shorten lifespans. Nutrition is only one aspect of control, behavior modification (meditation, yoga, prayerfulness, etc.) have helped reduce seizure activity IN SOME but not all, and pharmaceuticals have helped reduce seizure activity IN MOST – BUT NOT ALL. And when an injury foci can be found, surgically removed without too much neural/personality/memory loss – that is my recommendation as a physician for such a patient.

        I am not a neurologist, I do not specialize in epilepsy, but I do see patients and answer their questions. I understand epilepsy, I understand (keep up with) the current vetted scientific understanding and I do read current non-scientific literature regarding all things – even these blogs about why my feit LED bulb may be flickering. Last thing I want to do is induce a seizure in my children or one of my children’s friends thereby unmasking sub-clinical epilepsy – if there is such a thing. I know what to do if someone has a seizure so I’m not worried about witnessing a seizure, I’ve seen more than I ever wanted to and am quite capable of dealing with someone in a seizure due to alcohol withdrawl, medication overdose, or a proven disease state like epilepsy.


    • JeffDecember 1, 2018 at 9:17 pm #

      I second the thought that LED bulbs tend to be more susceptible to voltage fluctuation and will flicker easily. I have a light-sensor driven porch light I bought at Home Depot and for the life of me, I don’t know why LED bulbs flicker until one day I tried a set of CFLs and incandescent. Replacing CFL’s immediately helped.

  2. Scott DyessMay 18, 2017 at 8:14 am #

    So my problem is that occasionally, one of my Great Value brand, non-dimmable, LED bulbs will flicker for a couple of seconds, or for a few minutes. It doesn’t seem to be consistent with the starting or stopping of appliances in the house. Thus, am I to interpret that you are saying it’s very likely a defective driver components within the bulb?

    • CarolNovember 16, 2018 at 7:19 pm #

      Flickering lights can send me into terrible migraines. When I was younger, I could feel lost and confused from flickering lights….

  3. Jerry ListerJune 5, 2017 at 5:52 am #

    Good article. A very complex subject that I am heavily involved with.
    I would maybe add a category for stobe effects as in car rear lights. Strobe effects become visible when it’s dark and you move your head. This means this type of flicker becomes visible at much higher than 100Hz. With Red LEDs of rear lights having no persistance (no phosphers) this can be visible at quite high PWM frequencies. Some research says 3,000Hz PWM frequency should be used.
    The other remarkable thing I’ve found is the difference in person to person perception. We had a test of 5% flicker at 22Hz, this was immediately intolerable to 3 people and gave eyestrain/headache. 2 people could see it, but another 2 said ‘I don’t what you’re on about, I can’t see anything!’
    The best thing a consumer can do it get the flicker app for iPhone. This will give you some information, but not the full story.
    Problems are very likely if you use a dimmer switch as well…
    The lighting industry is struggling with this issue with no standards really applicable. IEEE1789 is gaining traction, but even that is incomplete + full of holes..good old fashioned tungsten fails to meet this standard !

    • dave9March 16, 2018 at 11:04 am #

      Jerry, it’s trivial to solve red LED flicker. Use a driver capable of a capacitive load and put a capacitor across the supply line. It works 100% of the time to get rid of flicker. The remaining factor is choice of a long life capacitor suited for the outdoor environment.

      • david McCallumOctober 22, 2018 at 12:22 pm #

        Best short answer I’ve seen. Capacitors eliminate waste and can enable up to full unity without waste in heat loss. I have a staff of electricians, a few able to deal with power factor correction issues, and have the equipment to know the power factor. Correction is very profitable for any below the 90% level on motors etc… I also sell the product.

  4. ChrisJune 10, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

    I replaced an incandescent lightbulb with a new LED light bulb. The LED flickers.

    The incandescent was old and I recently moved in. I did not know that the wattage or voltage of the incandescent bulb. Could this be part of the problem?

    • PremierJune 12, 2017 at 8:33 am #

      Could be a cheap LED bulb, an issue with the socket, or dimmer. If you know the wattage/voltage of the lamps you are replacing (and of the replacements), that would help.

      • ScottLJanuary 8, 2018 at 6:43 am #

        Can you explain how the socket could be the problem? If it’s solid copper between the socket and breaker, I don’t see how this could be a valid possibility. But, I’m all ears in case there is something to the equation I’m missing. I have flickering LEDs in table lamps plugged directly into the wall. No dimmer switches. No funny business. Just the LED bulb, truly basic lamp with an On/Off switch, and the wall socket that is a straight copper run to the breaker. I have tried multiple lamps, three brands of LED bulbs, and multiple wall sockets. They all flicker. What gets me is that it is the newer LED bulbs that are flickering. My older LED bulbs do not flicker.

        • MarcusJanuary 18, 2018 at 6:18 pm #

          You need to realize that the wire from a receptacle does not go directly to a breaker. There can be anywhere from 2 – 50 different splices or connection points where the circuit feeds in then out of other devices (switches or receptacles). If any one of these splices is not made correctly or a connection has weakened over time, you will have resistance and variables in voltage. I have been a service repair electrician for over 25 years. Poorly made splices and crappy workmanship are too blame for a vast majority of all service calls.

          • dave9March 16, 2018 at 11:07 am #

            Very unlikely to be a splice issue, considering it worked to support use of a much higher wattage incandescent bulb before that was replaced with an LED. Granted, it could be a newly developed fault but providing the owner knows how to screw in a light bulb (how many people does it take, lol), odds are the bulb itself is poorly designed or defective.

  5. Peter ErwinJune 11, 2017 at 9:08 am #

    On LpS 2016 in Bregenz the CFD (Compact Flicker Degree) has been successfully presented. The CFD is the world’s first sensible measurement method to measure light modulation which, unlike all other methods, takes into account the amplitudes of all occurring frequencies with regard to the influence on humans and expresses them in a single percentage value.
    On the websites of Der Lichtpeter you may read much more about it.

  6. CullenJune 13, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

    I have some LED can light retro fits and they flicker like crazy. They seemed to work fine until I replaced the old dimmer with a new led dimmer from Lutron. I tried replacing the dimmer with another one but that still didn’t solve the problem. I have replaced the lights with new ones and they will work correctly for a little bit and then the flicker starts again. It’s driving me crazy!!!

    • MooserDecember 6, 2018 at 6:06 pm #

      Flickering is a huge problem for the retrofit jobs I’ve worked on. A good solution has been to pigtail a surface mount single box to the last LED light on the circuit, and inside wire a pigtail base to accommodate a small incandescant appliance bulb (15W or less). Put a cover on the box and tuck it up in the ceiling along with the recessed light. The load usually makes the LED’s dim more smoothly and eliminates flickering for the most part.

      • SteveJanuary 2, 2019 at 6:35 pm #

        Thank you for the only meaningful answer in this entire thread.

  7. Jim MakepeaceJuly 5, 2017 at 8:55 am #

    This is an interesting subject – I specify lights for various types of projects, mostly residential with some commercial and mixed use.

    I have replaced 90% of my own incandescent bulbs with Juno and Lithonia LED trim modules, nothing special, just standard residential grade.

    I am mostly happy with the performance, but the strobe/flicker affect at times is annoying and makes me second guess some of the fixtures we’ve specified – even though the developers are asking for low-cost fixtures.

    I have also noticed as one commenter above that older incandescent dimmers seem to work better than newer ELV dimmers specified by the fixture manufacturer as being ‘compatible’ (e.g. dimming range is poor, or fixtures pulsate at bottom of range).

    On another note, I lost several LED modules after a lightning strike very near my house (also took out a cable modem and wireless router) – no other equipment in my house was affected, and the lights in question were not on at the time (I live in SW Florida and have surge protection on my main panel).

    • Peter ErwinAugust 2, 2017 at 12:28 am #

      LED illuminants usually do not contain any means against surge for this takes more space. Incandescents cannot be harmed by surge because they do not contain any sensitive electronics. May be the surge protection of your mains power supply needs to be enhanced. I live in Germany and have not heard of any surge problems with LED illuminants yet.

      • dave9March 16, 2018 at 11:11 am #

        Peter, to say they don’t because it takes space, would be the same argument for not putting surge protection in anything. Certainly in any bulbs I’ve torn open besides the smallest of form factors, there was far more empty space than needed for surge protection components. The protection is not there because of cost reduction.

        As far as incandescent bulbs “cannot be harmed”, tell that to some of my bulbs that blew out from a surge. It killed my microwave oven too, everything went out at once, unquestionably a surge not just old bulbs dying.

  8. MarcJuly 21, 2017 at 6:40 pm #

    I installed a high end brand ceiling lamp in my kitchen with good dimmable G15.5 bulbs and changed the dimmer. It all worked perfect until they remodeled my kitchen and the fixture was moved. Now it flickers like crazy unless dimmed to low. Any ideas what may have happened? Thanks

  9. bubledSeptember 4, 2017 at 6:17 pm #

    If we add capacitor parallel to LED driver output, will it remove flickering? My opinion that it would have positive effect on Flickering index.

    • LarryJune 14, 2018 at 9:01 pm #

      How is the capacitor installed?I’ve been looking how this is done but nobody seems to explain except to say in parallel… Parallel to what\

  10. Alan BartramSeptember 9, 2017 at 10:25 pm #

    The government has just replaced the lights in the house with LCD bulbs. The majority of these have started to flicker at different rates and some not at all. The power to the house is two phase but every other light in the past has worked normally. Is it the bulbs I suppose they would be cheap?

    • MarcusJanuary 18, 2018 at 6:20 pm #

      There’s no such thing as 2 phase. it is either 3 phase or single phase.

      • RichFebruary 20, 2018 at 10:26 pm #

        Its rare but they are still around.

        • Micky mouseMay 22, 2018 at 9:27 pm #

          and quoting wikipedia proves it, gag puke

          • VettsvetJune 7, 2018 at 7:19 pm #

            Micky, we are all on this site seeking or providing support on subject matter with which we share a commonality. Therefore, instead of criticizing a fellow commenter for supporting their information with a link to a website you deem unreliable, why not explore it to assess its accuracy and then provide knowledgeable and intelligent feedback? As an example, MY first thought when I read your ‘gag puke’ post was, “What a F@(&g jerk.” However, I did not initially post the thought because, as you may see, a diplomatic reply can make all the difference.

      • DanielOctober 28, 2018 at 10:52 pm #

        Sorry, just for the record, there is “such a thing” called 2 phase!! because I had it my house for the last 40 years. Used for the old copper washer.

  11. RandyNovember 4, 2017 at 9:00 am #

    working on a Lowe’s fixture with 4 multiple LED lights, on 2 driver boards. problem started about 1 year and 2 weeks, just out of warranty. not replacing a $150 fixture when repair is an option. replaced 1 driver board and it seemed smaller in component size. it was a constant current, when replacing these, what is the main spec I should be looking for? driver boards are cheap, but not lasting very long, replacement start flashing after a few months.

  12. Hugh LambertJanuary 6, 2018 at 2:56 pm #

    I have LED bulbs that flicker only when the motion sensor goes off. Is there a motion sensor that will cut them completely off when the sensor shuts down?

  13. MikeJanuary 7, 2018 at 7:22 am #

    I put led in all of my light fixtures with 2 or 3 bulbs each fixture. I have one in my bathroom where 2 of 3 will flicker on and off. I have a light fixture in my kitchen where 1 of thev2 flicker. All the others in my home don’t have this problem. I can replace them with non led bulbs and the flickering goes away. What causes this to work in most and not in these. They are all the same fixtures for the most part.

  14. R. NapierJanuary 8, 2018 at 9:05 pm #

    It is a shame that no industry standards are in place for LED components….fixtures, lamps, devices (both switches and controllers). It is ridiculous for US consumers to be expected to know that certain LED lamps work best with certain LED devices….if that’s really true. We are used to buying almost any incandescent lamp brand and coupling that with any device brand and the result is perfect operation. I have recently install thousands of dollars worth of Insteon switches, dimmers, keypads and outlets. I have also purchased LED lamps and light tape with two criteria: dimmable, 2,700 K. About 70% of my applications work well. The rest flicker, flash or strobe. We have reached out to Insteon support and have been put off repeatedly. Finally I got an email with only a lamp list of products they claim woeks best. Where is standardization????? Where is a UL lab? Where are solutions? We installed Aspect wafers in several areas….these flash in sequential pattern, like engine pistons. Aspect says its the device. Who knows? Sadly, the Insteon concept is truly smart. So is the variety thst Aspect offers. Too bad there’s poor support, few solutions, no standards.

    The country is more focused on DC politics, Hollywood “stars” and media talking heads than pressing for LED solutions and standards.

    • RichFebruary 20, 2018 at 10:36 pm #

      Have you tried to add an incandescent bulb on the circuit with the flickering LEDs? If this stops the flickering then you have a load issue. The LEDs are not putting enough load on the system to keep the Insteon/dimmers from cycling. Also, I just read an article tonight that CFLs on the same circuit can cause a harmonic problem that may cause flicker in some LEDs.

    • DavidSeptember 15, 2018 at 10:05 pm #

      “The country is more focused on DC politics, Hollywood ‘stars’ and media talking heads than pressing for LED solutions and standards.”

      Politics and famous people have been around for quite a while. The mere fact that people pay attention to them does not mean that if they stopped paying attention, all other significant problems in the world would be solved.

      LED bulbs have improved over time because of enterpreneurial activity and market competition. There is no reason to think that the technology won’t continue to improve over time if the demand for LED bulbs continues.

  15. TombilliodeauxJanuary 9, 2018 at 6:07 am #

    I have 2 installed in a light fixture…..DC power in a camper. One flickers and the other does not. i wiggled the flickering one and it stopped but started again at high frequency flickering. I belief it is the contacts that has different resistance. Also temperature as i removed the plastic cover when it started flickering again and it stopped. you may not have that option, but cooling seemed to help it.

  16. TombilliodeauxJanuary 9, 2018 at 6:11 am #

    Correction to above: The flickering DC powered bulb has one row of LED’s that is out. Other 2 rows are lighted. The bulb is defective.
    This is the only one flickering out of 12 installed.

  17. Tom GwozdekJanuary 14, 2018 at 12:26 pm #

    I don’t exactly have a flicker problem I have a flash problem. I have a light fixture about 5 years old. It came with 8 halogen G4 base 20W bulbs. I started replacing the halogen bulbs with LED G4 base 1.5W bulbs. The LED’s worked fine till I got to the last bulb. With 8 LED’s when the switch was turned on the lights flashed and would go out. As long as 1 halogen bulb was in the fixture, didn’t matter which socket, the 7 LED’s would stay on. I know little about electronics but would this problem have something to do with a minimum current draw on the fixture ( and transformer in the fixture 12V.)

    • WojciechFebruary 1, 2018 at 4:16 am #

      Once you remove last halogen the trasformer would most probably deliver too high voltage

    • Peter ErwinMarch 16, 2018 at 12:43 pm #

      This is due to electronic transformers require a minimum load (specified on the label). If halogen bulbs are replaced by LEDs, it is very likely that the minimum load of the tranformer is undercut. Adding one halogen to the system will probably bring it into the specified load range.

  18. WinnieFebruary 3, 2018 at 5:30 pm #

    Please, what about DC LED bulbs blinking after they have been on for a minute or two? These are in a camper.

    • RichFebruary 20, 2018 at 10:39 pm #

      If the power supply is not constant and sufficient, LEDs can blink. Were you running your lights on a generator? See if running off a power line gets rid of the flicker.

    • dave9March 16, 2018 at 11:19 am #

      Winnie, if you are referring to those cheap Chinese junk bulbs that retrofit into automotive style sockets, usually what happens is they run too hot for the amount of heatsinking (mPCB area and airflow) and develop solder joint cracks.

      Once it has cracks, after it heats up the crack widens. “Sometimes” reflowing the solder with a solder formulation having lead in it will help. Lead free solder is much more brittle than leaded.

      However this won’t change the fact that they’re running too hot for long life. The best long term solution is replacement with fixtures designed to heatsink the matching LED configuration that comes with them. If you had to you could DIY by pulling out the existing bulb contacts, putting in plate aluminum and a config of 3 x 3W LEDs in series and then a 12VDC (input), ~ 400mA driver which would be about the right power level for that area of aluminum plate which would fit in a typical automotive bulb housing.

  19. Todd PhillipsFebruary 7, 2018 at 4:41 pm #

    I bought dimmable LED lights at Costco, and LED dimmers at Costco as well, and I still have flicker. I’m guessing I need a higher quality dimmer?

  20. nrlly1March 7, 2018 at 3:41 pm #

    i bought a USB LED Touch Sensor Eye Protection Desk Lamp – White 200lumens. it has a touch sensor which you will use to either increase brightness or reduce brightness. it use to be steady and bright but after a while it starts flickering and brightness has remained reduced ever since and would never be bright again. can it be fixed back to it steady full brightness again?

  21. George AndrewsMarch 11, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    I have just installed 4 leds in my ceiling fan and 2 out of the 4 flash then I replaced them with regular light bulbs and they are much dimmer my ceilings fan only has a remote with no dimmer switch. How can I fix this ? I like the brightness of the led lights .

  22. AdamMarch 18, 2018 at 10:16 am #

    I have led spotlights in the kitchen. One started to flicker, so I replaced with a new led spotlight and it’s fine.

    I put the flickering one in a different spot to check if it was the bulb or not, and it was, it flickered when in a different place…so why is this led spotlight faulty? It’s probably 4-5 months old max….

    I cant be having them do this, they cost a lot more and are supposed to last years….

  23. JeanMarch 22, 2018 at 9:23 am #

    I have a chandelier with LED lights that are on a dimmer but if I turn it on, they all flicker. What can I do to stop this?

  24. David L WilliamsonApril 7, 2018 at 6:59 pm #

    We just installed 3 LED bulbs in our bedroom. They flicker. I found 3 rooms all connected on the same circuit. Please note not my sort of electrical work. The really weird part is when I turn on a fan on the dresser plugged into the same outlet, the lights turn brighter. The higher the words of the fan the brighter the lamp. I am thinking about isolating this room and putting it on its own circuit to see if it stops the flicker. Wife said the florescent bulbs did the same thing but they did not react with the fan speed. Any ideas appreciated. Humorous OK too. Thanks

  25. MikeMay 20, 2018 at 6:47 pm #

    Recently replaced incandescent bulbs (single bulb fixtures) in my laundry area, two fixtures on same circuit, with LED bulbs. They just started with the strobe light flashing. Help please.

  26. Noel PowersJune 30, 2018 at 11:35 am #

    i have found that the capacitor inside the bulb is bad. the company’s are using cheep capacitors. I have replaced the capacitor and it fixed the problem.

    • frankJuly 30, 2018 at 7:16 am #

      it appears you have over simplified the problem and presented a vague solution?….cheep? capacitors were replaced with what? inside the bulb?? what are you describing here????? please amplify your response………thanks

  27. AlexJuly 12, 2018 at 10:00 pm #

    I’ve inatalked over 200 Eurolux dimmable LED’s in my home with trailing edge Shuttle brand dimmers – the entire house flickers simultaneously on all the dimmer switches with LED’s. It’ll drive anyone crazy and cause epilepsy!

    If I replace the dimmer switch and module with just a normal on/off switch, there is no flickering on that circuit. I’ve called the both Eurolux and Shuttle dimmers to come to my home. I gave no idea if it’s the bulbs or the dimmmer modules? Three of my bulbs have blown already with all the flickering.

  28. Paul McGuiganJuly 16, 2018 at 4:03 pm #

    We have fitted two new lights in the livingroom. When one is turned on it is fine, but when both are on at the same time they flicker. What would be the cause of this?

  29. JohnAugust 1, 2018 at 12:59 pm #

    So I have a problem we had 2 led hi hats installed in our bathroom that flicker when the toggle switch controlling then is OFF no dimmer.
    If you turn on the paddle fan speed control switch in bedroom the bathroom led will flicker even with bathroom switch off

  30. NeilAugust 26, 2018 at 12:04 pm #

    I bought LED bulbs for a room ceiling fan/light combo. The lights flickered when dimmed but when I increased to at or near full strength, the flickered disappeared. Problem solved for me, I just won’t be able to dim in the bedroom, which is fine as I have another lighting system if needed.

  31. DonAugust 29, 2018 at 5:43 pm #

    I have an outdoor LED dome light and it worked great for a year. Went out on vacation and left the lights open for 3 days straight. Closed it when I got home and turned it on again several hours later and is now flickering/strobing. I have no dimmers. Is there anything I can do to fix it?

  32. Frank PSeptember 5, 2018 at 8:37 am #

    We have a similar issue to Paul’s. We have small LEDs under counter which work fine until incandescents on same circuit are on. Then the LEDs flicker. Any suggestions?

  33. G&E ElectricialSeptember 6, 2018 at 1:22 am #

    I’ve been trying to figure out why my technician wasn’t able to solve the flickering led problem. He blamed the switch.

    Solution: the technicians had built the new box that the switch connects to completely wrong. He color coded the load and hot wire wrong from the getgo.

    You need to connect most dimmers to the two black wires coming from the wall along with the neutral wire. The neutral wire must connect to ground in order for any switch to work.

  34. DerekSeptember 12, 2018 at 8:50 am #

    I replaced my halogen kitchen bulbs with LED. The centre bulb (about a 3” long tube) has started flickering on and off. I installed it several months ago. Could it just be burning out? It seems soon for LED but that light does get a lot of use. If that’s the case, I’m not sure it’s worth the price over the halogen bulb as my main reason for switching was to not have to change it as often (it’s a real pain). I put a regular halogen back in and it seemed just fine (until it quickly burned out because I over handled the bulb putting it in – why oh why did i ever buy a halogen fixture?!?) so I don’t think it’s the fixture. Any thoughts would be appreciated

  35. JeffSeptember 29, 2018 at 6:57 pm #

    I bought a pack of 3 led bulbs and installed them, 2 of them started to flicker and went out like normal light bulbs, I have no type of dimmer Installed. Does anyone have any information? The bulbs are from ikea

  36. KOctober 6, 2018 at 10:00 pm #

    I just want the light bulb to work. I’m not going to take it apart and wouldn’t know how.
    The article was very interesting—especially the part about undiagnosed epileptic photsensitivity). And yes, I get migraines.
    The comments on this site seem to be for electricians (compared to me).
    Who can help a layperson?

  37. Nye1December 6, 2018 at 8:32 pm #

    Led lamps at full power 120v should not visibly flicker. If they do, they are either defective, your house wiring is faulty or utility is not supplying clean power.

  38. thomas dragooDecember 10, 2018 at 5:39 pm #

    I realize this sounds weird but: I replaced the three incandescent bulbs in a ceiling fan with LED bulbs and they flickered horribly. Replaced these with three LED bulbs of a different manufacturer… Same thing. I then replaced ONE of the bulbs with an incandescent bulb… And now …. NO flickering ( with two LED and one incandescent). I am not questioning as to why, but rather am happy with what I have!!!!!!

    • Bruce GreshamJanuary 21, 2019 at 12:44 pm #

      That is an interesting idea Thomas.

  39. KrystalDecember 16, 2018 at 5:18 pm #

    We replaced two lights with dimmable LED light fixtures and LED dimmer switches, when dimmed, one of the light fixtures has a flicker. What is causing this?

  40. Jeff BDecember 18, 2018 at 8:22 am #

    We have LED lights under our bookshelves. We replaced halogen lights with led lights. Some of them flicker quite a bit. When the room is 54 degrees (at night) and we turn them on in the morning, two groups of lights flash and then go off. They work once the room temperature has increased.

  41. Jan KJanuary 11, 2019 at 7:44 pm #

    LED lights are just crap. Unfortunately, halogen lights which get very hot & expensive (power-wise) are the best for our eyes, because they are a source of infra-red rays, just like the sun – the way God planned it. The problem is fluorescent & LED lights do not produce infra-red and are, therefore, very bad for our eyes… which our brains apparently suck up – some more than others. You can buy full-spectrum fluorescents, which produce a full spectrum – just like sunlight. Funny thing is, we too, decided to try LED’s and they only flicker in ceiling fixtures and not all the time. I can’t stand it – they make me feel crazy in a matter of seconds. We’re all being taxed for our huge carbon footprint… and the fact is that the lighting in our homes is such an unbelievably minimal & insignificant cost and a very small percentage of the problem when considering power consumption. We are all being fleeced by dumb-green-ass politicians!

  42. Amy WintersFebruary 4, 2019 at 10:54 am #

    Thanks for pointing out that LED flickering can usually be traced back to the driver component of the lamp. One of my home’s LED lamps has been flickering lately, so I’ve been doing some research online to see if I can determine the cause. I didn’t know the driver component could cause flickering, so I’m glad you mentioned that tip!

  43. David HeathFebruary 15, 2019 at 2:25 pm #

    Ive changed 100’s of fluorescents with LED replacements and never had 1 not work right but I only buy direct power tubes so no ballasts. I buy dual end power replacements. As for flashing bulbs and such we found most didn’t have enough resistance so we installed resistors and they all work fine.

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