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    Flickering LED bulbs

    Little by little, as old CFL bulbs burn out, I've been replacing them with LEDs. We've run into two problems. One is that we've now had 3 fixtures where the LED simply wouldn't work so I had to stick with a CFL or incandescent bulb. The other problem is that the LED bulbs flicker. Sometimes just a bit, sometimes quite a lot. I've looked it up and it's a pretty common problem. Sometimes it's due to a dimmer switch, but it's also happening in standard fixtures without dimmer switches and non-dimmable bulbs. I'm probably going to switch the lamp on my bedside table back to a CFL because of how annoying the flickering is. The hallway light (also not on a dimmer) flickers but it's the hallway so it doesn't really bother us. The dining room has dimmable bulbs and are on a dimmer switch so that one I need to try installing a new dimmer switch and see if that helps.

    Have any of you had the flickering issue? How did you solve it if you solved it?
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    #2
    Putting LED bulbs into old fixtures can be an issue as you are experiencing.
    In my basement, I had to replace the entire fixture so I could run LED bulbs in them.
    The ballast is different than the old florescent style.
    Upstairs, U'm using enclosed LED fixtures as opposed to trying to screw LED bulbs into the old existing fixtures.

    The fixtures aren't that expensive, and with a little basic wiring you are all set.
    Brian

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      #3
      Originally posted by bjl584 View Post
      The fixtures aren't that expensive, and with a little basic wiring you are all set.
      Yeah, but what a pain. I'm all for saving energy (and money) but at no point have I heard anyone touting the benefits of LED bulbs mention that by the way, they may not work well or at all in a lot of your existing lamps and fixtures.
      Steve

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

        Yeah, but what a pain. I'm all for saving energy (and money) but at no point have I heard anyone touting the benefits of LED bulbs mention that by the way, they may not work well or at all in a lot of your existing lamps and fixtures.
        There are 2 fixes.

        The first is pretty easy. If the LED bulb won't light then you may need to pry out the contacts with a pair of pliers so the bulb can make contact and complete the circuit. Some of the newer LED bulbs are shorter and won't work in old fixtures. You are lucky if this is the issue. Just be sure to trip the breaker or unplug the fixture before doing this.

        The second is more involved and will require a new fixture to be installed. This is the ballast issue. Heat entrapment will shorten the life of the bulbs or make them not work at all. You'll need a LED compatible fixture.

        Brian

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          #5
          Originally posted by bjl584 View Post
          You'll need a LED compatible fixture.
          This is the answer I'm finding online. Either the fixture or the light switch or both may need to be replaced.

          If I didn't have a stock of LED bulbs in the house at this point, I'd just go back to CFLs. I don't want to have to start replacing lamps and light fixtures.

          The dining room fixture is actually brand new. That's the one with the dimmable bulbs that is a problem. I'm guessing that's an incompatible dimmer switch.
          Steve

          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

          Comment


            #6
            Any chance its a problem with the circuit?
            james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
            202.468.6043

            Comment


              #7
              On a dimmable circuit you need to have LEDs rated for dimming and an LED dimmer switch (sometimes you can get lucky and your existing dimmer switch will work).

              The flickering could also be the bulbs themselves beginning to fail.

              Remember, the LED has a 30 year (or whatever it says on the box) lifespan but not the LED driver inside the bulb.
              Gunga galunga...gunga -- gunga galunga.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by greenskeeper View Post
                On a dimmable circuit you need to have LEDs rated for dimming and an LED dimmer switch (sometimes you can get lucky and your existing dimmer switch will work).

                The flickering could also be the bulbs themselves beginning to fail.

                Remember, the LED has a 30 year (or whatever it says on the box) lifespan but not the LED driver inside the bulb.
                We do have dimmable LEDs but it's an old dimmer switch so I know I need to replace that.

                All of the bulbs involved are brand new so they aren't, or at least shouldn't be, failing. And they are different brands, different wattages, different lots. The only common denominator is they are all LEDs.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by bjl584 View Post

                  There are 2 fixes.

                  The first is pretty easy. If the LED bulb won't light then you may need to pry out the contacts with a pair of pliers so the bulb can make contact and complete the circuit. Some of the newer LED bulbs are shorter and won't work in old fixtures. You are lucky if this is the issue.
                  I have run into a couple instances where this is the case. The LED bulbs were short and fat and would not screw all the way in to make good contact.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    WE had this issue at our old house with some of the fixtures. It was only a few lamps (and the garage door opener), so I just kept incandescent bulbs in those. Had a large supply of replacements that lasted long enough until we moved.

                    Our new house is 100% LED and have no issues with any of the built in lights. All of our lamps are now working with LEDs so no more flickering.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      It's just another sign you're supposed to move to FL....

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I found this on Google;

                        Loose wiring is the most serious reason for flickering lights and the main cause of house fires. Shut off the light at the circuit breaker before removing the fixture to double check the wiring. If the fixture looks like it might be loose or insecure, it's time to call an electrician.
                        Last edited by 1claire; 04-09-2019, 09:03 PM.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by 1claire View Post
                          Loose wiring is the most serious reason for flickering lights and the main cause of house fires. Shut off the light at the circuit breaker before removing the fixture to double check the wiring. If the fixture looks like it might be loose or insecure, it's time to call an electrician.
                          Considering itís happening in multiple fixtures I tend to doubt thatís the issue. If you Google this, there are loads of sites talking about it. Apparently itís a very common problem with LEDs.
                          Steve

                          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

                            We do have dimmable LEDs but it's an old dimmer switch so I know I need to replace that.

                            All of the bulbs involved are brand new so they aren't, or at least shouldn't be, failing. And they are different brands, different wattages, different lots. The only common denominator is they are all LEDs.
                            As I said, the LED part of the bulb has the long life expenctancy. The DRIVER inside the bulb can fail in short order. I've seen LED bulbs last as little as a few days. The best bet for any lighting is to leave the lights on as much as possible. Constantly cycling off and on leads to failure.
                            Gunga galunga...gunga -- gunga galunga.

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