Do LED Lights Flicker When Burning Out? (Signs, Reasons, Quick Fixes)

Do LED Lights Flicker When Burning Out

No one likes the dimly lit, unsettling dance of flickering lights above their heads. It can leave you wondering if it’s a sign of something sinister lurking within the walls or simply that your LED lights are on the brink of burning out.

Well, here’s the illuminating truth:

No, LED lights do not flicker when burning out. Instead, LED lights slowly degrade over time or lose brightness before they burn, nearing the end of their operational life. So usually, no, but they do flicker if they’re loose. Hence, if your LEDs are flickering, they need to be checked and possibly replaced to eliminate the flashing problem.

However, that’s just not it. The LED lights flickering problem needs a lot more explanation. In this guide, we dig deeper into why LED lights flicker, the reasons for LED flickering, and how to fix the flickering LED lights issue. Let’s dive in!

LED Lights Flickering Problem

LED lights flickering problem
LED lights flickering problem

Do LED Lights Flicker When Burning Out?

LED lights don’t flicker when burning out, so you shouldn’t worry about the remaining lifespan of your bulbs. Instead, this fluctuation in brightness comes from changes in voltage supplied to the light.

If your LED bulbs were working without an issue but suddenly started acting out, it is because of faulty wiring or burned-out components in the circuit. Or there could be some external issues causing the problem. You may have installed the LEDs improperly, or your dimmer switch might not be compatible with the lights. 

In short, check your dimmer switches, wiring, or voltage to tell the problem causing the lights to flicker.

Do LED Lights Flicker When Going Bad?

After a few years of installation, you will notice that your LED lights will start flickering or dimming. LEDs dimming or lumen degradation is a telltale sign of aging LEDs as they lose their light emission capacity with time.

While dimming can indicate your lights getting old, rest assured, flickering LEDs do not suggest aging or dying out bulbs. 

On the contrary, LED components, such as wiring or dimmer, might have gone bad. Start troubleshooting the components before worrying about something wrong with the LED bulb.

Do LED Bulbs Flicker Before Dying?

A few decades ago, we were accustomed to fluorescent bulbs that would flicker or partially die out as they neared the end of their lives. In fact, fluorescent bulbs became dangerous at the end of their lives — another reason to question if LEDs behave the same way and if a flickering light bulb is dangerous.

LED lights don’t show these signs and aren’t dangerous. Most importantly, LED bulbs don’t flicker before dying. Yes, you will notice them giving off less light than what you were used to getting from them. But the light diffusion will be smooth and complete over the LED.

Interestingly, LED lights are different from their conventional counterparts. You don’t have to discard the bulb once it has become too dim. You can repair the lightbulb by replacing the faulty diode or the LED driver, then reenact the enclosure – your light should be bright as new now.

What Are The Symptoms of an LED Light Burning Out?

Detailed below are a few signs that show your LED light is nearing the end of its useful life:

1. Lumen Degradation (Decreased Brightness)

This is the biggest sign of a bad bulb. LED bulbs get dimmer as they burn out. When you buy an LED light, make sure to check its rated life. 

This value shows the number of hours it will burn before its lumen depreciates by 70% or 80%. It should read hours (in tens of thousands) and L70 or L80 (70% or 80%, respectively).

The hours given on the package denote the useful life of your LED light. If you don’t keep count of the hours it burned, the decrease in brightness level will definitely remind you when it’s time.

Bear in mind that LED lights can work even after their stated lifespan, but the dimming will be too problematic. Still, you only need to replace the LEDs if you want higher brightness.

2. Flickering & Flashing

While LEDs don’t flicker when they are about to burn out, other components will cause a distorted voltage supply when they go bad. 

So, if your LED light fixture has gone bad, it may restrict current from reaching the light, causing flickering.

The faulty heat sink is another symptom indicating that your LEDs are about to burn out. Heat sink problems also cause malfunction of these lights, causing LED lights to turn on and off by themselves again and again.

3. Color Distortion

If your LED strip lights have suddenly changed their color mix or don’t get the desired LED color when you change them, it might indicate that your lights are nearing their end. 

Color distortion happens when one or more colors dim significantly because of aging and do not give full hue to impact the resulting mix.

A broken LED light remote could be another reason your LEDs are showing the wrong color. So you have to test your LED remote to verify if it’s the root cause of the problem. If you find the remote guilty, you will have to fix the LED lights when the colors are wrong or learn to change the LED light color without the remote.

Read this guide “How To Turn On LED Lights Without Remote: 5 Easy Ways!” to learn how to control your LED lights without the need of a remote control.

Why Do LED Bulbs Flicker?

LED bulbs can flicker for various reasons. Here are four common reasons why LED bulbs flicker:

1. Diode Aging or Wear and Tear

With time, the components of LED lights depreciate, making the light circuit inefficient. Two components have a significant role in the flickering of an LED bulb: 

  1. The LED Driver: The LED driver maintains the voltage supplied to the LED lights. A 12V LED light flickering problem occurs when the driver fails to reduce the voltage from 240V of a regular power outlet to 12V. As a result, the LEDs get higher voltage than they can handle and flicker.
  2. The Heat Sink: Failure of the heat sink causes the light to overheat. Excessive heat impacts the LEDs mechanism forcing them to stop emitting light for some time.

2. Voltage Fluctuations

LED lightbulbs emit light when electrons in their p-n junction get charged because of the presence of voltage. In other words, these light sources depend entirely on voltage to work. The diodes start fluctuating if the voltage fluctuates and falls below the required level.

You can check the voltage from your power outlet using a multimeter. Sometimes, this voltage issue arises when we plug in LEDs with more demanding appliances to the power outlet for LED lights. In that case, you only have to plug the flickering appliances into a different socket, and the issue should be resolved.

3. Environmental Factors

Environmental factors such as winds, heavy rain, and thunderstorms can disrupt the voltage supply, and cause LED light bulbs to flicker. 

Winds can cause power lines to sway, resulting in voltage fluctuations. Heavy rain can also cause power outages or reduce the voltage supply due to water damage to electrical equipment. Thunderstorms can produce lightning strikes that can damage electrical infrastructure and cause voltage fluctuations.

Other environmental factors that can impact the performance of LED light bulbs include temperature and humidity. High temperatures can cause LED light bulbs to overheat and reduce lifespan, while high humidity can cause electrical equipment to corrode.

4. Defective or Low-Quality Components

In the end, low-quality parts will quickly die out and break the circuit of the lightbulb. Defective or low-quality components can not only compromise the performance of the lightbulb but also create safety hazards and cause expensive damages

For instance, a light fixture that is poorly designed or made of low-quality materials may not be able to dissipate heat effectively. This inefficiency causes the LED chips to overheat and burn out quickly. Similarly, wiring that is not properly insulated or has inadequate capacity can cause voltage drops, leading to flickering or dimming of the lights.

You can avoid pre-mature burning out of your LED lights simply by purchasing high-quality lights from trusted manufacturers. 

How to Fix Flickering LED Lights?

Flickering LED lights can be annoying. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to troubleshoot and fix the issue.

STEP 1: Problem Identification

The first step to fixing your LED lights is detecting the root cause of the problem. Check if the power outlet is overloaded or the voltage disruption comes from wiring or a loose connection. Moreover, if your LED lights are flickering with no dimmer, check the driver, as it can hamper the LED efficiency if burned out.

STEP 2: Correct The Issue

Take off demanding appliances off the circuit. If any component – wiring, connection, dimmer, or driver – is at fault, you must change or tighten them to cure flickering LED light. Moreover, you may want to clean the connection to avoid further loosening or issues.

STEP 3: Test The Lightbulb

Check if the problem is fixed. If you had to repair the LED driver or wiring of the circuit, you should check whether it has started giving the right voltage. Use a multimeter to check the range and stability of this voltage before screwing the device back into the fixture and using it.

How To Fix Buzzing LED Lights?

LED lights give off buzzing sounds when they are not compatible with their dimmer switches. You can handle this dimmer incompatibility by replacing the light or the old dimmer switch.

If you have multiple light bulbs connected to a single dimmer and only one light bulb is not working properly, then replacing that one light bulb is advisable. However, if more than one light bulb is not working properly, it’s best to bypass the dimmer and connect all the light bulbs directly to the switch.

How To Fix LED Lights That Glow After Turning Off? 

The light glow that lingers after you have switched off your LED bulb doesn’t harm the bulb. So you don’t have to fret over it. However, if you want to save energy by reducing the glow or prefer complete warm light in the bedroom, you should take steps to prevent the glow.

You can get rid of this glow by investing in high-quality LED lights that don’t pick up the tiniest flow of current to them after turning off. If you insist on not replacing your LED lights, you can use a neon indicator to soak up extra charge. 

Note that this indicator will not eliminate the issue entirely. Instead, you will witness the indicator glowing in place of the bulb.

FAQs: LED Lights Flickering & Burning Out!

Q: Why is my LED ceiling light flashing on and off?

Your LED ceiling light may be flashing on and off because of a loose connection in the wiring, incompatible dimmer switches, voltage fluctuations, or a malfunctioning power supply. It is advisable to check the connections, ensure compatibility with dimmer switches, and contact a professional electrician to diagnose and resolve the issue.

Q: Why are my LED lights flashing on and off?

LED lights may flash on and off due to loose connections, inadequate power supply, incompatible dimmer switches, voltage fluctuations, or issues with the LED driver. To address this, you can start by checking the connections, verifying compatibility with dimmer switches, ensuring a stable power supply, and seeking professional assistance.

Q: How do you know if LED lights are burnt out?

You can know if LED lights are burnt out by visual observation. When an LED light is burnt out, it will no longer emit any light. Additionally, you may notice a darkened or discolored appearance in the area where the LED is located. If uncertain, you can try replacing the LED bulb or consulting the manufacturer’s guidelines for further assistance.

Q: What happens when LED bulbs burn out?

When LED bulbs burn out, they stop producing light and become non-functional. LED light bulb failure is often indicated by a sudden and complete loss of illumination. Unlike traditional incandescent bulbs, LEDs do not typically emit smoke or generate excessive heat when they burn out.

Q: Are flickering LED lights dangerous?

Flickering LED lights are not dangerous on their own. However, persistent or severe flickering can indicate an underlying electrical issue that should be timely addressed. Sometimes, a flickering light bulb can cause discomfort, eye strain, or headaches for sensitive individuals. If you experience persistent or significant flickering, consult an electrician to ensure the electrical system functions properly.

Q: Why do my LED lights flicker on my car?

LED lights in cars may flicker due to incompatible wiring, voltage fluctuations, improper installation, or issues with the LED driver. To resolve this problem, check the wiring connections, and ensure compatibility with the car’s electrical system. If the issue persists, consider seeking assistance from a qualified automotive technician.

Conclusion: LED Lights Do Not Flicker When Burning Out!

LED light bulbs give different signs when they are approaching the end of their life. They may either become dim or start to heat up. However, the flickering of the LED lights is not a sign of burning out. 

If your LED light is flickering, it means that there are faulty components or an unstable power supply. You should check the wiring, LED driver, and connection to fix the issue. These components regulate the voltage supply to the LED bulbs and can cause power distortions that lead to flickering.

Got more questions like “Do LED Lights Flicker When Burning Out”? Drop them in the comments section; we’ll gladly assist you.

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