6 Easy Fixes for Dimmable LED Flash & Why it Happens [2024]

Key Takeaways
  • The right LED light color temperature sets the mood, whether you want a cozy or energetic vibe. With smart technology, you can easily adjust light intensity and color to suit any environment.
  • Flickering dimmable LED lights are often caused by incompatible dimmers, loose connections, or non-dimmable bulbs. Ensuring compatibility and secure connections usually solves the problem.
  • Voltage fluctuations, improper load on dimmers, or dirty sockets can also cause LED lights to flicker. Installing surge protectors, balancing the electrical load, and cleaning sockets can help keep your lights steady and reliable.

Creating the right ambiance is essential for enhancing your space. Whether you prefer a cozy, warm vibe or a more energetic atmosphere, choosing the right LED color temperature can make all the difference.

Smart technology lets you easily switch between different settings by adjusting the intensity and color of a single LED bulb. But despite their efficiency and versatility, LED lights can sometimes flicker.

A flickering LED can be a strain on your eyes, but it doesn’t always mean a permanent fault. By understanding how dimmable LEDs work and identifying potential causes, you can fix the issue and restore optimal performance.

dimmable LED flash
Dimmable LED flash

How Dimmable LEDS Work

In essence, dimmable LED flash uses specialized LED drivers, dimming circuits, and light bulbs that are designed to modulate the amount of energy flowing through the LED. The dimmer switch can be easily adjusted to emit light at different intensity levels depending on your needs.

Turning the dimmer switch down signals the driver to decrease the current flowing through it. This, in turn, causes the LED bulb to emit reduced light, resulting in a gentle and soft aura. On the other hand, when you turn up the dimmer switch to increase the amount of current, it creates a more vibrant and bright light.

One important thing to note is that not all dimmable LEDs are created the same. While some require specific LED dimmer switches, others don’t work properly unless they’re connected to an LED light built-in controller.

LED light bulbs
LED light bulbs

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How to Fix Dimmable LED Lights Flashing

Whenever one spots a malfunctioning LED light that flickers at every chance it gets, it mainly points to a manufacturing fault. Having low-quality internal components or faulty drivers can cause the light to flash due to heavy load. For this reason, it’s best to invest in high-quality LED bulbs which are capable of operating efficiently at different temperatures.

But that’s not all! There are other potential causes too, that degrade the performance of LED lights. Fortunately, though, they come with effective solutions.

1. Ensure Compatibility Between LED Lights and Dimmers

Compatibility is a crucial aspect to consider in order to avoid failure when maintaining bonds, be it of humans or LED lights.

A dimmer switch consists of a dimmer module which regulates the flow of electricity. This flow of electricity determines the brightness of light produced by the LED bulb. Therefore, in order for LED lights to work properly, there must be compatibility between the dimmer and the LED.

LED light dimmer
LED light dimmer

Using old dimmers that are designed for incandescent bulbs, will not align with the functioning of modern LED bulbs. This is particularly because the dimmer module may not be able to handle the low electricity requirements.

So, make sure the dimmer switch you opt for is specifically manufactured to pair well with LED lights to eliminate issues like flashing or flickering upon changing the brightness level.

2. Loose Electrical Connections

As electrical wiring ages, it gradually undergoes wear and tear, becoming loose or bent under tension. A faulty wiring connecting the bulb, fixture, or LED dimmable switch may also cause interruption in the electrical supply to the dimmable LED lights, resulting in flashing and flickering.

LED wiring
LED light wiring

When this happens, some wiring may need to be tightened while other needs to be replaced. If you have any know-how of electrical wiring, you may be able to inspect the situation. Otherwise, it is recommended that you call up a certified electrician to take a look at the malfunction and run some diagnostic tests. This will fix the issue you have on hand and also ensure that all your connections are stable and secure.

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3. Replace Non-Dimmable LED Lights or Supplies

Within LED lights, there are products marked dimmable and non-dimmable. If you’re using a non-dimmable LED bulb with a dimmable switch, it will cause the light to flash due to incompatibility with the LED dimmer.

This constant flickering will put additional strain on the internal components of the LED, reducing its efficiency and causing failure. If this is the case, simply replace your LED bulb with a dimmable one.

Similarly, employing non-dimmable LED supplies such as a non-dimmable driver with a dimmer can also lead to flickering issues. As these drivers are responsible for regulating electrical current to the LEDs, a non-dimmable driver will be unable to handle the varying current required by the dimmer, resulting in inconsistent brightness.

In order to avoid this issue, pair your dimmer with dimmable LED lights and drivers for a stable dimming performance. Generally, this information is mentioned on the packaging of the LED, or you could confirm with the manufacturer.

non-dimmable and dimmable switch
non-dimmable and dimmable switch

4. Underloaded/Overloaded or Faulty LED Dimmers

The LED dimmer switches require a specific minimum load to work effectively. If the wattage of LED lights is below the minimum load requirement, it indicates that they’re underloaded, leading to instability in the dimming process. To check it, you may use a wattage meter to determine the electrical load.

In contrast, if the LED dimmers are overloaded, the total wattage will exceed the maximum load capacity. These overloaded dimmers may not be able to handle the heat generated by the excessive load and result in overheating of the LED lights, erratic behavior, and reduction in the lifespan of the dimmable LED lights.

dimmable LED flash
LED light dimmer switch

Additionally, a dimmer switch may be faulty due to a manufacturing defect, improper installation or aging. This damaged dimmer switch will cause hindrance in the regulation of electrical power, resulting in the flashing LED light issue you’re facing.

Solving the problems with LED dimmers requires that the total wattage of LED lights falls in the acceptable range of dimmable switches. This can be done by adding or removing LED bulbs or replacing the dimmer switch with the one that can handle the electrical load. The dimmer switch may also need to be replaced if it shows signs of overheating.

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5. Voltage Fluctuations

If you live in an area where there’s an unstable power supply and the voltage tends to fluctuate, it may be the reason why your dimmable LED bulb is flashing intermittently. Sometimes, extreme weather conditions, such as electrical storms, cause variations in the voltage, resulting in some damage to the LED lights.

One way to ensure that there’s minimum voltage fluctuation is to install a surge protector or voltage stabilizer in your home. When installed, these devices will protect your LED lights and other electrical appliances that provide a consistent voltage supply.

voltage stabilizer and surge protector
voltage stabilizer and surge protector

Moreover, high-voltage appliances, including air conditioners, etc., can also suddenly draw too much current when first plugged in, leading to voltage reduction for LED lights. Since LED lights already use less energy, this additional reduction results in them flashing or dimming spontaneously.

To overcome this, it may be a wise decision to install dedicated circuits for appliances that use up too much power. This will separate their electrical load from the one supplying LED lights and prevent their flashing issue. To do so, you will have to consult with an electrician to assess the situation and install the devices specific to your requirements.

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6. Clean Dirty sockets

Dirt, dust, or corrosion particles can accumulate over time in the light sockets and interfere with the electrical connection between the LED lights and sockets. This may cause your LED lights to start flickering or flashing out of the blue.

Although it’s important that you clean the buildup around your sockets once in a while, if you haven’t done so, now is probably the best time to do it.

power socket
power outlet

To start, ensure that the power to the light socket is turned off and disconnect your dimmable LED light. Then, take a soft cloth or brush and carefully clean the socket thoroughly. Once you’re done, make sure that the socket is dry and reconnect the LED light into the socket to check whether this fixes the issue or not.

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In short, every electrical appliance has a lifespan which is influenced by factors such as usage, maintenance and the environment. While LED lights are known for their energy-efficient and long-lasting qualities, they are prone to wear and tear over time.

And as these LED bulbs age, they gradually degrade, requiring a replacement with new ones to prevent the problem of light flashing, hence proving the saying “Out with the old, in with the new.”

Dimmable LED Flash

How do dimmable LED lights have a longer lifespan than incandescent lights?

LEDs operate through semiconductor processes rather than heating filaments, hence generating less heat. This not only prevents deterioration of internal components but also adds to their longevity. When these LEDs are dimmed, they function at a lower power level. This reduction of brightness lessens the strain on the LED lights, keeping them cool and increasing their lifespan.

Does the constant flashing of dimmable LED lights denote a burn out?

No, the blinking of LEDs doesn’t necessarily signal a burnt out, but it could indicate several problems such as loose wiring, mismatched dimmers or drivers. Typically, LEDs dim over time before completely burning out. However the constant flickering and its underlying cause can possibly lead to a burn out as it impacts the efficiency of the LED.

How do I select a suitable dimmer with my LED?

When looking for suitable dimmers, you must ensure the dimmer is compatible with dimmable LEDs and review the load capacity of the dimmer beforehand, both mentioned in the packaging. It should either meet or exceed the total wattage of all the LED lights to be controlled by the dimmer for optimal performance.


Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.