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Common Problems With LED Lighting

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Using LED lighting is not always a walk in the park. Problems such as buzzing, flickering, bulbs not being bright, and glares may arise. You need to solve these issues on time to avoid further damages to your circuit or your bulb, or even undergo other economic loss.

In this article, we will take you through common problems with LED lighting and suggest reliable solutions to these problems.

Most Common Problems with LED Lighting

The following are the top problems that we are going to discuss in this article:

  • Flickering of LED lights
  • LED incandescent fixture
  • Dim LED lights
  • Problems with the Dimmer
Person holding a LED light bulb with problems

Flickering Of LED Light

Light flickering is a common problem experienced by many LED users. In this case, the lights are essentially strobing. If your bulbs are of poor quality, you are likely to experience instances of LED brightness going up and down rapidly.

You can easily detect any flickering in your LED lights if they’re below 80-100 HZ.I. You need to be careful with this flickering because it can cause serious problems such as vomiting, headache, fatigue, and in some cases even epilepsy.

Our eyes cannot easily adapt to these flashing lights. Therefore, you need to fix the problem as soon as it occurs. Here some of the common causes of LED light flickering

Slack Wire Connection

When connecting the bulb and the circuit, ensure your connection is firm. Loose connection between the bulb and circuit leads to blinking lights. 

This is due to the periodic obstruction of the current that occurs when there is electromagnetic interference. You can fix this problem by inspecting all the connection points to confirm that all the wires are functioning effectively.

Poor Quality LED

It is easy to identify a fake LED bulb. One simple indicator is when the price is way lower than the market price.

Additionally, if the weight of the bulb tends to be more than a normal bulb, then you should know that there is a problem. Usually, some manufacturers make their LED bulbs weightier to give the false assumption that they consist of high-quality materials.

This usually happens when they replace the aluminum case with a plastic casing. Also, the number of voltage and current regulating components are reduced to save on the cost.

Further, ensure that you have inspected your bulbs powder or the painting. If the bulb is poorly made, then the hidden parts of the bulb will be of dubious quality.

Loose bulbs

When fixing your LED bulbs, tighten them firmly to avoid flickering. Tightening the bulbs enhances the proper connection between the bulb and the base hence effective transmission. 

Also, when inspecting the LED light, turn off the bulb and the power supply to protect yourself from electrical shock. If the room is completely dark after turning off the light, get a portable work light to provide some light while fixing the bulb.

Broken Power Supply

If you are using your powered lights at the back of your house, and then you start seeing some flickering, it is possible that your power supply has a bad driver. 

As advised earlier, always inspect your product before purchasing it. In this case, look at the driver unit to be sure that it is in good condition.

LED light bulb

Too Many Electrical Appliances

Having many high-power appliances at your home might affect your LED bulb. Appliances such as vacuum, heater, and air conditioners draw a lot of power and may cause your LED light to start flickering. 

This usually happens when the LED bulb receives insufficient power. To solve this issue, turn off some of the appliances that you are not using to ensure your LED lights get enough power supply. 

Wrong Use of LED Incandescent Fixtures

Incandescent fixtures are designed in an enclosed fixture for heat dissipation. As a result, they don’t manage heat effectively. 

On the other hand, LEDs are greatly affected by heat which reduces their efficiency. Therefore, if they are installed in such a fixture, they fail quickly because of the high ambient temperature.

So, if you try to use an LED bulb in an enclosed old fashioned fixture, the bulb will not be bright enough. This is because the trapped air inside the ambient has nowhere to escape.

The situation becomes worse if the LED has a poorly designed heat sink. The heat sink helps to carry the heat away from the sensitive sections of the bulb. To overcome this problem, we recommend using a rated LED fixture

Using Rated LED Fixture

Managing heat using incandescent fixtures is challenging because they were initially meant for traditional bulbs. Therefore, when the heat in the LED rises, the bulb heats up and the only option for dissipation is moving the bulb towards the socket. It is the only position where you can get contact between the bulb and the housing. 

To avoid this, we recommend that you look for a rated LED fixture that will effectively manage your LED heat.

However, you have to ensure that your fixture is not too small when compared to the lumen output of the bulb. If you use a small fixture, the pathway of heat dissipation is minimized and the bulb will eventually fail. 

Too Dim LED Light Bulbs

Another problem that most people experience is dim LED lights. After installing the lighting system, you may find that your LED light bulbs are dimmer than you expected. 

This is a common problem that can occur when using the LED bulbs both indoor and outdoor. Here are some of the reasons why you are likely to experience dim light from your LED bulbs

Low Power Supply 

If your bulb is not as bright as expected, try checking the rated voltage and current of the LED to confirm if it matches that from your power supply. It is important that when purchasing your LED lights and plan on using the driver, make sure to check the power voltage and the current input of the LEDs.

The manufacturer’s driver rating must match your power supply. If it does not match, that would translate to dim bulbs. In some cases, the bulb may also burn out. Therefore, you have to be keen when purchasing your LED lights.

Slack Wires

Loose wires do not only cause flickering of LED bulbs they also affect the brightness of the LEDs. Thus, if the wire connection is not firm, some of the LED chips inside the bulbs will not be aligned appropriately thereby affecting the lumen output.

Dim ceiling lights

Outdated LED Lights

If you have been using your LED bulbs for a long period, they may not be 100% bright. This is because the electronics inside the lamp start to deteriorate with time. As a result, the bulb will not be bright as it used to be when it was new. 

If for instance, the rating of the LED light is 80.000 hours per L 70, then, the output of the lumen decreases up to 70% of the initial brightness. 

The majority of the LEDs currently last for about 50.000 to 100.000 hours, a period equivalent to 20 to 30 years. If your LED lights become dimmer after long usage, therefore, we recommend that you get new ones to continue enjoying full brightness. 

High Temperature

LED bulbs are greatly affected by high temperatures. Apart from causing flickering, high temperatures can also cause the bulb to become dimmer. 

You can confirm if the temperature of your bulb is okay by measuring it at the LED junction of your bulb. This is where an emitter is located.

If your bulb is operating at a room temperature of around 20°C, then the junction temperature will be around 60°C-80°C. Consequently, if your room temperature is higher than 20°C, then the effectiveness of the bulb will be reduced. Always regulate your room temperature to enjoy maximum brightness.

Incompatibility with the Dimmer 

Old dimming circuits initially installed in offices and homes are no longer compatible with modern LEDs. Traditional bulbs were dimmable with a slight change in voltage and only needed old, high dimming circuits and the circuit would be complete. In contrast, LED has an in-built circuitry that runs on low-power.

Considering all these changes, there are several combinations of LED and dimmers. However, not all these combinations will run well. Also, there is a varying power and voltage of LED which is likely to be damaged if the dimmer is not compatible with the LEDs. Therefore, you need to confirm the compatibility of your LED with the dimmer because there are many options in the market and all you need is to select the best.

Check if your bulb is stated dimmable before making any purchase. A non-dimmable LED bulb is problematic because it remains 100 % on even after you try to adjust the brightness on the switch. The light remains on because the printed circuit board of that LED light is not intended for a dimming circuit.

Conclusion

The US Department of Energy predicts that the use of LEDs will help save up to 348 TWh of electricity by 2027. While it is more preferred than other lighting sources, LEDs come with a few challenges. Luckily, these problems are easily addressable. 

The problems can either arise from the LEDs themselves, the power supply, or the wiring. It is, therefore, crucial that you identify the source of the problem before trying to address it.