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Why Are My LED Lights Not Bright?

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After installing LED lights, you may be thinking: why are my LED lights not bright? Like other kinds of lighting, some issues prevent LED lights from working properly. To ensure your LEDs remain functional, we’re going to look into the causes of dimming and what to do to make lights brighter.

Why Are My LED Lights Not Bright?

Your LED lights may not be bright due to inadequate power supply, loose or old wiring, aging loose bulbs, or surge wattage. Light dimmers, overheating, high ambient temperature, non-ventilated fixtures, and low-quality LEDs can also prevent LED lighting from shining bright.

Before we discuss fixing the brightness of LED lights, let’s understand first the causes of dim lights.

LED light fixtures

Reasons Why LED Lights Lose Brightness

The rapid adoption of LED lights can collectively save $265 billion over the next 2 decades. However, LED lights to tend to lose brightness due to problems with wiring, power, wattage, and light quality. Factors like heat, temperature, ventilation, and aging can also affect a LED light’s brightness.

Let’s go a little deeper about how these causes happen.

  • Improper power supply: LED lights can’t reach maximum brightness if the LED isn’t working in the rated voltage and current. If the driver’s power rating doesn’t match that of the LED, the light won’t be bright and even burn out. 
  • Loose wire connection: This involves a loose wire connection between the circuit and bulb. LED chips inside the lights will not turn on when the wires are not firmly connected. 
  • Old wiring: High load appliances connected to old wiring can result in low overall voltage. Connecting your LED lights to previous circuits from old light bulbs can impact the overall brightness.
  • Loose bulbs: Another reason why your LED lights might not be bright enough is that they weren’t tightened firmly in the fixture. Poor contact between the base and bulbs can affect current transmission.
  • Surge wattage: You will get reduced light output when LED lights are in the same circuit as high load appliances like microwaves and washers. In effect, you will experience fluctuations in LED light brightness. If your LED bulbs are on a dimmer switch, you may not notice dimming if surge wattage occurs.
  • Aging LED lights: Similar to other kinds of lights, LED lights used for a long time will end up having deteriorating electronics. As a result, LEDs won’t produce 100% lumens. 
  • Overheating: When LED lights overheat, it will result in light deficiency and decreased LED brightness. 
  • High ambient temperature: LED lights create maximum brightness at around 25 degrees Celsius. If the working environment ranges from 40 to 60 degrees Celsius, the lumen output drops to approximately 65 to 80% of its maximum value.
  • Non-ventilated fixture: When you’re using a LED light in an enclosed fixture, the fixture will trap the heat inside the fixture. 
  • Low quality LED: Abnormally cheap LED lights usually come with poor soldering of the gold wire and LED chips. This results in loosening components.
Living room with LED lights

How to Make LED Lights Brighter

Switching to LEDs can help you save about 80% on yearly energy costs. Even when LED lights begin to lose brightness, these are simple fixes to the problem.

  • Fix circuit overload: Aside from removing the bad LED from the circuit board, you can split the heavy load appliances and move them to a different circuit from the bulbs.
  • Check wires: Wear protective gloves, then check for both wanted and unwanted wire contacts. Ensure the wires make proper contact with the terminal block. 
  • Ensure proper voltage: Use the original setting of the whole LED lights to ensure the voltage is equal to or greater than the direct voltage. The LED chip’s temperature will increase if the current flow excessively.
  • Provide enough ventilation: Make sure there’s a continuous exchange of fresh air. As much as possible, only use LED lights in open fixtures.
  • Amp the voltage amp: Do this if the problem comes from the power supply. You can stop increasing it when there’s no improvement in the brightness.
  • Hire an electrician: If there’s a lack of power supply to the drive power, it would be better to hire a professional electrician to replace or repair the LED drive. 
  • Do maintenance cleaning: Make sure to turn off the switch. Use a dry cloth dampened with water to wipe the light bulb. Don’t use chemical cleaners.
  • Buy a new, high-quality LED light: Poorly designed LED bulbs won’t manage proper current, causing you to see a rapid fluctuation of brightness. Invest in an ENERGY STAR-rated LED light that’s suitable for your kind of fixture. 

Signs of Dimming

Aside from understanding the causes of dimming LED lights, it’s equally important that you know the signs, so you can prevent your LED from losing brightness altogether. 

  • Drop out: This happens when you’re dimming a LED, and the light abruptly cuts out even before you turn off the switch completely. 
  • Ghosting: Occurs when you’ve turned off or dimmed your LED  light all the way down, yet the light continues to glow.
  • Flickering: Swift and irregular light pulsings. 
  • Dead travel: LEDs that don’t respond to the dimming adjustments.
  • Strobing: Rhythmic flashing at a less-frequent rate than flickering.
LED lights that are not bright anymore

Related Questions

Now that we’ve understood why and how LED lights lose brightness, let’s talk about other things concerning LEDs.

Why Is My LED Light Not Working? 

If your LED lights aren’t working at all, then there’s a chance that there’s faulty internal wiring. External factors such as power fluctuations, incompatible dimmer, faulty electrical installation, and unsuitable transformer can also prevent LEDs from working altogether.

Why Is My LED Light Still Glowing After Switching It Off? 

The serial connection of the LED light’s glow lamp closes the circuit even when you turn off the switch. This results in a low voltage drop to the LED driver, causing the LED to glow weakly.

Conclusion

Your LED lights may lose brightness due to improper power supply, loose wiring, overheating, and surge wattage. A LED light’s surge wattage, quality, and age can also impact brightness. Watch out for signs like flickering or ghosting so that you can apply the appropriate way of fixing your LED lights.