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Why Do Led Lights Flicker? Read Here!

The world of LED lighting has many benefits: they are also known as light emitting diodes, they consume less energy than incandescent bulbs, and they are more energy efficient.

Considering all these facts, there is no doubt that LED lighting can be a healthy choice for many people. However, there are some drawbacks.

If the light doesn’t flicker, the bulb is said to be optimally bright, but if it flickers, the brightness is reduced. The flickering of an LED light is actually caused by the rapid rise and fall of electricity in the circuit.

This is mainly due to the fact that LEDs are relatively inefficient power-supplying devices; they usually use around 4 to 5 times the electricity that is needed to illuminate the LED light.

In order to make up for this, the current flows through the LED light at a very high frequency. If you don’t have any knowledge about basic electricity, you can think of the LED light as a sort of a transformer: electricity flows in, and light comes out.

The frequency of this current is the fastest at the time of the ‘on’ condition. 

Types of Flickering

A flickering light is an electrical lamp that flickers on and off very rapidly. The spastic flicker can be caused by a number of physical causes, most commonly a loose connection at the circuit board or low resistance connection in the lamp.

Flickering is a frequent complaint when troubleshooting light fixtures, and is also one of the common symptoms of many electrical problems. There are two types of flickering with lights – visible flicker and invisible flicker.

Visible flicker

Obviously visible flicker is the one our eyes can see, which is when the light output from a given source changes rapidly. It is considered that anything below a frequency of 100Hz can be seen.

Visible flicker in led light bulbs is the effect of appearing flicker or flickering of the light in a led light bulb when is used at high current.

Flicker can be seen in the led light bulb when it is turned on and the low current. Usually visible flicker in led light bulbs are caused by the electrical fields from the back plane of the led light bulb causing the light to flicker.

Invisible flicker

Its a flickering that you cant see but its there. Now on the other side of the spectrum is the invisible flicker that you may not see but it’s there.

If you look at the led lighting from a distance and pay attention when you walk into the room or even get up close you may see the flicker. If you’re not after the visible flicker then this article is for you.

Problems can occur when a light source is not installed correctly, or when the light flickers so fast that the eye cannot catch it. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to determine the reason for your flicker problem.

Common reasons why led light flicker

We all use light-emitting diodes as a source of bright, energy-efficient lighting. So, why are they flicking? When LED lighting technologies first became popular, flicker was often cited as the main complaints.

Today, it’s still a common complaint, but not the only reason. As LEDs have evolved, the number of reasons to flicker has increased. Here are some of the main reasons why LEDs may flicker:

1. Power supply

Since LED lights are constantly on, especially when they are in use, they receive high amounts of voltage that can cause the power supply to heat up. This can lead to the power supply’s circuitry to malfunction, causing LED light failures.

2. Voltage

This is because the LEDs may act like a bridge rectifier that has too much voltage on the input and not enough on the output.

This is particularly problematic for LED strips, which produce a great deal of light and need to be run at the same voltage to avoid flickering.

The problem is, LEDs get hot. As LEDs get hotter, they emit more and more infrared light that can result in flickering and other annoying problems.

That’s why it’s important to know how voltage affects your LED lights, and what you can do to limit the flicker.

4. Size

However, LEDs do have a few drawbacks, the biggest of which is their size. They are much smaller than conventional bulbs, and that means that they have to be placed closer to the desired area than the traditional bulbs.

In some cases, LEDs may even require a slightly different shape for the desired illumination, since the LEDs themselves are not standardized. However, the size is not the biggest issue with LEDs.

It is their consumption that makes them a problem for many applications, even if the LEDs themselves are less power-hungry. 

5. Loose Bulb Connection

Flickering can also be caused from a loose connection somewhere along the closed circuit the LED is involved in. This can be anywhere in the circuitry within your walls or simply between the lighting fixture and the LED light in itself.

This is an issue because when the connection isn’t fully intact it can cause flickering by occasionally turning on and off based on small movements such as vibrations.

This small amount of current can cause small amounts of heating and the heat build up can create enough pressure to cause the LED lights to flicker.

How to stop LEDs flickering

LED lights can be a little finicky, especially when they’re not turned on. There are a couple of things you can try to get rid of the flickering, but there are no quick fixes.

The first thing to try is to make sure you have a bright light source. So far, most fixes involve adding a heatsink, but that can be a pain.

LED manufacturers recommend that LEDs are protected from excess heat, and a common way of doing this is putting a heat sink on the back of the LED, usually made from copper or aluminium.

In some cases, though, this heat sink may not be enough. If you find that your LED is unusually flickering, then there is a good chance that the heat sink is not working.

Without altering the frequency, the LED becomes likely to show visible flicker. However, this can be fixed by using constant current drivers, which remove the peaks of the sine wave. 

Power correction components within the driver circuit must also be addressed. Without this, ripple currents in the power flow will cause flickering.

Ultimately if the driver design of the LED bulb meets the requirements of both a stable DC current and ample ripple suppression, there should be no flicker.

If flickering is present in your LED lamp (and you are not dimming with it), it was likely created with cheap driver components.

Do LED Bulbs Flicker Before They Burn Out?

LED bulbs are a great way to save money and reduce the waste produced by traditional light bulbs. While they can last up to 25,000 hours, it’s best to replace them every year to ensure they stay in tip-top shape.

After you’ve been using an LED light for a while, you might notice a flicker. That’s because the LEDs do need time to adjust to the new voltage, but once they’re up to speed, they’ll last much longer than the incandescent bulbs they’re replacing.

Some customers have reported their LED lights flickering after a few months of light use. This doesn’t mean that the light is defective or that the light needs to be replaced.

Rather, it’s a sign that the light is on its way out, so you should buy a new LED light, or at least change the bulb in the light before it burns out.

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