Are You Experiencing FLICKERING LEDs?

Posted: April 18, 2019 at 7:00 am

You’ve probably read a lot from Beartooth about the benefits of converting to LED lights within your home and business over the past year. We are seeing a very high interest from members in this new light source offering significant energy savings and visual color options across the spectrum. The growth in LED sales is impressive. The Thomas Edison light bulb filament has changed a little but nothing compared to the light-emitting diode (LED) in the new light bulbs.

However, as we have come to learn, not all LEDs are created equal. The interior electronics of LEDs varies significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer. The old adage of you get what you pay for comes to mind.

So have your LEDs flickered at times? Most likely, they are controlled by a dimmer. Once again, not all dimmers are created equal (even if they say they are LED compatible). Transient voltage anomalies created by dimmers and other electrical equipment can directly affect the operation of LED bulbs; i.e., dimming, flickering, etc.

In the interest of sharing, we tested a Lutron C.L Dimmer with its advanced dimmer circuitry on existing LED bulbs that were known to have flickering issues. They worked extremely well, no flickering. Lutron has tested thousands of LED bulbs to ensure compatibility with their CL Dimmers. Lutron is a well-known, long-time manufacturer of lighting controls. I am sure there are other manufacturers that could also provide similar results.

We have also seen flickering issues with LED bulbs from variable speed well pumps. These pumps vary the speed by changing the drive frequency for 60 Hz. Again, a transient anomaly is created which interferes with the electronics in the LED bulb. This can be alleviated by having an electrician install a “filter” on your variable speed drive. This can be quite perplexing every time a toilet is flushed, you put a load of clothes in your washer, or you start your dishwasher. Mystery solved. It’s all part of living in the new digital age.