If you have noticed, many of the causes of LED lights flickering are often attributed to dimmer switches. So in this article, I will explore why LED lights flicker with dimmer switches compared to other types of switches.
One of the main reasons why LED lights flicker with dimmer switches is that the technology behind LED lights is still relatively new.
Dimmer switches work by reducing the amount of power that goes to a light bulb. This is usually done using a triac, a semiconductor that can switch an alternating current on and off.
These dimmer switches are designed to work perfectly well with LED lights. But LED lights use Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technology to reduce the amount of power that goes to the light bulb.
PWM is a more efficient way of reducing the power of a light bulb and doesn’t create any electromagnetic fields.
However, the problem with PWM is that it can create a flickering effect when used with a dimmer switch.
This is because the PWM signal from the LED light is not always in sync with the triac in the dimmer switch.
When this happens, you will see a flickering effect. Stick around as I share many more details on why LED lights flicker with a dimmer switch.
What Is A Dimmer Switch?
To understand why LED lights flicker with a dimmer switch, it is essential to know how a dimmer switch works.
A dimmer switch is a type of light switch that allows you to adjust the brightness of a light bulb. It does this by reducing the power that goes to the light bulb.
Dimmer switches are often used in living rooms and bedrooms where you want to create a softer light.
Dimmer switches work by using a semiconductor called a triac. A triac is a switch that can turn an alternating current on and off.
When the dimmer switch is turned on, the triac will allow less power to go to the light bulb. This will cause the light bulb to appear dimmer.
The problem with using a triac is that it can create an electromagnetic field. This electromagnetic field can cause problems with LED lights.
This is because LED lights use Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technology to reduce the amount of power that goes to the light bulb.
There are a lot of benefits to using dimmer switches instead of regular light switches. For example, dimmer switches can help you save energy.
They can also help you create the perfect atmosphere in a room. However, if you use LED lights, you must be careful about which dimmer switch you use.
Not all dimmer switches are compatible with LED lights. If you use an incompatible dimmer switch, it can cause your LED lights to flicker. It can also cause your LED lights to buzz or make other strange noises.
If you are having problems with your LED lights flickering, it is important to check the compatibility of your dimmer switch.
There are a few different ways to do this. One way is to look at the packaging of the dimmer switch. It should say if it is compatible with LED lights.
Another way to check the compatibility of your dimmer switch is to look at the instructions that came with the switch.
The instructions should tell you which light bulbs are compatible with the switch. If you still can’t find this information, you can contact the dimmer switch manufacturer, However, you can find the dimmer switch for your LED light on Amazon
Reasons Why LED Lights Flicker With Dimmer Switches
As I’ve mentioned, one of the reasons why LED lights flicker with dimmer switches is that the technology behind LED lights is still relatively new.
So let’s look at a few reasons why LED lights might flicker when used with a dimmer switch.
1. Using Poor Quality Dimmer Switches
This can be caused by a number of things, such as cheap components or poor design. For example, there are a lot of good-quality dimmer switches on the market, but there are also a lot of poor-quality ones.
If you’re using a poor-quality dimmer switch, then this can cause your LED lights to flicker. This is because the switch does not provide a constant power supply to the LEDs.
It’s important to buy a good-quality dimmer switch if you use LED lights. Otherwise, you may experience flickering.
If you’re unsure whether your dimmer switch is of good quality, then it’s worth checking reviews online before purchasing it. You can also go for a branded dimmer switch, which is better quality.
2. Dimmer Switch Is Set Too Low
If your dimmer switch is too low, it can cause flickering. This is because the current passing through the lightbulb is too low.
To fix this, turn up the dimmer switch until the flickering stops. Doing this will also help to extend the life of your LED lightbulbs. However, if you have your dimmer switch set too high, it can also cause flickering.
In this case, the current passing through the lightbulb is too high. Turn down the dimmer switch until the flickering stops. Again, this will help to extend the life of your LED lightbulbs.
It’s essential to find the right setting for your dimmer switch. If you have it set too low or too high, it can cause flickering.
3. Using Old Dimmer Switches
If you have an old dimmer switch, it may not be compatible with LED lights. This is because the technology behind LED lights has changed significantly in recent years.
If you’re using an old dimmer switch, it’s worth checking to see if it’s compatible with LED lights. If it’s not, you may need to buy a new dimmer switch.
So if you have a very old dimmer switch installation, it is likely that your LED lights are flickering simply because the switch is not compatible with LEDs.
4. Using Non-Dimmable LED Bulbs On Dimmer Switches
One of the most common mistakes many people make is using non-dimmable LED bulbs on dimmer switches.
Just because a lightbulb is LED, it doesn’t mean that it’s compatible with all types of dimmer switches. Most LED lightbulbs are not compatible with dimmer switches.
So if you’re using a dimmer switch with LED lightbulbs, make sure that the bulbs are dimmable. Otherwise, you may experience flickering.
To avoid this problem, check if the LED lightbulbs you’re buying are dimmable. The packaging of the lightbulb should tell you this information.
If you’re unsure whether the lightbulbs are dimmable, you can always contact the manufacturer.
5. Incompatible Dimmer Switch
This is another reason why LED lights flicker with dimmer switches. If you’re using an incompatible dimmer switch, it can cause your LED lights to flicker.
Dimmer switches are made for specific types of lightbulbs, so you’ll need to make sure you’re using the right one.
If you’re not sure which dimmer switch to use, ask an electrician or the store where you bought the lightbulbs.
Better still, purchase the LED light from where you bought the dimmer switch. That way, you can be sure they’re compatible.
6. Power Supply
One reason LED lights flicker is that the power supply to the LEDs is not constant. This is due to the way that LED lights are designed.
LEDs are made up of semiconductors. When electricity is applied to a semiconductor, it releases photons, which is what we see as light.
However, releasing photons is not immediate; it takes a little time for the electrons to get excited and jump from one energy level to another.
This process is called electroluminescence, which is why LED lights flicker when first turned on.
This flickering is not usually visible to the human eye, but it can be if the power supply to the LEDs is not constant. If there are fluctuations in the power supply, then this can cause the LED lights to flicker.
7. Loose Wiring
Another common reason for LED flickering is loose wiring. If the wires are loose in the socket, it can cause flickering. The way you wire a dimmer switch is also important.
If you’re not sure how to wire a dimmer switch, ask an electrician or consult the instructions that came with the switch.
Tightening the wires and ensuring they’re adequately connected should stop the flickering. Lastly, on this same point, make sure all the wires are the same gauge.
Mixing wire gauges can cause flickering too. If you’re unsure what gauge wire to use, ask an electrician or look at the instructions with your light fixture. Usually, it will be noted there what gauge of wire to use.
These are the most common reasons why LED lights flicker with dimmer switches. So if you’re experiencing flickering, it’s worth checking to see if one of these reasons is the cause.
How To Stop LED Lights With Dimmer Switch From Flickering
You can do a few things to stop your LED lights with a dimmer switch from flickering. Let’s take a look at a few of them now.
- First, make sure that the dimmer switch you’re using is compatible with LED lights.
- Not all dimmer switches are, and if yours isn’t, then it’s likely that this is what’s causing the flickering.
- Second, check to see if the minimum load on the dimmer switch is met. Most LED lights have a lower wattage than traditional incandescent bulbs, so you may need more than one to meet the minimum load.
- If that’s the case, you can try connecting them in parallel instead of series.
- And lastly, make sure that the dimmer switch is not overloaded.
- If it is, then this could also be causing the flickering.
Hopefully, one of these solutions will help to stop your LED lights from flickering with a dimmer switch. If not, there may be an issue with the actual LEDs themselves, and you may need to replace them. Thank you for reading!