Q: I feel like I’m going to have a seizure. I’ve tried three LED bulbs in my home, and all of them flicker. I’m convinced I’m getting bad bulbs, and the people at the store are being patient. Why are my LED bulbs flickering? Do you think the bulbs are bad, or is it some other sinister problem in my electrical system and my house might catch on fire? --Brad G., Tulsa, Okla.
A. You’d be stunned by the number of people that have the same flickering-light problem. Guess what? It’s almost never the bulb. LED bulbs, for the most part, are very reliable and create consistent, non-flickering light when they get a uniform current flowing through the bulb.
LED bulb flickering can be traced in almost every instance to a non-compatible dimmer switch in the lighting circuit. Modern dimmer switches create the dimming effect by switching the power supply on and off many times per second. Traditional incandescent bulbs have a glowing white-hot piece of metal that creates the light. When the dimmer switches the power on and off, the glowing metal starts to cool down and the net result is the light dims. There's no flickering.
LED bulbs don’t have glowing filaments. When the dimmer switch goes off and on many times per second, the LED bulb becomes a flickering strobe light. In rare cases, the flickering can be some other power supply issue, which may be the explanation if you don’t have dimmer switches. Contact your utility company in this case.
Some switch manufacturers make dimmer switches that they claim to work well with LED bulbs. It’s a simple project to switch out a dimmer switch, and it might prevent you from having a seizure!
I've got a great video about flickering LED bulbs and a current list of dimmer switches that work with LED bulbs at my website. Go to: http://go.askthebuilder.com/ledbulbs.
Tim Carter can call you on the phone for free to solve your problem. Go to his website and fill out the form on this page: https://www.askthebuilder.com/ask-tim/.