Mastering LED Light Control: Preventing Flashing, Humming, and Premature Burnout

Once you’ve chosen a stunning new fixture and eagerly waited for its installation, the excitement can easily turn to disappointment when you attempt to dim the light and are met with flickering and humming. What would cause this unexpected behavior? It’s likely the dimmer switch in the wall. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the reasons behind this issue, explore prevention methods, and guide you in selecting the best dimmer for your needs.

Although incandescent and halogen bulbs are on their way out, all were dimmable. That’s not the case for LED bulbs. If you start experiencing problems with your LED bulbs, it’s important to first check if they’re dimmable at all. If you’ve confirmed that they are but you’re still experiencing the flicker and flash, there is likely a minimum load issue with the existing dimmer and it will need to be replaced. Unfortunately, not all dimmers are created equal. What works for one light may not work on the next. 

Here’s what you need to know about selecting the correct dimmer: 

  1. All dimmers have a minimum and maximum load capacity. They also have different electrical parts that help them communicate correctly with the lights they are controlling. 
  2. Make sure  you know which light is being controlled so that the correct dimmer can be selected. 

Let’s use our Solo Pendant from WAC as an example. Per the specification sheet, this pendant dims with an ELV dimmer. (Pro tip: one of our fan favorites is the Diva ELV Dimmer.) Next, let’s take a look at the S21264 by Satco. Per the specification sheet, this bulb dims best with a Diva CFL/LED dimmer, like this one. If you switched these two dimmers, the technology would not communicate the way it should and you would run into these dimming issues. 

In conclusion, the transition from incandescent and halogen bulbs to LED bulbs brings about new challenges in dimming compatibility. If you’re experiencing these issues, stop by your local LBU showroom today and one of our team members will help to get your lights in control.

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