Buzzing LED's

(Doug) #1

I’m hoping someone can help. I’m building a house. We roughed in electric several months ago and I have been planning for LED lights throughout and all of the switches to be z-wave connected switches accessible through smart things.

A few months ago I ordered the new version of the GE switches (now out of the return period and ordered about 80 switches). In various places we are installing GE 12722,12723,12724,12728,12729 and 45740 (dimmers in some places, toggles in some places, 3/4/5-ways in some places). Last week I installed the older version of the GE z-wave 3-way switch and the switch itself was buzzing when the light was dimmed. I wasn’t too concerned because it was the old version. Today our electrician started installing all of the new version.

The lights are lighting science glimpse 4" (

When the lights are on and not dimmed everything is fine. When I dim the lights I get a humming sound (from the lights NOT the switches - different then what I had with the old version when the switch buzzed but the lights seemed silent). The lights say they are dimmable and the switches say they are compatible as a CFL/LED dimmer. Also, to be clear we do have a neutral hooked up to the switches.

Any thoughts on the cause and more importantly any thoughts on how to fix it? I believe the lights are no longer returnable and the switches are no longer returnable either so I hope I am not stuck with several thousand dollars worth of switches and lights that don’t live up to there specs.


Many thanks,

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #2

Well, first, check the phase of the dimmer and bulb transformer. There are 3 types, forward phase, reverse phase and adaptive phase.

Also, check the wiring the the load and light hots are wired correctly and not reversed through the dimmer.

Last, is it all bulbs, or just a few? The manufacturing tolerances on these cheap bulbs can lead to some being less tolerant to voltage changes then others, causing the transformers in some of the bulbs to buzz and not others.

Hope that helps.

(Curtis Frazier) #3

Ouch! If you do end up needing to return something, check with your credit card. Most of my cards have a benefit that extends the return period. Might be something to look into.

(Doug) #4

Thanks to both of you.

Patrick - I checked and double checked the load/line. It’s hard to tell but I think it is all of the bulbs. However, the buzzing certainly appears louder in certain rooms (not sure if it’s the room that makes it louder or those lights lights are buzzing louder).

Where would I find the “phase”. Looked through the specs of both the light and the switches and don’t see any reference to that.

Thanks again!

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #5

It would be the dimmer. I dont know those bulbs but hum is going to be an issue at most dim levels if the bulbs transformer cant handle the phase change.


I would start by talking to GE/Jasco technical support (the phone number is in the user guide for the switch). They’ll be the quickest to determine if there’s a warranty issue with the switch.

(Paul) #7

Buy a good-quality manual (non z-wave) dimmer switch from your favorite hardware store and see if that causes the LEDs to buzz. In my experience dimming various low-voltage lights, there is usually some buzz… just sometimes it is louder than others.

As stated, you may have a phase missmatch between your transformers and your switches, but you may need to call the manufacturers to check. Interestingly, most of the dimmers listed as compatible in the spec sheet for your lights have the option to switch between forward and reverse phase.