Fix Dimming LED Lights That Flicker or Wont Turn Off


(Matthew Bial) #1

A number of community members have concerns about using automated dimmers and LED lighting loads because of issues with flickering or not turning fully off. This is caused because the LEDs require so little power compared to traditional bulbs. A fix is to add resistance with a “dummy load” to increase the power consumption. Fibaro sells a “dimmer bypass” which appears to be a resistor intended specifically for this purpose. You can read about it here and some MiCasaVerde users’ experiences here.

Can anyone suggest an off-the-shelf solution for adding a resistor as opposed to overpaying for the Fibaro solution? This is not a one-size-fits-all issue as every lighting load is different and will depend on how much combined wattage your specific LEDs are consuming.


Duplex Switch Help (Leviton VRCS2-MRZ)
Light switch that works with LED lights?
(Dave N) #2

Or you can try the Linear 4 wire dimmer for LEDs as mentioned in the forum. I just received mine last night so I’m hoping it resolved the issues I had that you refer to. Strangely, the “Genuine ST” product only handles incandescent loads which is a dying concern. The only one I have got moved to the fireplace fan so I can adjust that from the couch. The fans actually turn ever so slowly even when the switch is off to feed the Z-Wave cct.


(Matthew Bial) #3

The GE/Jasco Dimmers intended for incandescent bulbs work just fine with the majority of LEDs as long as there’s enough draw on the load. I have 20 of these dimmers that work perfectly and only 1 that has an issue. The reason the GE/Jasco dimmer may be preferable is that it does not require a neutral (2-wire installation) for those of us with older homes that do not have neutrals.


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #4

One other thing to consider is that lots of LED bulbs are emerging into the market and there isn’t really an industry standard. Some OEMs use a forward-phase transformer in the base of their bulb, whereas others use a reverse-phase or step-down transformer, which some triacs are not designed to control.


(Dave N) #5

I know the one I experimented with from ST made the lights flicker badly and made a low buzzing 60hz noise that annoyed me. The dimming was poor as well, 10% was like 50% and then - dark! I was using Philips A line Slim Style bulbs, YMMV.


(Matthew Bial) #6

I’ve had very good luck with the GE/Jasco dimmers that do not require a neutral with Feit LED BR40’s. As these are larger bulbs, they likely have more draw than an MR-16 or standard bulb replacement LED which may explain why I’ve had better success with them. I’m considering trying the “dimmer bypass” resistor method for the 1 dimmer that causes me trouble (2x small candelabra-style LEDs - very little power draw).


(Dave N) #7

Just put in my Linear test unit last night - WOW. Quiet with really nice flicker free dimming all the way down to a dull glow. I’ll be getting more of these for any dimming application.


(Ron S) #8

I had a weird experience couple of days back with my ceiling fan which has four lights. Decided to replace them with Philips Dimmable Blunt Tip B13 LED Lights. I have a
vintage dimmer which somehow would be able to dim these four lights but the lights would never go out completely via the dimmer or pull chain unless we switched off the fan too.

I decided to get the Eco Smart B13 LED and just replaced one bulb and voila… Everything started working fine… Weird.


(Paul Fozzard) #9

Hi,

I purchased 30 5w dimmable MR16 LED bulbs to replace halogens. After installation i discovered that nearly all of them flickered and would not dim smoothly or switch off completely.

One of my friends recommended using 6w dimmable drivers from LED Hive. I installed 10 and these worked a treat. Perfect solution to the dimming problem i had.

the website is www.ledhive.co.uk

Hope this helps

regards

Paul F


(Paul) #10

I had this problem, what solved it was to use a dimmable LED bulb. I used a mr16 bulb. The light wouldn’t turn on at all and wouldn’t turn off. I installed dimmable LED bulbs and it fixed all problems.


(Michael Perez) #11

added incorporated an RC circuit using a .47uf capacitor. Works beautifully. ($2.00 capacitor vs $50.00 switch.)


#12

I just installed the Linear dimming switches with Walmart Great Value dimmable LED bulbs in a brand new construction home. Here’s the issue I’m having - some dimmer switches work and shut the lights all the way off, some leave one or all bulbs on in the system. More specifics:

  • Front porch lights - two aforementioned LED bulb carriage lights with one BR30 spot light at the front door. When off, either the carriage lights are dim and BR30 is off, or other way around, neither turn all the way off when switch shows off
  • Garage carriage lights - two LED carriage lights and neither shut all the way off
  • Balcony lights - three BR40 LED bulbs and all three shut off completely
  • Living room overhead light - to replace with fan light when I get one installed, but this doesn’t shut all the way off
  • Living room switched outlet - Linear switch doesn’t control it at all, LED bulb inside lamp on stand and light is staying on
  • Bedroom switched outlet - Linear switch controls it perfectly, two lamps with two LED candelabra bulbs and strip lighting behind the bed
  • Flood light - incandescent bulbs in unit for now, works perfectly

I know Linear’s instructions say not to use it for switched outlets, but when the bedroom worked fine and I won’t be hooking up a vacuum to this thing, I can’t figure out how the other one doesn’t even turn the lamp on or off, no input from the switch, light stays on, and now I can’t even see it in SmartThings.

I don’t hate that some of these stay dim, but if I want to have it that way, I should be able to control it that way. All bulbs are dimmable and they all all increase and decrease in brightness just fine, just some of them don’t turn all the way off. Thought I could adjust something in the API settings, but I don’t see any way to do that. Any help would be great, thanks!


(Scott Ainsworth) #13

Any chance you can share what parts and how you wired it.
Thanks


(Scott Ainsworth) #14

I have Linear Dimmers. One application would not turn off. One flickered randomly. I installed Fibaro Bypass 2 modules and it cleared up both problems.


(Matt) #15

I had a similar issue with LEDs flickering when off, and posted in another thread my quick and easy solution. I simply added a 5w christmas/ night lite bulb to the circuit, problem solved. I wired it into one of the recessed cans to make it easy to replace if it burned out. That did happen a few weeks ago, just pulled the trim ring down, replaced the bulb and all was good again.

i suppose I could have added a capacitor, but I had the lights around and an extra 5 watt draw was minuscule in the scheme of things.