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How to Fix a LED Light that Turns ON & OFF by Itself

LED lights turn on and off by itself

Why does my LED light bulb keep turning ON and OFF?

LED lights can be directly affected by any power disruption in the connected circuits. If there is a refrigerator in the same circuit as the LED light and when its compressor comes on and draws extra power, the LED light can go OFF. It will come back again once the power distribution is restored to normal.

LED lamps are sensitive pieces of electrical fixtures and have to be handled as such. Some reasons that can cause the LED lamp to turn ON and OFF by itself are:

  • Heat is a critical factor that leads to this phenomenon
  • The LED bulb’s socket could be a problem
  • The rating of the capacitor can also cause the problem of on & off of the LED lamp
  • Lack of ventilation can be the issue
  • The LED bulb’s quality may be poor; bad soldering inside


Higher Voltage in the Circuit Affect LED Lamps

If you have fixed LED lamps in your house or office, there will be other connected equipment in the same circuit. Appliances like refrigerators will draw more power to start the compressor when the thermostat triggers such a response.

Compressors draw an excessive amount of power while starting. Similarly, a washing machine can draw more load while performing specific operations.

When these happen, the voltage in the circuit can get affected. This immediately impacts the LED lamps that will cause it to shut OFF by itself. When the voltage is back to normal, the LED lamps will turn ON again.

Excess Heat can Impact the LED Lamps

LED lamps are designed to operate in a certain temperature range. If the ambient temperature increases beyond these limits, then the lights can turn OFF on their own.

When the temperature comes down again, the LED lamp will once again come ON.

Researchers have done a detailed study on this aspect of the excessive heat resulting in the LED lamp switching itself OFF and turning ON again once the heat falls below the limit.

One of the findings is that the LED lamp starts getting heated and the longer it remains ON, the greater the possibility of it switching OFF due to the heat it accumulates.

Despite the provision of a heatsink, the LED lamp may still gain heat and turn OFF. The absence of adequate ventilation around the LED lamp is also part of this same issue as the heating is faster with no air to cool the surroundings.

In some cases, it has been measured and established that an LED lamp would turn OFF at 120° and turn itself back ON when the temperature gets around 95°.


Why Does My LED Light Bulb Turn ON by Itself?

One of the reasons reported for the LED light bulb turning itself ON is the SmartThings program that many households have installed. The lighting is part of the connected devices in a house with timed dimming or switching ON. If there are  issues with the software, the LED lights can turn ON.

The other possible reasons for the LED light bulb turning itself ON are:

  • Power outages – when the power goes OFF and it resumes, the LED lamps tend to light back to 100% brightness.
  • In the connected devices scenario, the Wi-Fi router switching OFF and reconnecting can also be the reason for this issue.
  • The appearance of a glow after the LED light is switched OFF gives the impression that the LED light is still on.


Why Does My LED Light Bulb Turn OFF by Itself?

There are many reasons why an LED light bulb turns itself OFF. However, the most frequent reason reported is due to the heat around the bulb.

LED light bulbs cannot operate if the ambient temperature around them is higher than 100°.

Among the other factors that can cause the LED light bulbs to turn OFF are:

  • A wall switch being shaky.
  • Some loose connection/contact in the circuit.
  • Some pet or a squirrel causing the light to be switched off
  • Disruption in the power supply.

You will have to go through the process of elimination before you can conclude what the exact cause is. It must be understood that LED bulbs are expected to last many years and if there is some problem with them, getting them replaced should not pose any difficulty.


How to Fix an LED Light Bulb That Turns ON by Itself?

If the LED light is part of the ‘smart’ circuit, the possibility of the bulb turning itself ON could be due to the software. Try reinstalling the firmware and the issue might go away.

Households in the US are increasingly wiring their houses with Alexa or other voice-assisted software and connect appliances and lights. The LED light bulbs in this closed circuit have been reported by many users as turning themselves ON.

Many of these arrangements are covered by apps and some bugs in the app can be responsible for the LED light bulb turning itself ON. There are reported instances where only one or two LED light bulbs behave this way while there are other similar bulbs in the circuit that work perfectly.

The router connecting the Wi-Fi to the household can automatically reconnect after a power outage. This can cause the LED light bulb to turn itself ON. This is a kind of reset when the router returns with the signal and the light turns ON.

If there is no ‘smart’ circuit involved, then the regular checks to find the reason and to fix it will have to be undertaken. These include:

  • Checking if there is excessive heat build-up.
  • Fault in wiring connections.
  • Problems with the wall switch.
  • Quality of the LED bulb used.
  • The socket.

You can keep eliminating each of these. You can allow the bulb to cool if it gets too hot and then replace it. The connections from the switch to the bulb can be thoroughly checked and repaired where necessary.


How to Fix an LED Light Bulb That Turns ON by Itself?

The most common reason observed for the LED light bulb turning OFF automatically is the voltage fluctuation in the circuit it is connected to.

A sudden spike can cause the LED lamp to switch OFF. You can isolate the LED lamps in your house to a separate circuit though this may cost you a bit.

Reasons Why LED Bulb Turns Itself OFF

Apart from the voltage issue, excessive heat around the LED bulb can cause this disruption. If there is a mechanism to cool it down, it will come ON again. There are reports of specific brands of LED light bulbs having this issue of turning itself OFF. If you don’t find any logical reason, you should contact the manufacturer or the reseller for a replacement bulb.


How to Fix the Issue

There is no direct solution to the problem of the LED lamp turning itself OFF. If heat is the problem, then try and have a cooling arrangement.

The other solution is to isolate the LED lamps from the main circuit so that any spikes or drops in the voltage do not affect these bulbs.

The LED light bulbs are designed and made to last for a long time. Most manufacturers offer warranty for 25,000 hours or more.

The general sense is that a good LED lamp should last for at least 10 years or more. The operating environment alone can alter this situation.


Common Problems with LED Lighting

Some of the common problems you may face with LED lighting are attributed to treating them the same way as you would treat the traditional bulbs.

Many users have both types of bulbs in the same fixture next to one another. This is because the LED bulbs are now being sold in the same shape as the old types and people can’t really differentiate between the two.

The first difference is the ability to function under heat. The traditional bulbs get heated while they stay ON but are not affected by the heat. The LED light bulbs on the other hand are a lot cooler and when there is excessive heat around them, they can switch OFF.

The other difference is when there is a drop in the voltage; the old bulbs can flicker a bit and have a dull glow. The LED light bulbs will turn OFF completely.

LED light bulbs are being increasingly used in ‘smart’ homes with Dimmer switches to control their light. A wrong dimmer switch or one rated for higher wattages in the old style will fail here. LED bulbs used in homes have ratings of 9W or 15W. Dimmer switches are normally meant for the traditional lamps of much higher wattage, which is usually in the hundreds.

Having large appliances that draw excess current to start has already been discussed earlier. This is a common cause for LED light bulbs turning ON or OFF by themselves.

If you wish to avoid most of these and other problems, invest in good quality LED light bulbs.


LED Light Turns OFF After a Few Seconds

The most frequently observed reason for LED lights turning OFF after a few seconds is the wattage issue. Within a circuit, the LED light bulbs may be getting more current than they need. The best fix for this is to add a watt limiter in the circuit.

The watt limiter will regulate the current being sent to the LED light bulbs. If you have multiple bulbs, you can remove one of them to see if the issue is taken care of.

The other reason for this occurrence could be the Dimmer. Those that are meant to be used with the traditional bulbs won’t work with the LED light bulbs. You may have to replace the switch and redo the wiring to suit the LED circuit.


LED Light Turns ON and OFF Randomly

The only possible explanation for the LED light turning ON and OFF randomly is the heat level. As the heat near the lamp increases, it will turn OFF and when the temperature cools down, the LED lamp will turn ON. You can check if the heatsink is functioning correctly.

Here are some reasons why LED lamps can behave abnormally.

  • The switches being incompatible.
  • Power/wattage surge/drop.
  • Faulty driver components.
  • Voltage fluctuations.
  • Relaxation oscillator.

Any of the above or combination of more than one can cause the LED light to turn OFF and ON intermittently. This applies to the bulbs and the tubes as well.


How to Fix Broken LED Light Strip?

LED strips used in decorating your wall or tree can have issues where a part of the strip lights won’t glow. The only fix available is to solder the contacts in the LED strip where the lights are OFF. It may be a delicate job but this is the only way you can restore the lights along the entire LED light strip.

Some of the reasons that apply to the LED standalone bulbs will also apply to the LED strips. The voltage and current rating of the power supply are critical and must be checked.

If there are heavy appliances in the same circuit as the LED light strip, you will have to make sure that the LED strip is isolated to ensure that a uniform current is received by it.

It is only after you have made sure of this that you should get into the welding part. The temperature of the immediate environment should also be checked.


Why LED Light Keeps Flickering?

LED lights can flicker if they are connected to a Dimmer switch that is incompatible. These dimmer switches may be designed to operate with the traditional bulbs but with the LED light bulbs they have this flickering effect. The dimmer switch can be replaced with one that works with the LED light bulbs.

If you don’t have any Dimmer switch installed in the circuit then the only other reason for the flickering could be power supply-related.


Why LED Light Strip Keeps Flashing?

If you have installed an LED light strip for a steady glow but realize that it is just flickering or flashing, the reason could be an excessive power supply or load in the circuit.

You must reset the power supply to the level the LED light bulbs in the strip are rated at. Alternatively, you can cut the length of the LED light strip to match the power supply.

The situation can be explained with an example. If you have an LED light strip that has bulbs of 24W over one meter of the strip, a 5-meter strip will draw 120W (24×5).

If the power supply is less than 6or 65W, then the LED light strip when switched ON will flash.

Some of the other reasons for the flashing of LED light strips are the common ones seen so far; voltage drop and poor connections or an incompatible Dimmer switch, and so on.


LED Light Strip Keeps Turning ON and OFF

It is usually the power supply that causes the LED light strips to turn ON and OFF. Check the capacity of the power supply and replace it with the one that matches the connected load.

Apart from the rating of the power supply, its location, and age also matter. Check and ensure that the power supply is located in a cool and protected place. Overheating of the power supply can result in the LED light strip turning ON and OFF.

Ernie Lo

Ernie Lo is a qualified web designer and web developer. He works as an IT support technician and website manager at Benleigh Vending, and he also fixes vending machines.

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