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Sort of a DIY fail: Disneysteve's Common Cents Blog
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Sort of a DIY fail

January 12th, 2020 at 04:03 pm

This isn't entirely a fail, and it is in no way my fault, but I kind of feel like I wasted my money.

A year or so ago, we replaced the ceiling light fixture in our sitting room. We also put in dimmable LED bulbs. There was already a dimmer switch and I didn't change that.

We found that the lights were fine when at full brightness, but they flickered quite a lot when they were dimmmed, even going off momentarily and coming back on. I did some reading online and learned that older dimmer switches regulate the current differently and they aren't compatible with LED bulbs.

I went out yesterday and bought a new LED-commpatible dimmer switch and installed it today. It works okay but the lights still flicker. Not nearly as bad as they did. They don't actually go fully off and on like before. It's more of a constant minimal flicker which does seem to be a lot less annoying. We'll have to see how noticeable it is when it's dark outside and the fixture is the only light source.

I'm all in favor of switching to highly energy-efficient lighting but it does have some downsides and flickering is one of them. The LEDs I installed in our hallway flicker a lot too and those aren't on a dimmer. I've also found 3 fixtures in the house where LED bulbs wouldn't work at all and I had to stick with CFL or incandescent bulbs which was disappointing.

5 Responses to “Sort of a DIY fail”

  1. Sue Says:

    That's weird. I thought LED lights could be used in all lighting fixtures. I haven't experienced a problem with the replacement to LED lights so far... fingers crossed that I don't. ha!

  2. disneysteve Says:

    Sue, I've been told that sometimes the contact piece at the base of the fixture needs to be bent up a bit in order to make proper contact with the LED bulb. I guess they can be a tad shorter than traditional bulbs. I haven't tried that yet. And flickering is apparently fairly common, especially in the less expensive versions. The driver mechanism can be cheaper and not function as well as the more costly ones.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    I hate it when lights flicker. It is frustrating. I'm sorry your dimmer switch and bulbs are not compatible.

  4. Bluebird Says:

    When we replaced all our bulbs with LED, we had to replace all the dimmer switches too for the same reason.

  5. CB in the City Says:

    I had the same problem when I tried to use LED bulbs. All my lights are fitted out with dimmer switches and I don't want to change that, so I use regular bulbs.

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