My LED daytime running lights flicker - what to do?

Susan Fernandez February 02 2022

How do daytime running lights work?

The only thing preventing drivers from driving with their high beams on is the risk of dazzling other drivers. In countries where this isn't a concern, high beams are used during the day as well.

When you switch your headlight to a low beam, a black plastic cover slides over a couple of the light sources in your headlight. This reduces the total amount of light being emitted and thus reduces how far ahead you can see. When daytime running lights were first developed, it was determined that having two small lights on each side of the car would be enough for other drivers to recognize that they should not be overtaken by this vehicle (thus making these cars more road-safe).

Increase Visibility With Brighter DRL Bulbs

The downside is that turning these headlights off at night results in blinding other drivers. How these LED daytime running lights work is that they have a separate light source for the DRL in one of the reflectors in the headlight, which is only turned on when it gets dark enough outside and when you turn your low beams on.

Finally, there are also cars with LED daytime running lights that supplement their low-beam headlights, but this is very rare.

Why do LED daytime running lights flicker?

As you might have noticed, these DRLs sometimes flicker or change color slightly when they come on (especially during the summer) and oftentimes only if you're close to them. This is due to how they work: The switchable reflector (which is used to turn the DRL on at night) doesn't cover the whole light source.

There's still some light coming out of the sides of it that's not covered by it. When your car gets warmer in the sun, there will be more UV light available causing the inner of this reflector to heat up. This results in a shorter wavelength, which has the effect of shifting the color from blue to white (which is why they turn from white to bluish when they get hotter or "burned").

Now, if you're going around a corner and your DRLs are off, but you can still see them flickering slightly on the side of your car that's in the sun--that means they're working as intended. The light that escapes through the seams is enough for other drivers to recognize that this car has its low beams turned on.

If they didn't flicker slightly, it would be very difficult for other drivers to tell whether you have your low beams turned on at night or not, which may lead to unsafe situations.

What type of LED daytime lights flicker more: aftermarket and stock LEDs?

If you bought something different and replaced your stock LED daytime running light with an aftermarket LED daytime running light, you may have noticed that it flickers more or less than your factory units. The reason for this is that the different LED chips in these lights are made of slightly different materials.

Some emit a higher wavelength when they're burned (and thus appear brighter), and some emit a lower one. This results in them appearing to flicker at different rates depending on how much power is fed into them and what material was used in their production.

Why do my daytime running lights flicker?

The daytime running lights are an important safety feature on your vehicle. They help you to be seen by other drivers during the daytime hours. However, they can also be a source of annoyance if they flicker or blink excessively.

There are a few reasons why your daytime running lights may be flickering. One possibility is that the bulbs are loose in their sockets. Another possibility is that the bulbs are not getting enough power. If your daytime running lights are LED bulbs, they may be incompatible with your vehicle's electrical system.

In some cars LED DRLs may also cause headlights to flicker and provoke dashboard warning lights. This is due to the fact that LEDs use less electricity in comparison to halogen bulbs, and that makes them hard to be recognized by car computer systems. Luckily, there is a quick fix to that. Just add special adaptors for LEDs, throw in some resistors or a voltage booster.

What are the differences between DRL and LED lighting?

As you may have noticed, LED headlights are far brighter than regular halogen lights. The reason for this is that the light source itself consists of several smaller LEDs instead of a single bulb. These LEDs shine right into your eyes when you're on the road which can be quite dangerous.

However, these LED headlights tend to also be much whiter in color (which actually makes them harder to see because it's closer to natural sunlight). When you drive with your high beams, DRLs, and LED headlights all at the same time--it's already too bright for other drivers to see what's ahead of them. These types of lights should not imitate daylight since there are much more serious safety implications involved when driving around in broad daylight!

Why do only the lower-quality DRLs use high-frequency switching?

Not all LED daytime running lights are made equal! If you look carefully, you'll notice that cheaper ones tend to either flicker excessively or have occasional dark spots where there's no light being emitted at all. The reason for this is that these lights use high-frequency switching (which means they switch on and off very quickly to emulate a steady light). In cars, this type of switching can be found in cheaper LED daytime running lights.

Why? Because it's cheaper! Some more expensive models have been designed so that the light remains turned on when your car isn't moving. This reduces your safety while driving since you won't be able to tell whether another driver has their low beam headlights turned on or not, even if they do have an LED DRL installed--that's how bright these really are!

With normal electronic devices, high-frequency switching is used for LEDs to reduce power consumption while still being bright enough to be useful. In cars, however, this low-quality technology is used as an inexpensive way to mimic the function of DRLs. You won't find high-frequency switching in high-end LED headlights or even OEM LED daytime running lights!

So why do manufacturers go ahead and make these lights so bright?

Brightness is one of the most important factors in purchase decisions for new cars. For example, with iPhones Apple used to be known for making tech products that had a very simple design and were aimed at techies. Nowadays Apple is known more for its marketing tactics and for making its customers feel like they need to constantly buy new products or they'll miss out on something (which in reality is never true).

This tactic has been mirrored by other tech companies like Samsung and recently even Google (with Google glass and Cardboard VR glasses). Car designers know this as well. They want every car to stand out when you drive down the street; "hey look at me! We are so cool!"

More specifically, this is due to the fact that car companies are currently moving towards making their cars more like smartphones. They want to control every aspect of them so they can sell you upgrades later on down the road--for example, have a completely serviceable bumper that you can replace with any color or shape you please (which is actually possible now).

This way they'll make more money off each customer since it's much cheaper for them to advertise an upgrade for this instead of having to create a whole new model year.

How can you fix the problem with flickering LED daytime running lights?

There is no need to worry, as this issue is just a matter of finding the right LED daytime running lights to buy. Just look carefully at each one and see what kind of technology it's using. As a solution, you can install a special decoder called CANBus into your car.

This would be the only way to fix this issue, but keep in mind that it's not possible for all cars--so you should take a look at whether or not your car is compatible first before spending money on this project!

That being said, don't give up just yet if your car isn't compatible with CANBus. You can still get some of the best LED day running lights available today by shopping online. The problem with many websites selling DRLs is that they tend to be more expensive than other places. For example, Amazon tends to have one of the highest prices but offers free shipping as well as good customer reviews which are definitely worth looking into! Make sure you check out their warranty options too since it varies from seller to seller.

Another variant is more efficient - you have to mount a relay harness on your car to achieve it.

This usually happens because these LED lights are designed as a DRL which means they have a certain function and purpose, you might want to install them on your vehicle by yourself or you can ask a professional for help. The problem with this method is that the wiring will be different from how it's installed on most cars so if you do a mistake during installation, there is a high likelihood of causing some issues.

One more option for you to solve the problem with flickering daytime running lights is getting H15 LED DRL conversion kits. The latter is often used as a replacement, so you can improve the aesthetics of your car and at the same time get rid of those old halogen lamps. This type of LED daytime running light is getting more popular because apart from the aesthetics aspect, they provide stronger light output than regular DRLs.

You need to consider how much bright is too bright for your headlights and foglights. The brighter it gets, the worse it will be for other drivers on the road. Brightness has nothing to do with quality.

What can be some other reasons for your LED daytime running light to flicker?

If you have a car from the US, it doesn't mean that your LED DRLs will definitely flicker. This problem might occur with cars from other countries as well.

However, don't let this stop you because there are still many good reasons to buy these LED day running lights! Take a look at some reviews online and see if their customers had any problems with flickering lights--most of them never did so don't worry too much about it!

You can also find out if your car is compatible with CANBus technology by taking a look under the hood of your car or speaking to an experienced mechanic. They'll be able to tell you in an instant whether or not your vehicle is compatible. This simple step would reduce the chances of having this issue to zero. LED daytime running lights are getting more popular on cars nowadays, however, some people still think they're not worth it.

The majority of people have no idea how important proper training is when working with tools and materials required for DIY projects. If you want to do everything yourself, it's very important to know about all aspects before starting so these mistakes don't happen again in the future!

If your truck or SUV doesn't have a CANBus system, you don't have to worry about this issue because chances are your LED daytime running lights won't flicker no matter how hard you try.

Can you replace LEDs with something else for the daytime running light?

Maybe you think about replacing LED bulbs and their daytime running light with something else since you've already tried everything and it still won't work. Don't even think about this because you can damage your car if you don't know what you're doing! Replacing LEDs will also be a bit more costly than dealing with a flickering DRL for example.

These LED day running lights usually have a warranty, but only a few sellers offer good customer service. This doesn't mean that if their product comes faulty or broken they'll refuse to help, however replacing your LED DRL might just be easier than waiting to see if the seller will do anything about it.

Most of these LED bulbs come as a set which means there is no need for buying additional resistors to solve this problem. You just need to switch the old LED daytime running lights for new ones!

Bottom line

The flickering is caused by a low voltage. If you're not sure what causes this issue, there is no need for trying to find the cause on your own because it can end up very costly. You just need to buy new LED daytime running lights and that's all!

You don't have to worry about anything else because these LED DRLs come as a set so there won't be any problems with connecting them either. Before purchasing anything, make sure they are CANBus compatible and don't forget to check if their brightness meets your preferences and safety standards too.