Troubleshooting LED light bulbs problems

Susan Fernandez February 02 2022

Common problems with LED lighting

LED light bulbs are becoming increasingly popular as people look for more efficient ways to light their homes and businesses. But as with any new technology, there are bound to be a few hiccups along the way.

The TOP-5 most common issues with LED lights :

  • flickering
  • when LED just won't turn on
  • bulbs burning out too quickly
  • slow dimming
  • poor color rendering

And if you want to use this type of lighting, you should know something about LED bulb problems and their troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting the LED lights: color temperature

We all know that LED bulbs always have a cold or natural light. This means that people who want warm lights will have a hard time finding them in this type of lighting. But what should you do if already bought this LED bulb and intended to create a warm atmosphere?

You can try buying a led lamp that contains more than one LED bulb and switch the two bulbs. However, if you find this method not effective, you can also try buying a led lamp that has a glass cover. This way you will create the same situation as with incandescent lighting – where each of these lamps produced both cold and warm lights.

Also, you can try to change the color of the bulb light by yourself. One of such methods includes coating the bulb in a special paint that filters the color temperature. You will be able to paint it in a more yellowish or reddish light. However, this method should be considered just as a temporary solution.

Troubleshooting poor LED heat management

It's very important for LED lights to have a good heat management system because these bulbs get very hot at full power and can't cool down by themselves. The led chip is very strong and it has no problem emitting the same amount of watts from a small surface area, but there is a big disadvantage in this design.

Because the led chip emits so much heat while producing light, manufacturers had to add more material around it in order to transfer the heat elsewhere. This added material doesn't emit light so you won't find any led lighting with completely transparent covers or without any color (fluorescent).

This fact also means that LED bulbs are not suitable for ceiling lighting because the heat will accumulate under the lamp. As a result, it will reduce its lifetime. To fix this problem you need to install an active cooling system that will cool down the bulb when needed.

The most popular solution is to put a fan in front of the bulb and let it blow air while led chip is on. If you don't want any mess or noise (noise can be very irritating), you can put your LED lights into cabinets and use special fans which run silently and don't produce any vibration – such as Noctua case fans.

Using LED bulbs at the higher than rated current

When you buy LED lighting bulbs, the manufacturers usually put some kind of a label telling you about the required current. What you need to know is that if your led bulb says it needs 14W (or whatever), it doesn't necessarily mean that all the power of 14W should be supplied by the driver. You can use more than 14 watts and this way increase brightness or lifetime of your led bulb at the same time – but only up to a certain point.

If you supply more than rated current, light-emitting diodes will start heating up and their life will decrease drastically. If there is no active cooling system present in your led lighting, this may cause an accident – where your lights explode or emit toxic gases because of excessive heat and pressure build-up.

One of the best examples of led lights that were used at too high a current is Philips L Prize-winning LED bulbs. If you own one, you know that it's extremely bright and the only way to enjoy it fully is by using them in combination with a special control gear (such as Apricus SunPlus SPCB-LX controller ).

Poor wire bonds troubleshoot

Sometimes LED bulbs to have a problem with solder points. This can be caused by many reasons, one of which is the presence of chemicals that affect the wire bond between copper and lead chip. Poor wire bonds usually don't cause any problems, but they can lead to malfunctions from time to time – such as flickering or temporary loss of light.

In order to prevent this from happening you need to buy well-manufactured lighting products from vendors who know what they are doing. Always follow the safety standards when designing your system and don't make it a point to save a couple of bucks because you will end up buying another LED bulb in a matter of few months – thus creating more harm for nature and the environment than good.

Poor heat management, excess current usage, poor solder points, … LED lighting has its downs just like any other type of lighting, however new technologies are being developed every day and new solutions to these problems are also created.

Light-emitting efficacy

When you see on the bulb box letters from A to G you might think it's some kind of a rating, but in reality, these are color rendering indices. The A-type represents the best possible value while the G-type means that there is no way of knowing what color you are seeing.

The color rendering index of LED bulbs may be very high, but this doesn't necessarily mean that they are efficient for everyday use. This index only measures how close different objects will look if they were lit up by your lighting device under certain conditions. Because most people want to see realistic colors without straining their eyes, this degree isn't really helpful when it comes to choosing the right light source for you personally.

That is why if your LED has low efficacy you can solve this problem by using it either in combination with some other light source or by placing the LED into special optics which will then reflect light into the desired direction.

Integrating a LED

If you are faced with irreplaceable integrated LED lighting that needs to be replaced – it's a big NO-NO. Even if you have a lot of money and time on your hands, trying to fix LED lighting yourself will most likely lead to bad results or even physical injuries.

This is because LED lights are so sensitive that an attempt to pry open the casing from the reflector may cause damage to electronic components which can cause light-emitting diodes to either never turn on again or start heating up due to poor heat dissipation.

In order not to end up in such a situation, do some research first and then decide whether you want to replace or repair the existing led fixture. Never try to force things as this might take you back one step instead of forward where you should go with ease and confidence.

Avoid running current beyond the maximum limit

Led lights are very sensitive to heat, voltage fluctuations, and current spikes which is why it's better not to push them too much. When you see your led bulbs start emitting or showing different colors than they used to or turning off completely – there might be one of the factors responsible for this phenomenon listed above that made things go wrong.

Most common problems with LED lighting can easily be prevented by just being attentive and creative when designing your light systems. If your device still doesn't work as expected, take help from somebody who has experience in electronics (or read some other articles on this website) until you fully understand what is going on inside your lighting system.

Mixing LEDs and incandescent fixtures

If you try to set up the LED bulb into the standard incandescent fixture, chances that it will work immediately without any additional components are close to zero. LEDs require very specific current and heat management in order for them to function properly – something which is usually provided by wires, resistors, and cooling elements like fans or aluminum fin arrays.

If you don't want to risk damaging your led bulbs and other parts of your lighting system (overheating can lead to fire as well), always consult with professionals who know how to set up such devices. If you're not sure about their ability to do it right, try reconsidering your decision of hiring them for this job as it shouldn't be that hard after all.

Before starting working with LED fixtures it's better if you read some other materials from this website about their design and operation. This way you will be able to make the most of your led lighting system both in good and bad times.

Incompatible dimmers

On conditions, your LED fixture comes with the dimmable option, make sure to use it within a certain voltage and amperage range. If you try using an incompatible dimmer that doesn't allow the LED lighting system to work properly, your choice might backfire pretty soon.

This is because incandescent lights work best when they are limited with the circuit that electrically regulates power flow into them while LEDs are very sensitive electronic devices that can be broken instantly if powered in the wrong way. That's why it's better to take help from somebody who knows how to avoid this common problem or follow instructions provided by the manufacturer of your led light system.

Or you can solve this problem yourself! All you need is to understand what's needed for a dimmable LED lighting system to work properly. Also, always check if your fixture includes recommendations about safe voltage and amperage range to use with a connected dimmer.

Buying cheap or counterfeit LEDs

LEDs are very popular these days because they can save you a lot of money in the long run due to dramatically lower power consumption (when compared with other types of lights) and extreme durability which makes them worth buying several times over their lifetime. This is why it's unacceptable not to take extra care when making purchase decisions, especially when it comes to crucial equipment like led light bulbs.

To simplify things when choosing suppliers online, make sure to pick only those who offer a warranty, track records, and price match service. Also, if you're not buying from a local dealer in your area or nearby country, make sure to pay attention to feedback and comments left by other people making similar purchases.

If these precautions don't help you avoid counterfeit products (which is getting more and more common these days even when it comes to LEDs), try nailing the seller down with specific questions like what's the model number of led bulbs they sell? Where do they source their parts from?

What additional accessories do they offer with a purchase? How reliable are they according to other customers' experiences? If they won't be able to provide sound responses or give you convincing reasons to trust them – better look for another supplier.

One thing that might also indicate that your LEDs are fake is the low price which doesn't match their quality. This is why it's better to take your time and study how many other suppliers sell similar products, if there's one offering far lower price – it might be fake!

Burned connectors

Despite what you might think, high-intensity lighting fixtures like LED floodlights emit a lot of heat which can cause damage to sensitive components inside them after some time. For this reason, you MUST provide sufficient cooling by prolonging the lifespan of led lighting.

To do so, always inspect all connections on your device as sometimes they can get burned as well as grip between cables loosens over time. If these problems happen on your led flood light, try tightening your connections by putting pliers on them or try adding a better grip with help of some glue.

Bottom line

These were some of the most common problems when dealing with LED lighting systems which you should be aware of. If this advice helped you with your project or if you have your own useful tips that others might benefit from, feel free to leave a comment!