What should you do when LED lights flicker in cold weather?

Susan Fernandez May 05 2022

It`s wintertime! You play snowballs with your friends, make a snowman and then you go home to have some hot chocolate. But when you enter your living room, you see that the LED lights are flickering. You`re not going crazy, it`s just that LED lights tend to flicker in cold weather.

Why do bulbs flicker?

It turns out that all light bulbs flicker, but we don’t usually notice it because the flickers are so fast – up to several thousand times per second. However, when it’s cold outside and you come in from the cold, your eyes take a little while to adjust to the change in temperature. This is why you might notice the flickering more when you come in from the cold.

Find the Best Outdoor LED Bulbs for Cold Weather

The main reason for LED lights flickering in cold weather is due to something called thermal runaway. Thermal runaway happens when the heat generated by the LED lights is not dissipated properly and starts to build up inside the light. This can cause damage to the internal components of the light and eventually cause the light to fail.

Also, some LED bulbs flicker because of a problem with the power supply. If the power supply is not providing enough power to the bulb, it will cause the bulb to flicker.

Can cold weather cause LED lights to flicker?

LEDs, like incandescent lights, are susceptible to heat and cold. They have a few disadvantages when it comes to extreme heat or cold, although they are generally thought to be resistant to temperature changes. The most frequent fault is that LEDs flicker in extremely chilly weather; nevertheless, this issue appears to be decreasing with each new generation of LED bulbs.

One cause of flickering is the change in resistance of the semiconductor junction with temperature. The forward voltage (Vf) of an LED depends on its material and construction, but it typically decreases by about 2 mV/K. In other words, Vf decreases by 0.0002 volts for every degree Kelvin that the temperature increases. So, if an LED has a forward voltage of 3.3 V at 25 °C, its forward voltage would be 3.2998 V at 0 °C (-273.15 K).

This small change in voltage is not enough to make the LED turn off, but it can cause it to flicker. The main reason for this is that the current through the LED changes as the Vf changes. The current is proportional to the voltage, so a small change in voltage can cause a significant change in current.

If the power supply to the LED is not constant, then the flickering will be more noticeable. This is because the current will fluctuate as the voltage changes, and this will cause the light to flicker.

Why are LED lights affected by cold weather?

LEDs are a perfect example of lighting that performs best in cold environments because they rely on an electronic driver rather than a combustible one. Lumen output is not influenced by cold temperatures - instead, colder temperatures help to minimize stress on the device. However, lower temperatures can cause flickering issues because the device is not able to dissipate heat properly.

One way to help prevent your LEDs from flickering in cold weather is to use dielectric grease, which will help to conduct heat away from the LED. You can also try using a larger heatsink or mounting the LED in a more open area to allow for better airflow. If you live in an area with extremely cold winters, it's also a good idea to invest in an LED light that is rated for low-temperature operation.

Also, cold weather generally means dry air, which can lead to static electricity buildup. This can also cause flickering issues, so it's important to make sure that your LED lights are properly grounded.

How cold is too cold for LED lights?

In extremely cold weather, the electronic driver that activates the LED to produce light will flourish. In reality, LEDs function best within a range of -25 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, making them ideal for outdoor use throughout the United States and Canada.

However, when it comes to prolonged subzero exposure, manufacturers typically recommend using an LED that is rated for low-temperature operation. If you're unsure whether your current LEDs can withstand the cold, it's best to err on the side of caution and switch them out for a more robust option.

While most flickering issues are caused by thermal runaway or power supply problems, there are a few other potential causes. Some LEDs flicker because of electromagnetic interference (EMI), which can be caused by devices like cell phones or microwaves. EMI can cause the LED to turn on and off at a rapid rate, which will appear as flickering.

Another potential cause of flickering is moisture contamination. This can happen if water gets into the LED fixture, and it can cause the LED to short circuit. This will usually result in a permanent loss of light output, so it's important to make sure that your LED fixtures are completely dry before turning them on.

Finally, some LEDs flicker because they are not compatible with the dimmer switch that is being used. If you're having flickering issues, it's a good idea to try a different dimmer switch to see if that solves the problem.

What about CFL bulbs and cold weather?

LEDs are a good choice for illumination in chilly regions. LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are another alternative when it comes to cold climates. However, what about CFLs? Because of their lengthy existence and cost-effectiveness, CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) appear to be a viable option. But, as it turns on, you'll notice that they do not work well in cold weather at all.

CFL light bulbs are constructed in such a way that they need a warm-up period to fully light up. The ballast, the electronic device that provides power to the CFL, needs time to heat up before it can provide enough power to start the reaction inside the CFL that produces light. In cold weather, this process takes longer, and as a result, the CFL will take longer to reach its full brightness.

Once the CFL has warmed up, it will function like any other light bulb; however, it will not last as long in cold weather because the ballast will be working harder. In extreme cold, a CFL can burn out in as little as two minutes. For this reason, it's best to avoid using CFLs in very cold weather.

Do LED lights work in a cold garage?

The most popular lighting solution for chilly conditions (to around 20 degrees) is LED lighting systems. They work with both interior and exterior fixtures. LEDs have no trouble starting up in temperatures as low as 20 degrees, making them ideal for Houston company facades and parking garages. However, if the temperature drops any lower than that, they may start to flicker.

At first glance, it may seem like a bad sign when your new LED lights start flickering in cold weather. But before you return them to the store or call up the manufacturer, there are a few things you should know about why this happens and whether or not it's cause for concern.

So, for your garage, you should choose an LED with high lumen output and low power consumption. The light from these bulbs will be more than sufficient to light up your space, and they won't flicker in cold weather. To protect your lighting from cold temperatures, you can also buy a garage door insulation kit. This will help to keep the heat in and the cold out, and your LED lights will be able to operate as normal.

Will LED lights work in a freezer?

Yes, LED bulbs may be used in refrigerators. As we've said before, LEDs are fantastic for chilly settings and not high temperatures. This is the most common reason people replace their old freezer light bulb with an LED bulb.

Just be careful when taking the old bulb out and inserting the new one. If the freezer is full, it's best to empty it first or ask someone for help. Once the new LED bulb is in place, turn on the power and check to see if it's working.

You should also know that some freezers have a light switch outside, so you don't need to open the door every time you want to turn the light on or off.

How do I stop my LED lights from flickering?

Flickering is also caused by loose connections or circuits. This is a simple problem to resolve. Simply tighten the LED bulb more to see if that solves the issue. If there's a lot of dust in the fixture, first clear out the connection points before replacing the bulb.

Next, check to see if the flickering is caused by a problem with the power supply. If your LED lights are connected to a dimmer switch, make sure that the dimmer is compatible with LEDs. Older dimmers are not always compatible with newer LED bulbs, and this can cause flickering.

If you have ruled out all of these other potential causes, then it's likely that the LED bulb itself is defective. In this case, you will need to replace the bulb. Be sure to buy an LED bulb from a reputable manufacturer to ensure that you're getting a high-quality product.

What are some tips for troubleshooting flickering LED lights?

If your LED lights are flickering, the first thing you should do is check the power supply. Make sure that the power supply is properly connected and that it is providing the correct voltage. If the power supply is not the problem, you can try troubleshooting the LED itself.

First, check to see if the LED is loose in its socket. If it is, tighten it down so that it makes good contact with the electrical contacts. Next, check to see if the LED is damaged. If there are any cracks or breaks in the casing, replace the LED. Finally, check to see if the polarity of the LED is reversed. If it is, reverse the leads and try again.

If you have ruled out all of these potential causes, then it's likely that the problem lies with the power supply. In this case, you will need to replace the power supply. Be sure to buy a high-quality power supply from a reputable manufacturer to ensure that you're getting a product that is compatible with your LED lights.

Can flickering lights cause a fire?

Flickering lights might be an indication that there is a fire risk in your house. When lights flicker all over the home, but none of them are related to a piece of major or significant equipment, such as an air conditioner, turning it on may indicate a problem with the wiring and lead to a fire.

Fire hazards are not the only thing to be concerned about when your lights are flickering. If you have ever wondered why LED lights flicker, it may be an indication of a problem with the fixture, such as a loose wire. This can create an electrical hazard.

If you notice your lights flickering, it is best to call an electrician to check it out and fix the problem. Do not try to fix it yourself, as this could make the problem worse and create an even bigger fire hazard. Safety is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to your home, so make sure you take care of any potential hazards right away.


LED lighting systems are a popular choice for colder temperatures (up to 20 degrees). LEDs start up without issue at this temperature, making them ideal for facades and parking garages. However, if temperatures drop below 20 degrees, LED lights may start to flicker. You can protect your LED lighting from cold temperatures by choosing an LED with high lumen output and low power consumption and investing in a garage door insulation kit.

When your LED lights start flickering in cold weather, it is important to take a step back and identify the underlying cause. This could range from the temperature being too low for your lights to operate to needing a stronger light bulb with higher lumen output and lower power consumption. Equally as important is making sure that your lighting fixtures are properly insulated, as this can help your lights stay warm and run in colder temperatures. Taking the time to identify the issue and make the necessary adjustments will help ensure that you have reliable lighting all year round.