If you have LED light fixtures that continue to glow, albeit dimly after they have been turned off, it is not uncommon. This usually occurs as a result of residual current in the circuit. However, several other factors can be the cause. I hope to share some of these probable reasons and some troubleshooting tips on how to stop LED lights glowing when off?
Some Common Causes of LED Lights Glowing When Off
Before you can attempt to stop LEDs producing light after they have been switched off, you should be able to ascertain the probable cause.
1. One of the common causes is low bulb-quality. Even with all the advantages of LED bulbs, there are still low-quality options. These LED lights can store energy in the luminescent layer. For LEDs to produce white light, a luminescent layer is usually added to blue diodes.
That luminescent layer can, sometimes, store little energy and glow for short periods after being switched off. It is quite easy to determine if the problem is with the bulb.
2. You may also notice a glow in your LED light as a result of the LED driver afterglow. LED fixtures are fixed with electronic circuits that are responsible for the operating current needed by the light. The circuits are made up of inductors and capacitors that can store electrical energy that can cause the lights to continue glowing after they might have been switched off.
3. If the problem is not the LED light, the glowing may be a result of a fault in the electrical installation. Any of a wide variety of errors can occur in the installation. From parallel cable routing issues to electronic dimmer issues, and many more.
Do not tamper with the electrical installation when troubleshooting the LED lights. Instead, let a professional take a look at the lights and determine what the problem and solution are.
How to Fix this Problem?
It is not a given, but taking any of the following steps can help stop your LEDs from shining when the switch is off. The best thing to do is to get an electrician to take a look at the lights. Nonetheless, you can still try out some simple things. First, let’s talk about some of the tools and materials you will need.
- Bulbs: If the fault is with the bulbs, you need new ones to replace them. Low bulb quality is a common cause of glowing, so you should get dependable ones to replace the bad ones with.
- Screwdriver: While I would advise you to get a qualified professional to take a look at your lights when you discover them glowing when off if you are handy enough to examine the lights, you can go ahead to do so. A screwdriver is essential to the troubleshooting process.
- Zenner Diode: If your LED lights glow as a result of unearthed wiring, you can easily solve that with a Zenner Diode.
- Compact Fluorescent Lamp: CFL can mop up the extra voltage in a circuit if that is the cause of your LED lights glowing.
- Neon Indicator Lamp: Just like a CFL, a neon indicator can absorb extra voltage in a circuit. When installed, the neon indicator will absorb excess voltage, and glow instead of your LED light.
#1. Change the Bulb
It is always good to go with reputable brands when buying LED bulbs, even if they cost more. LED lights glowing when they are off is not so dangerous. However, it is not very pleasant. Replace one of the glowing bulbs with a new one, if the glowing stops, you can then go head to replace all other glowing bulbs. A lot of times, this simple step is what is required to get rid of your glowing light issues.
#2. Ensure the Wiring Is Earthed or Install a Zenner Diode
Glowing LED lights can also occur when wiring is not earthed well or not earthed at all. Once again, only a qualified electrician can figure this out for you. To correct this, the electrician can install a Zenner diode to regulate the voltage of the circuit the light is on, and block all residual energy coming from the circuit. A Zenner diode is affordable, so the whole process costs little and can be done in no time at all.
#3. Get Rid of Extra Voltage with a CFL
Another option you have is to get rid of the excess voltage by sticking something into the circuit, and the best way to do that is with a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). The CFL mops up all the extra voltage that could cause the lights to glow.
Personally, I don’t see this as the best resolution, as it will likely require the services of a professional, and it can only be a temporary solution. In the long run, you will have to apply safer and more lasting solutions.
#4. Get a Neon Indicator
This is another effective and affordable way to stop LED lights from glowing. Get a prewired neon indicator, as you will find it easier to fix. Then, install the indicator in between the lone and neutral, at the point where the downlights end at a string. As the neon indicator absorbs the extra voltage, it glows instead of the LED bulb.
You can then go ahead to hide the indicator out of sight. However, before you buy the indicator, ensure that it can handle the voltage. You can also get indicators from old appliances like kettles, freezers, and refrigerators. Still, I would advise you to allow a professional handle this process, as you don’t want to tamper with electrical systems you don’t understand.
#5. Talk to the Manufacturer
These days, a lot of LED light fixtures come with smart switches that are sometimes illuminated or touch-sensitive. These smart-systems make use of unique circuit connections, and the switches typically operate by a tiny current passing through the bulb back to neutral. Power has to pass through these smart switches perpetually for them to be functional. A result of this is a small current passing through the bulb too.
In typical incandescent lights, the energy may be insufficient to make the bulb glow. However, in LED bulbs, it is more likely for that small current to cause glows. If your fixtures come with smart switches and you find your LEDs glowing when switched off, talk to the manufacturer and get information on which switch is compatible with the light. Alternatively, you can also get an electrician to fix a dedicated neutral switch to the one you have installed already, if possible.
Compared to other types of lights, light-emitting diodes have overwhelming benefits. However, they are also susceptible to electrical issues. If you notice you LED lights glowing after switching them off, get a qualified electrician to examine them. I have discussed some steps that can be taken to remedy this problem. Still, not a lot of people are handy enough to manipulate electrical installations. If the glowing is a result of low bulb quality, you can replace the bulbs with better ones. When the problem is with the circuit/installation, it becomes harder to fix.
If you have any thoughts you would like to share, please do so in the comment section below.