Why does LED flicker and buzz?

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tomtheelder2020

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I got the new fixture installed over the bathroom vanity and put in LED bulbs. One is fine but the other flickers and buzzes. Replaced those with two incandescent bulbs and they are fine. I am confident in the wiring connections. The light switch is not a dimmer but it is old - could that be the source of the problem? Any other possibilities?

Don't know if this link to video of the light will work but worth a try: New video by Tom S
 

zannej

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Hmm.. Good question. I have a similar problem with LEDs that buzz and flicker. Stuff burns out pretty quickly in my house, but I know my wiring is bad-- nothing is grounded & I know some of the outlets & things have polarity reversed.
Something I did observe in one of the big box stores was when some of the bulbs were connected to a dimmer (for demo purposes) the bulbs would flicker when it was dimmed to a particular point.
 

kok328

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The switch is a possibility and for a few dollars it's worth changing to eliminate that as a cause.
It is totally possible that one of those bulbs is bad.
 

tomtheelder2020

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Zannej, my house is not grounded either except for a few locations where I connected a ground to the cold water pipe (galvanized). Pretty sure all of mine have correct polarity.
 

ctviggen

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Zannej, my house is not grounded either except for a few locations where I connected a ground to the cold water pipe (galvanized). Pretty sure all of mine have correct polarity.
Grounded how? From a switch to a pipe? I thought connecting a ground to a water pipe was no longer code?

I know in my house, there's a ground for something (haven't figured out what yet) connected to a copper pipe. The problem is that between that pipe and the (actual) "ground", there are two plastic iron mitigation and soft water systems. Now, we do have a pipe that goes outside, into the ground, and to a faucet that is far away from the house (for horses, which we don't have, but the previous owner did). If the ground connects to that, I guess it's OK. If if doesn't, it's probably not doing much.
 

tomtheelder2020

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Ctviggen, I am all but certain running a ground wire to a water pipe is not to code - but I can't afford whole-house rewire so this is the best I can do. If I re-pipe, which might have to happen whether I can afford it or not, I will have to come up with another solution. Perhaps driving a grounding stake.

As to how I did it, I have only grounded outlets. Just drilled a hole down through subfloor and ran a bare copper wire to the nearest cold water pipe. Even though that does not meet code, my local hardware store sells a clamp specifically for that purpose.
 

Eddie_T

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Does the problem move if you move the LED to the other side of the fixture? Grounding shouldn't have anything to do with the LED performance.
 

tomtheelder2020

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Eddie,

Crap. It was that simple. When I replaced the fixture I grabbed "new" bulbs from my store of previously used but still working ones - and clearly one of those was bad. Thanks for taking me back basics for diagnosing a problem.

BTW, I think ctviggen's grounding comment was a tangent and not intended to be related to my original problem.
 

kok328

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Eddie,

Crap. It was that simple. When I replaced the fixture I grabbed "new" bulbs from my store of previously used but still working ones - and clearly one of those was bad. Thanks for taking me back basics for diagnosing a problem.

BTW, I think ctviggen's grounding comment was a tangent and not intended to be related to my original problem.
was gonna advise switching the bulbs but, figured you would have switched them when I mentioned that one could be bad out of the box.
 

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