How to Stop LED Lights Glowing When Off

Written by John Ho on September 24, 2020
How to Stop LED Lights Glowing When Off 2020

If you are stomping your head off trying to figure out how to stop LED lights glowing when off, then stomp no more because in this article all the solutions to fix the problem have been explained.

Shoddily manufactured LED lights, when turned off, often produce an afterglow.

I have experienced this unusual behavior with the LED lights in my home too. At first, I did not heed much. Soon the rather abnormal phenomenon started annoying me, especially during my sleep hours. Hence I was forced to find a solution to fix this soul-sucking problem.

With some help from a few professionals of the field and some internet research about LED lights, I was able to identify and resolve the issue.

If you're also going through the same mind-boggling nuisance I was going through and also wondering how the heck are you supposed to stop already switched off LED lights from glowing, then you might want to keep reading because further in the article, I have explained all the fixes you can use to make the problem go away in as minimal technical terms as possible.

What causes already switched off LED lights to glow?

You must be left scratching your head while experiencing this weird occurrence of dimly lit LED lights for the first time, some are even left terrified, but before you draw any jigsaw conclusion, I am here to assure you that this is definitely not some devil's work. In fact, this behavior is triggered in LED lights by not only one but many reasons.

Reason 1

LED lights are said to consume 25-80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Usually, this high-efficiency factor of LED lights causes them to flicker because there is always some amount of energy left in the circuit after you switch off the light. That little energy is enough to light up the LED for some time dimly.

Reason 2

Poorly done or old electrical wiring also causes the LED lights to produce an afterglow effect.

The obsolete wiring does not affect incandescent bulbs. Suppose you have recently switched to LED lights on old electrical wiring. In that case, it could be a possible reason for the afterglow in the LED lights.

Reason 3

If you are facing the afterglow problem in LED lights near a staircase or a hallway, then there is a high chance that two conductors connected in parallel might be causing the lights to flicker.

Reason 4

Sometimes the light switch that you toggle to turn off the LED lights switches off the neutral conductor instead of the phase. This causes a low voltage drop in the phase, which is enough to pull the afterglow in LED lights.

Reason 5

White LED light can produce an afterglow for several minutes due to phosphor. Phosphor is used in bulbs to convert the original blue light emitted from LEDs into white light because phosphor is of yellow color and the combination of blue and yellow creates white color.

Things You Will Need To Stop LED Lights Glowing When Off

Here is a list of things you will need to follow the fixes given below in order to stop LED lights glowing when off:

  • LED lights from a reputable manufacturer
  • Neon indicator light
  • Zener diode
  • Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL)
  • Screwdriver

Keep trying the next fix until you achieve success in removing the afterglow.

Replace The Flickering LED Lights

A lot of the time, the LED light itself triggers the afterglow effect due to its low build quality or incompatibility with the electrical wiring of your house.

So the first and the easiest solution I will recommend you to try to stop the flickering of the light is to replace that old light with a new LED light from a reputable manufacturer.

If the flickering goes away after replacing the previous LED light with a new one, consider replacing all the flickering lights of your home to get rid of the problem completely.

Install A Neon Indicator Light

You can easily get a pre-wired neon indicator light from any electronics store or online through Amazon or eBay for a couple of bucks. But if you are on a penny-pinching streak or just feeling too lazy to even shop online, then you can also take out a neon indicator light from your old or knocked down kitchen appliances like fridge, blender, and kettle. You can carve the neon indicator light out of the appliance just by using a small screwdriver. Neon indicators usually last years till they burn out, so you should be well and good with the neon indicator light that you just took out from your junk.

Once you have acquired the neon indicator light, install it between the neutral and line. What this placement of indicator will do is that the neutral indicator will act as a voltage soaker and will now glow instead of the LED. The light produced by a neon indicator is far less interrupting compared to that of an LED bulb.

It is essential to check the voltage range of the neon indicator you are placing to avoid any burnout.

Use A Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)

We have already established that LED lights often illuminate an afterglow due to some voltage present in the circuit.

This residual voltage can be soaked by putting a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) in the circuit. In this way, LED light will not glow because of no extra voltage in the circuit.

It is best to consult an electrician when dealing with electrical wiring and circuits because of safety concerns. However, please make sure to turn off the mainline powering your operation site if you are performing it yourself.

Place A Zener Diode

Zener diode is a diode created mainly to help the current flow in the reverse direction. This diode can help you in overcoming poorly grounded wiring. You can easily get a zener diode from an electronics store or online at a relatively cheap price. Installing a zener diode is rather easy too, and does not require any special technical skills. Once installed, the zener diode blocks all the charge by regulating the voltage when the LED switch is turned off. Thus, there is no afterglow produced in the LED lights.

Install A Different Dimmer

Sometimes, the electronic dimmer you are using for your LED Lights is not compatible with them. This usually occurs when you replace your old lights with new ones but keep using the old dimmers with the new lights creating a compatibility gap, which leads to this afterglow.

In this case, the best solution is that you should install new dimmers that are compatible with your new lights. Do a little internet research about your current lights, and you will find the dimmer compatible with them. You can also opt for an electrician to do this job for you if you want it to be done professionally.

Connect Extra Capacitors

Typically, in long hallways and stairwells, two conductors are connected in parallel. Sometimes, the voltage carrying conductor induces some voltage in the other conductor. This little voltage drop in the conductor is enough to trigger the afterglow effect in a switched off LED light.

To get rid of this phenomenon, you can simply install extra capacitors in your lights. The extra capacitors will seep all the unnecessary voltage drop, eliminating the flickering or afterglow in the light bulbs.

You can easily purchase capacitors from a traditional electronics store or an online one.

In Case Of Automated or WiFi Controlled Lights

In recent years, technologies like smart home automation, IoT, and more have taken off. Now people do not use their hands to switch off stuff, but instead, they ask Alexa to do it for them. So if you are also living with modern tech and use some fancy smart system to switch on and switch off your lights in your home, then the flickering LED lights problem in your home might be a little more complicated. The problem can be anywhere from your automated system to some deep electrical wiring connected to it. In this case, I would suggest you contact the company which installed the automated system in the first place. They would be able to diagnose and repair the problem in the best way possible because interrupting the deep electrical wiring yourself is dangerous and could also lead to electrocution.

Summary - How To Stop LED Lights Glowing When Off

People all around the world are switching from old bulbs to LED lights. The main cause of this switch is to take advantage of the low consumption and longevity factor of the LED bulbs. So if you are also one of those people who have switched from incandescent bulbs to LED lights, then your investment will definitely pay off. And in case you were regretful of your decision due to the flickering of the lights. No matter the situation, there is no need to fret anymore as this article contains all the solutions you can use to fix the afterglow effect.

Now that you have all the solutions to solve the flickering problem, it is now time to get in action and do some work.

Article written by John Ho

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