LED lights have become the natural choice for homeowners due to their energy efficiency and long-lasting performance – and the small matter of most incandescent bulbs being banned! But they do have one small drawback compared to filament bulbs – they do sometimes flicker. Flickering certainly affected tungsten and halogen bulbs when they were on their way out. But it might not have been quite as noticeable as LEDs, which tend to be either on or off, rather than bright or dim.

With LED bulbs, flickering can be anything from intermittently switching off every so often to a full-on stroboscopic effect. Diagnosis isn’t always simple, either, as the problem could be from the diodes themselves, the internal electronics of the bulb construction, the wiring, the switch or the power supply. 

In short, there are quite a few potential reasons for LEDs flickering. We thought we’d put together the most likely reasons behind your flickering LEDs – hopefully you’ll get the bottom of it.

1. Incompatible dimmers

Cause: LED bulbs may flicker when used with dimmer switches that are not specifically designed for them.

Solution: Choose dimmer switches that are compatible with LED bulbs. Make sure to check the packaging or consult an electrician before installation. Both the bulbs and the switch need to be compatible with each other – if you’re using a legacy dimmer switch from your incandescent days, it might not work at all with LEDs, even if they are dimmable. Non-dimmable LEDs won’t dim at all.

2. Loose wiring

Cause: Flickering can occur if the wiring connecting the switch, fixture or bulb becomes loose over time.

Solution: Carefully check and tighten all wiring connections to ensure a secure fit. If necessary, seek professional assistance from an electrician to ensure proper and safe wiring. You should be able to check the wiring in the switch yourself if you’re reasonably competent around electrics. Read our guide to changing a light switch, but try loosening and re-tightening the wires instead of changing the whole unit.

3. Overloading the circuit

Cause: When a circuit is overloaded with too many electrical appliances or devices, it can cause voltage fluctuations, resulting in LED lights flickering.

Solution: Avoid using multiple high-power appliances simultaneously on the same circuit. Distribute the load by connecting power-hungry devices to a different circuit. If needed, consult an electrician to install additional circuits to accommodate your power needs.

4. Faulty bulbs

Cause: Poorly manufactured LED bulbs with faulty driver components can lead to flickering issues.

Solution: Replace the flickering bulbs with high-quality LED bulbs from reputable manufacturers. Look for bulbs with high-quality drivers that can handle the load and operating temperature effectively.

5. Voltage fluctuations

Cause: Voltage fluctuations in your electrical system can cause LED lights to flicker.

Solution: Consult an electrician to assess and stabilise the voltage in your home. They can install stabilisers or voltage regulators, if needed, to mitigate flickering caused by voltage fluctuations.

6. Faulty electrical connections

Cause: Poor electrical connections can disrupt the flow of electricity and result in LED light flickering. This might be more than just loose connections, and could be something more systemic.

Solution: If you’ve eliminated all the other possibilities in this list, there could be something wrong with the electrics in your home, and it could potentially need a rewire. The LEDs flickering might just be a symptom. Contact an electrician to do some diagnostic tests.

7. Poor quality dimmer switches

Cause: Low-quality or incompatible dimmer switches can cause LED lights to flicker.

Solution: Invest in high-quality dimmer switches designed specifically for dimmable LED bulbs. Opt for reputable brands and consult an electrician for guidance on compatible dimmer switches.

8. Harsh weather conditions

Cause: Extreme weather conditions, such as electrical storms or power surges, can lead to voltage fluctuations and flickering LED lights, especially when outdoors.

Solution: Install surge protectors or whole-house surge protection systems to protect your electrical system from voltage spikes during severe weather. These devices can minimise flickering caused by external factors.

9. Incompatible switches or controls

Cause: Certain types of switches or controls, such as occupancy sensors or timers, may not be designed to work effectively with LED lights, leading to flickering.

Solution: Use switches and controls specifically designed for LED lighting systems. Consult with an electrician to determine the most suitable switch or control options for your LED lights and have them installed professionally if needed.

10. Inadequate power supply

Cause: Insufficient power supply to your LED lights, especially when using multiple appliances, can lead to flickering issues.

Solution: You may need to upgrade your consumer unit to accommodate higher power demands. Consult an electrician to assess your home’s electrical capacity and install additional circuits if needed.

11. Ageing bulbs

Cause: Over time, LED bulbs will eventually deteriorate, potentially leading to flickering lights.

Solution: Replace the LED bulbs in your fixtures with new and reliable ones. LEDs do last a very long time, but they are not eternal.


By identifying the cause of your LED light flickering issue and trying these solutions, you can hopefully enjoy uninterrupted and steady lighting in your home. Remember, if you are unsure about any electrical work, always consult a professional electrician to ensure safety and expert guidance.