12v led lights flickering problem

Wondering why the 12V LED Lights flickering problem started all of a sudden?

There are not that many reasons why LED Lights will flicker without proper reasoning.

The primary suspects in such cases are the power equipment, the power source, and the technical state of the LED Light strip or bulb.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything so let’s learn more!

When 12V LEDs (strips or bulbs) start to flicker, the problem in 90% of the cases is related to the power supply. It’s either the power equipment or source that’s producing the flickering as well as external factors such as a bad Dimmer Switch or Overheating.

Let’s next learn how the LEDs flickering problem can be solved in a matter of minutes!

Why Do 12V LEDs Flicker?

why led flickers

The 12V LED Strip lights flickering problem, as well as other lighting equipment such as Smart Bulbs, mainly occurs due to power insufficiency.

The LED Lights under a form of a Strip, require the so-called Power Driver, which is a power brick specifically designed for LED Lights.

Without a constant LED Driver, the lights will flicker when the power source fluctuates!

Here are ALL possibilities in a list to help you identify the source of the problem:

  • Power Source Insufficiency
  • Bad Power Equipment
  • Incompatible Dimmer Switch
  • Incidental Occurrence
  • Device Overheating

The problem with your 12V LED Lighting System is most likely to be related to one of the aforementioned causes.

Luckily, we’ve managed to find a solution method for each of the possibilities, and next, we’ll proceed and help you solve the problem in minutes!

How To Fix 12V LED Lights Flickering Problem?

how to fix the 12v led

To solve the 12V LED flickering issue, we’ll undertake a short list of chronological solution methods to be able to address everything.

With a bit of luck, by the end of the guide, the flickering problem will be in the past and you’ll be enjoying your LED lights!

Let’s jump into the guide!

Method #1 Power Cycle The LEDs 

Assuming that you haven’t already tried it, power circulation is one of the most efficient methods when it comes down to a power problem with any of our devices.

When the power income is the primary suspect, by discharging the device we’ve to get a real shot at the issue!

Let’s next learn how to properly perform a power cycle on LED lights:

  1. The first step is to turn OFF the lights.
  2. On some LED Lights Strips, there is a Power Button.
  3. Even if there is no Power Button, simply disconnect the LEDs from the power.
  4. With the LED Strip disconnected, wait at least 3 minutes.
  5. Reconnect the LEDs to the power source.

You should now test whether the flickering is still there. In case you’re using a Dimmer Switch, make sure to turn the brightness all the way up.

Then allow your LEDs to work for about 10 minutes to determine if the problem is gone. In case the issue is persistent, proceed further!

Tip: Allowing the LEDs to cool down also helps, so keep the device unplugged for longer! 

Method #2 Change The Power Source!

change the power source

The next possible, logical target should be the power source. Once we’ve discharged our LED Lights we know that the problem is external.

In that regard, the fastest way to discover whether our power source is working well is by switching to another wall outlet.

Disconnect the LEDs from the power and reconnect them to a different power source!

It’s also important to plug the LED Lights into a standalone wall outlet and avoid using power strips where other devices are also connected.

Make sure to use this approach until the end of the guide, especially when the problem continues after this method. 

Tip: You can test whether the power source is functional by plugging in another device!

Method #3 Use a LED Driver

use an led driver

The so-called “LED Driver” is what we referred to as “Power Equipment”. In other words, the LED Driver is the power brick that connects the LED Lights to the Power Source.

When you purchase branded LED lights, they always come with a dedicated LED Driver that either interacts with the Voltage or the Current, preventing the device from flickering.

Constant Voltage LED Driver

On most of the Voltage LED Drivers, there is labeling such as “NVolts Output” and for our LED Lights, we’ll need one with 12V Output.

The primary job of the Voltage LED Driver is to deliver constant voltage, also preventing them from flickering when the power fluctuates.

Using more or less Output Voltage leads to the device being overdriven.

Without a proper LED Driver, when the AC Line fluctuates, your LED Lights will reflect the event by flickering.

In addition, the device will get excessively hot, endangering the components. 

Note: The LED Driver can be found online for as low as $10

Method #4 Replace Dimmer Switch

replace the dim switch

One of the most frequent reasons why LED Light Strips or Bulbs are flickering is due to incompatibility in the dimmer switch plate.

If you can justify that the flickering only appears when you’re dimming or controlling the LED’s brightness then we have a winner!

  • Not ALL LED Lights are compatible with dimmer switches!

What’s interesting is that the dimming capabilities of any LED lights depend on their Power Driver, which is essentially the power equipment.

When your LED strip lights power income is homemade, therefore you can change the Power Driver we have good news for you!

Lights Flicker When Dimmed?

The problem might not be in the Dimmer Switch. What makes LEDs “dimmable” is the Power Driver and more specifically, the “AC Phase Cut Dimming” feature.

In case you’re able to replace the power equipment, acquire a Power Driver supporting the aforementioned feature!

This will allow your LED Lights to be able to dim, therefore the flickering will disappear!

Note: Under the LED Power Driver description in online shops, it always shows whether the device is *dimmable* or *not dimmable*.

Method #5 Prevent Overheating

prevent the overheating

To final and conclusion method would be to check the technical state of your LED Lights and determine whether they are overheating.

The first and most important step is to take a look at whether the lights are exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day.

Besides the direct sunlight exposure, here is what else could make your LEDs overheat:

  • In close proximity to heat conductors
  • The LEDs are overdriven
  • Bad Power Driver
  • Malfunctioning Power Outlet

By touching the LED Lights Strip you’ll be able to tell whether it’s too hot or a normal temperature.

In case overheating is not the problem here let’s proceed further and find out whether your LED Lights are starting to give up or the problem is elsewhere.

Note: Allow the LED Lights to cool down for at least 15 minutes and test after!

Do LEDs Flicker When Dying?

led flicker when dying

One of the most frequently asked questions about LED lights is whether they flicker when the device is about to die.

The straightforward answer is Yes, lights might start to lose their brightness or flicker without a proper reason when the bulbs are about to die.

In case the flicker problem started quite a while ago and nothing from this guide managed to help, then there is a high chance that your LEDs are due for replacement.

Ask For Help?

However, it’s always best to consult with the supplier before making any purchases, especially if your LED Lights equipment came with a dedicated Power Driver.

However, when the lighting equipment is homemade you’ll need a replacement light.

Tip: Don’t forget to share what you’ve already attempted in this guide!

Quick Recap:

Thus, the LED Lights are flickering because of the power equipment or the power source. The solution we’ve learned is to power discharge the lights, change the power source and check whether the Power Driver is in a working state to solve the problem.

Final Thoughts:

Now that we’ve learned why the 12V LED Lights flickering problem occurs, we can solve the problem by using the methods listed above in the solution guide.

It’s important to remember that the power equipment is always at the root of all flickering problems and a good inspection is always necessary.

We hope that this guide was helpful and good luck!

More relevant content can be found in our online tech blog. Check that out!

Nicole B