light bulb glows when switched off

If it happens that your light bulb glows when switched off, it can cause a panic.

But, don’t worry, we’ll help you get to the bottom of this! In this guide, we’ll discuss complete details as to why your light bulbs glow even when the panel is turned off!

Your light bulb can continue to glow even when it’s switched off because of wiring components, residual or stored energy/electricity, or the high resistance of the LED light bulb.

Before we figure out how to stop this, learning the ropes on what causes it will be a relevant step in the equation, too.

So, why does your bulb glow or glimmer even when it’s been switched off?

Why Your LED Light Stays on When Switch is Off

LEDs or light-emitting diodes, incandescent bulbs, and CFLs or compact fluorescent lamps have been observed to glow or shine faintly at a certain degree even when it’s been switched off.

Reasons as to why they do vary, but there are several reasons that are considered common as to why the bulbs glow and shine when it’s switched off.

These reasons include, but are not limited to:

  • The neutral wire isn’t bonded properly
  • Electromagnetic induction takes place
  • There’s residual electricity/energy within the diode
  • The bulb has high levels of resistance
  • The operating temperature is high

Getting to the bottom of it could be tricky and difficult.

So, what do you do when you experience this? How do you remedy the afterglow of your light bulb even when it’s been switched off?

Light Bulb Glows When Switched Off? Here’s How to Be Safe from It

fix light bulb glows when switched off

Although the instances of it being unsafe is minimal, there’s still the small possibility of it causing harm to you and the people around you.

If you’re concerned about this and you’re not sure what to do, follow these steps carefully and religiously!

Step #1: Check Your Wiring

A lot of people think that testing the wiring or circuits of your appliances is hard.

It may be daunting at first glance, but once you know the basics, you’ll find it easy!

NOTE: Before doing this, you need to make sure you’re prepared. You’ll need a probe-type tester or a non-contact voltage tester for testing.

  1. Shut the power off to the circuit at the breaker.
  2. Remove the screws that mount the fixture to the ceiling.
  3. Using the tester, touch the tip of each of the circuit wires.
  4. Check the tester if you’re receiving the correct power or if it’s turning on. 

Should the power be more than what you expected, you’ll need to replace the wires of the circuitry. Otherwise, you’re all good and ready for the next step, which is to…

Step #2: Install a Bypass Capacitor

Most, if not all light bulbs work via 2-way connections; that being said, some of these conductors could be far from the switch.

In turn, the conductor carrying the voltage could possibly induce the voltage to other conductors, making the glow or the shimmer come to life.

Here’s how to install a bypass capacitor into the circuitry:

  1. Dismantle the light bulb down to the drive.
  2. Take one end of the capacitor and connect it to the drive.
  3. Attach and install the other end to the wire going to the LED’s panel.
  4. Assemble the light bulb to its original position.

NOTE: It’s advised to position the bypass capacitor close to the power supply pin so that the current won’t travel far from it.

Clip and secure it as close as you can to the pin going to the driver.

Extra capacitors are the most ideal if there are two (2) or more conductors that are linked in parallel. 

Step #3: Use a Different, Higher Quality Bulb

One of the primary culprits for the glowing of your light bulb, even when it’s switched off, is the vapor inside the bulb.

When the light is switched off, the power gets cut, the current is stopped at that very moment, but the gas doesn’t return to its dormant state right away.

Instead, it takes a few seconds or a few minutes for the electrons to cease the release of the energy. So, what do you do? – consider changing your light bulb.

Fluorescent bulbs are infamous for this because of the presence of mercury inside it.

Change to a different bulb like an LED or an incandescent bulb to reduce or quite possibly, get rid of the afterglow when the switch has been turned off.

Step #4: Consider Using a Zener Diode

Zener diodes are special components that allow the electrical current to flow in a forward or reverse direction depending on the voltage. They can handle voltage breakdown without letting it fail completely.

With a Zener diode, your electrical circuit’s voltage will be regulated. Furthermore, the device could also assist in blocking any charge present when you turn the bulb off.

Here’s how you can install or use a Zener diode to reduce or get rid of the afterglow of a light bulb:

  1. Power off the switch that powers the socket at the circuit breaker.
  2. Unscrew the light bulb socket from the ceiling.
  3. Take the Zener diode and clip it to the suspended wire from the socket.
  4. Attach the other end of the Zener diode to the wire where the socket is connected.
  5. Put the socket back to its original position.
  6. Retrieve power by turning it on at the breaker and test if the glow is still there.

NOTE: You can use two (2) Zener diodes if the glowing of the LED light bulb persists even after you installed a single piece of the diode.

Step #5: Try a to Use Neon Indicator 

Neon indicators are simple devices that you can use so that they’ll be the ones to glow instead of the light bulb.

You can purchase neon indicators anywhere – you can even buy one online and have it delivered straight to your doorstep!

Installing a neon indicator is easy:

  1. Carve and shape the neon indicator using a small screwdriver.
  2. Shut the power off the circuit where the lamp or the bulb is connected.
  3. Link the neon indicator between the singular/lone and neutral indicator.
  4. Ensure that the connection is safe and secure.

Once done, the indicator will now act as the absorber of the voltage. This will make it glow rather than the LED on the bulb. It glows, but it’s less noticeable compared to the glow of the LED.

Step #6: Replace Your Light Switch

Most, if not all light switches today have become more advanced.

There are switches that have more than the usual ON/OFF setting, and this can actually be what’s causing your light bulb to still glow when it’s been switched off.

While most people think that replacing a light switch would require professional assistance, it’s actually easy!

NOTE: Before doing the process, it’s important to shut off or turn off the power to the light switch at the mains (circuit breaker).

  1. Unscrew the light switch plate from the wall.
  2. Then, proceed to unscrew the back of the light switch.
  3. Position your new light switch to the wall with all the wires kept in place.
  4. Screw the light switch support (back of the light switch).
  5. Tighten and secure the faceplate by screwing it tightly.

Many experts advise that if it’s your first time, take a picture of the wires when you see them.

This will help you remember all the connections of the wires when you take the light switch out.

Although LED light bulbs are known for having this glow even when turned off, it could still be something that could endanger the safety of your living space.

But with this guide, you no longer have to panic!

Read Next: How to Cover Smoke Detector in Hotel?

Final Thoughts

If your light bulb is glowing even when it’s turned off, it’s best to check out the circuit as well as the wiring of the bulb itself. Then, try to remedy it by using external instruments such as neon indicators, Zener diodes, and bypass capacitors!

You can also consider replacing the light switches and the bulb.

When the unthinkable – your light bulb glows when switched off – happens, don’t jump to the conclusion that it’s going to be unsafe for you and your family members.

Read back on this guide so you get to know the next best things and steps you can do to solve it without the need to look for a different guide, source, or tutorial!

Nicole B