Is the LED bulb, which should have a long life, blinking flickering? For those who do not know how to deal with the cause, this article will explain the light emission principle and average life of LED bulbs, and what to do if they blink. We will also explain the precautions when connecting an LED bulb to a lighting fixture with a dimming function or installing it in a closed fixture. We will show you how to know how to deal with each problem, solve the problem, and prevent blinking.
LED light bulb emission principle
The principle of light emission of LED bulbs is that when a voltage is applied to an LED chip, the energy generated by the collision of electrons and holes is converted into light. The LED chip is a small board inside the light bulb. Its basic structure is composed of a substance with many positively charged particles called “P-type semiconductor” and a substance with many electrons called “N-type semiconductor”. A semiconductor is an intermediate substance that conducts or does not conduct electricity but can be controlled. When a voltage is applied by connecting a positive pole to a P-type semiconductor and a negative pole to an N-type semiconductor, a current flows and electrons and holes collide and combine. At this time, excess energy is emitted as light. This is the light emitting principle of LED bulbs. The LED bulb is blinking so fast that it cannot be visually confirmed even when it is normal. This is because the number of times (frequency) that electrons and holes collide with each other is fixed per second. If the LED chip of an LED bulb breaks down and electricity does not flow properly, blinking may occur at intervals that can be visually confirmed. Blinking is the same with fluorescent lights. However, the principle of light emission between LED bulbs and fluorescent lamps is completely different. The principle of light emission of a fluorescent lamp is to apply a voltage to the filament to emit electrons and apply it to the fluorescent substance applied to the inside of the glass to obtain light. Fluorescent lamps are characterized by being hotter than LED bulbs because they emit electrons by heat. In addition, it wears out quickly and is prone to “ball out”.
LED bulb life
According to the LED Light Bulb / Lighting Promotion Council, which is engaged in standardization, publicity and dissemination activities of LED light bulbs, the life of LED light bulbs is 8 to 10 years when used for 10 hours a day. This is several tens of times longer than incandescent light bulbs. For example, changing a light bulb that is hard to reach to an LED light bulb is convenient because it saves you the trouble of replacing it. However, before the average lifespan, the LED bulb may stop lighting or start blinking. As will be explained in detail in the next section, this is mostly due to deterioration of electrical circuit components rather than deterioration of the LED bulb itself. In addition, LED bulbs for color production have different levels of wear depending on R (red), G (green), and B (blue), so the original color may not be produced before the end of its life.
Possible causes of blinking LED bulbs
Here, we will explain the four main causes of blinking LED bulbs: “deterioration of the board”, “lighting fixtures do not support LED bulbs”, “rectifier failure”, and “part failure”.
Deterioration of the substrate due to heat
Unlike fluorescent lamps, LED bulbs have the characteristic that heat is less likely to be generated due to the principle of light emission. However, it does not mean that it does not generate heat at all. Although the board of the LED bulb is heat-dissipated, it may deteriorate due to heat. As the deterioration progresses, it may start blinking or may not light up. Since LED bulbs are sensitive to heat, products compatible with sealed fixtures are also on sale. For example, sealed LED bulbs such as those in the bathroom are easily affected by heat, so it is better to use LED bulbs that are compatible with sealed appliances. For the type “downlight” that is embedded in the ceiling, select a special product that is compatible with “insulation material construction equipment”.
I’m using it with a fixture that LED bulbs don’t support
LED bulbs require direct current. On the other hand, most of the lighting equipment used in ordinary households are manufactured by alternating current. Therefore, if you install an LED bulb that does not have a rectifier (a device that allows electricity to flow in only one direction), alternating current will flow. Then, the current will constantly turn on and off, and the LED bulb will blink.
If the rectifier fails, alternating current will flow from the outlet. Therefore, it will blink as if the power was turned on and off. If the LED bulb has a rectifier, there is a suspicion that the rectifier is defective. Also, if there is an external rectifier, the rectifier may be defective. However, it is rare for home lighting equipment to have an external rectifier. This method is generally used when you want to control a large number of LED bulbs with a single rectifier in a building facility. In cases such as multiple LED bulbs flashing at once, you should look into your electrical facility.
Blinking due to failure
The LED bulb may blink due to a malfunction of the electronic circuit or component inside the LED bulb, which prevents the current from flowing normally. Especially when the LED bulb has been used for a long time, a component failure is suspected. On the other hand, if you just bought it and it flashes, it is recommended to check the case where the rectifier is defective or the lighting equipment does not support LED bulbs. When using an LED bulb with a dimming function, be careful because connecting it to a lighting device (switch) with a dimming function may cause a malfunction. Double dimming causes batting and prevents normal light emission.
What to do when the LED bulb flashes
If the LED bulb flashes, it is important to isolate the problem. If you’ve been using it without problems and it starts blinking, it’s easiest to replace the LED bulb. For home use, many rectifiers are integrated, so problems with both the board and the rectifier can be solved. On the other hand, the most common cause of blinking even though a new LED bulb is installed is the case where an LED bulb that is not compatible with lighting equipment is installed. If the lighting fixture has a dimming function and it is blinking, you need to install a dedicated LED bulb. If the switch part is a rotary type or a sliding type, you need to purchase a dedicated LED bulb. The product package says “Dimmable function compatible”. If you notice that it was not supported after installation, stop using it immediately and have the shop where you purchased it replace it with a product that supports dimming function. Continued use forcibly may cause a malfunction. Even if it says that it supports dimming function, it may not be compatible in rare cases. This is the case when the LED bulb manufacturer’s standards are not standard, or when the specifications and functions of lighting fixtures and switches are special. If you don’t know the cause of the blinking, one way is to replace it with a reliable manufacturer’s product manufactured according to Japanese standards.
Click here for recommended LED bulbs
If you are replacing an LED bulb or are thinking of using a new LED bulb with a long life, why not use a “smart LED bulb”? + Style has smart LED bulbs compatible with the IoT society. Here are three products that will make your life more comfortable and convenient.
Smart LED bulb (dimming) / E26
The + Style smart LED bulb is an LED bulb whose brightness can be adjusted from your smartphone. For example, with this E26 type, you can illuminate your feet with bright light equivalent to 60W (810lm) in your daily life, and you can adjust it steplessly to a faintly bright light without too much glare at midnight. It is also possible to set the brightness to change automatically according to the time. You can also remotely control it from outside, so you can turn it off even if you accidentally forget to turn it off. If you don’t want to go home in total darkness, you can turn on the lights on your way home. Also supports connection with smart speakers. You can perform voice operations such as turning on the switch by calling “Alexa, turn on the light”. If you find it bothersome to get up and turn off the switch before going to bed, we recommend changing to a smart LED bulb. Click here for details on + Style’s “Smart LED Light Bulb (Dimming) / E26”
Smart LED bulb (dimming / coloring) / E17
The E17 type has basically the same functions as the E26. The wide light distribution type of about 180 ° that illuminates widely and brightly and the long life of 40,000 hours are the same. It is the same as E26 that it is not compatible with sockets with dimming function and lighting equipment. In addition to stepless brightness adjustment, the E17 also has a toning function that the E26 does not have. For example, when studying or reading, the neutral white color makes it easy to see and enhances concentration. When you eat or want to relax, you can choose a natural and warm light bulb color. If you spend a lot of time at home, such as when you are in a state of nesting due to telework or korona-ka, changing the color of the lighting will change your mood. A major feature of + Style smart LEDs is that they can be linked with other home appliances. For example, if you link it with a + Style motion sensor, you can turn on the light when the door opens. It is also easy to realize a security function that automatically turns on the switch when a person is detected by the security camera. Click here for details on + Style’s “Smart LED Light Bulb (Dimming / Toning) / E17”
LED bulb “Hello Light” that can be watched over
For families who are worried about living alone with their elderly parents, we recommend the LED bulb “Hello Light” that can be watched over. Since the light bulb itself is equipped with a communication device (SIM used in mobile phones, etc.), it can be automatically updated with a nearby communication station even in places where there is no Internet environment (patent pending: Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 2016-218969). ). Since you can see the lighting history on your smartphone, you can guess the daily living situation from wherever you are, even if you live far away. Also, if it stays on or off for 24 hours, you will be automatically notified by email. Keeping in touch with your mobile phone every day can be burdensome and can easily interfere with your private life. With HelloLight, you can naturally and casually watch over your loved ones. Click here for details on “Hello Light”
The cause of the LED bulb blinking may be deterioration or failure of the internal board, parts, rectifier, etc., but it blinks when connected to a lighting device with a dimming function that does not support LED bulbs. Sometimes. With + Style (plus style) smart LED bulbs, the bulb itself is equipped with a rectifier and dimming / adjusting functions, and can be linked with smartphones and smart speakers. Of course, it is recommended because it can be remotely controlled and set from a smartphone, and can be linked with other home appliances and sensors. In addition, “Hello Light” is recommended for families who are worried about living alone with their elderly parents. Simply replace the current light bulb with HelloLight, and the on / off information will be notified to your smartphone, allowing you to watch over naturally. If the LED bulb flashes, please refer to the causes introduced in this article and try the remedy.