Flickering/Blinking bulbs caused by LEDs?

Reply Wed 14 Aug, 2013 09:13 pm
My house was built in 1992, and I have a lamp hanging over my kitchen table that swags over to the corner of the breakfast nook (hard wired) and is operated by a wall switch. Last week, I tried to replace the regular bulb with an energy efficient 60W LED (brand: Cree). This bulb did not work at all in the lamp. Tried another in case the first was faulty, but that didn't work either. When I put the regular bulb back in the lamp, it flickered and blinked before it came on full. I switched the lamp off and on again, and it flickered and blinked again and died.

I figured the lamp itself had died and since I'd been wanting to replace it anyway, took this opportunity to do so. After searching for a while (it's hard to find swag lamps these days that are actually nice looking), bought one I liked, although it was a plug-in lamp. I knew it would be easy to convert it to a hardwire lamp, and did so today. I put in a regular bulb, hit the switch, and the lamp works fine. Great, I thought, now let's see if I can use those LEDs after all. Big mistake. As before, the LEDs didn't work at all and once I put the regular bulb back in, I'm back to flickering and blinking before the light eventually comes on full.

Any idea what's going on here? I'm stumped. It doesn't seem to be the wiring since the lamp worked fine before inserting the LEDs, so it seems that somehow the LEDs have messed up something in both lamps. Now I'm wondering (a) if the new lamp is still safe to use and (b) what did the LEDs actually do to it?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Placid Carcass
Reply Sun 18 Aug, 2013 10:14 am
Since you said you hardwired the lamp I'm going to say its the wiring. the proy blem you described does not make any sense any other way. The Led bulb won't do anything to the circuit. If you know a little about residential wiring, you'll remember that from your panel board the wire leaves the breaker or fuse and makes its way to the device. Your panel board supplies a constant 120 volts. A bulb can do nothing to change this.

If you double check your wiring and you are sure the connections are not a little loose or done incorrectly, check the bulb and make sure it is meant to be operated by 120V.

Another possibility is that somewhere in the circuit you are losing voltage. Or perhaps in a rare almost unheard of situation the cycle is being changed, which would explain the flickering. If is that important to you i would consider calling an electrician. Especially if you are led to believe the problem is voltage loss.
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Reply Sun 22 Sep, 2013 01:25 am
First I would try the LED lamps and the standard lamps in a different fixture to see if they work at all. Then I would check to see if the center contact in the fixture lamp socket was compressed when you installed the LED lamp so that when you installed the standard lamp it was not making contact correctly. Be sure the switch is off. If the contact is compressed you may be able to pull it up with your finger (power off) and then install the lamp. If the socket is aluminum and the lamps have aluminum bases, sometimes they create more friction when the lamp is installed resulting in the lamp not making it all the way into the socket. Don't over tighten, but make sure lamp is installed all the way into the socket.
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