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When you dim LEDs, you expect the same performance you get when dimming incandescent bulbs. It doesn’t always pan out that way, though, which can be frustrating.

We understand the challenges that come with dimming LEDs, and we’re here to help you work through whatever issues you have as best as you can.

Please keep in mind that you may need to change your LED bulbs or the dimmer you’re using them with, so that they’re compatible. Compatibility is key to better LED dimming performance.

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Flickeringhttps://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/Categories/DispForm.aspx?ID=1FlickeringNew CategoryLights flicker or flash when you dim themhttps://www.lutron.com/en-US/Style%20Library/ledtroubleshooting/images/Flicker.gif, /en-US/Style%20Library/LEDTroubleshooting/images/Flicker.gif<p>LED bulbs can sometimes flicker because LEDs are more sensitive to electrical fluctuations than are standard incandescents/halogens. </p> <p> When current flows through an incandescent/halogen bulb's filament, the current heats it up. That heat causes the bulb to glow. That heat also smooths the light out. </p><p> An LED doesn't have a filament. Instead, it has an electronic driver. When current flows into an LED bulb. the driver applies that current to the individual LEDs. and they light up. Because electronics. and not heat, are involved. the LED is more directly impacted by fluctuating current than an incandescent or halogen is. The amount of impact is dependent on the LED's design. which determines how sensitive the bulb is to these fluctuations. </p>TroubleshootingWhat causes LED bulb flickering?1
Ghosting or Blinkinghttps://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/Categories/DispForm.aspx?ID=2Ghosting or BlinkingNew CategoryLights stay softly illuminated or blink when the dimmer is offhttps://www.lutron.com/en-US/Style%20Library/ledtroubleshooting/images/Ghosting.gif, /en-US/Style%20Library/LEDTroubleshooting/images/Ghosting.gif<p>In most cases, when you turn a standard dimmer off, the electronics inside the dimmer don’t receive any power. A digital or smart dimmer still needs to receive a small amount of power, as does a standard/mechanical dimmer with a nightlight, even when the switch is off. </p> <p>This tiny bit of current can cause ghosting. Most LEDs are designed to ignore this, but some are more sensitive than others. </p>TroubleshootingWhat causes LED bulb ghosting?2
Buzzing or Humminghttps://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/Categories/DispForm.aspx?ID=3Buzzing or HummingNew CategoryLights buzz or hum when you dim themhttps://www.lutron.com/en-US/Style%20Library/ledtroubleshooting/images/Buzzing.gif, /en-US/Style%20Library/LEDTroubleshooting/images/Buzzing.gif<p>LEDs emit an audible buzzing due to the vibration of the components inside the LED. The level of vibration (buzzing) depends on the LED design. </p><p>(Note: buzzing doesn’t indicate a safety issue—it’s just not an ideal dimming experience.)</p>TroubleshootingWhat causes LED bulb noise?3
Dropping Outhttps://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/Categories/DispForm.aspx?ID=4Dropping OutNew CategoryLights turn off while you’re dimming themhttps://www.lutron.com/en-US/Style%20Library/ledtroubleshooting/images/Dropout.gif, /en-US/Style%20Library/LEDTroubleshooting/images/Dropout.gif<p>LED drop out or LEDs not dimming down far enough is a result of the LED’s design. For example, you could pair each of three dimmers with three different LEDs and set them to the same level, but the first one might dim the LED to 20%, the second one to 10%, and the third one might turn the LED off—all because the LEDs have different designs. </p></p> (Note: drop out isn’t a safety issue—it’s just not an ideal dimming experience.)</p>TroubleshootingWhat causes LED bulbs to drop out or not dim down far enough?4
Make sure you adjust your dimmer's low end.https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/ProductsFAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=4186Make sure you adjust your dimmer's low end.Troubleshooting Steps<p>If your dimmer is designed to control dimmable LEDs, you should be able to adjust how far down your dimmer lowers the lights. This is called adjusting the low end of the dimming range. (Flickering is often more prevalent at lower levels.) To adjust the low end, please see the instruction sheet/support info from the dimmer's manufacturer. If you're using a Lutron dimmer, you can view videos and walk throughs by entering the model # on our <a href="/support">support site</a>. </p> <p> If your dimmer isn't designed to control dimmable LEDs you should replace your dimmer with one compatible with your specific LEDs.</p> <p> You might consider using a Lutron C·L dimmer, which was designed specifically to control dimmable LEDs. To see if your bulb has been tested by Lutron/is compatible visit <a href="/LEDFinder">lutron.com/LEDFinder</a>.</p>Flickering4186
Make sure you're using a recommended LED.https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/ProductsFAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=4192Make sure you're using a recommended LED.Troubleshooting Steps<p>Double check the dimmer manufacturer’s website to make sure that the LED is recommended for use with the dimmer. Some LEDs are designed work with a specific type of dimming control—for example, forward vs reverse phase dimmers. There aren’t any manufacturing standards for LEDs, which means they differ from bulb to bulb, making manufacturing compatible dimmers challenging.</p> <p> Lutron is one manufacturer that tests the latest LED bulbs and posts the ones that work best. To view Lutron’s list of compatible bulbs and dimmers, visit <a href="/LEDFinder">lutron.com/LEDFinder</a>.</p>Ghosting or Blinking4192
Make sure you’re using a recommended LED.https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/ProductsFAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=4194Make sure you’re using a recommended LED.Troubleshooting Steps<p>Double check the dimmer manufacturer’s website to make sure that the LED is recommended for use with the dimmer. There aren’t any manufacturing standards for LEDs, which means that bulb manufacturers have a different idea of how much buzzing is acceptable. This lack of LED standards makes manufacturing compatible dimmers challenging.</p> <p> Lutron has established an internal standard for acceptable dimming and we publish a list of bulbs that meet that standard. To view Lutron’s list of compatible dimmers and bulbs, visit <a href="/LEDFinder">lutron.com/LEDFinder</a>.</p>Buzzing or Humming4194
Make sure you can adjust the low end.https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/ProductsFAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=4196Make sure you can adjust the low end.Troubleshooting Steps<p>Double check the dimmer’s installation instructions to make sure you can adjust the dimmer’s low end. To adjust the low end, please see the instruction sheet/support info from the dimmer’s manufacturer. If you’re using a Lutron dimmer, you can also enter the model # on our support site.</p> <p> If your dimmer isn’t designed to control dimmable LEDs, you should replace your dimmer with one compatible with your specific LEDs and that has the ability to adjust the low end of your dimmer. This will allow you to adjust the range of your dimmer. (Please keep in mind that the bulb’s range will stay the same. For example, if your bulb only dims to 50%, it may only dim to 50% with a compatible dimmer.)</p> <p> You might consider using a Lutron C·L dimmer, which was designed specifically to control dimmable LEDs. To see if your bulb has been tested by Lutron/is compatible, visit <a href="/LEDFinder">lutron.com/LEDFinder</a>.</p>Dropping Out4196
Make sure your dimmer is compatible with your LED.https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/ProductsFAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=4187Make sure your dimmer is compatible with your LED.Troubleshooting Steps<p>There aren’t any manufacturing standards for LEDs, which means they differ from bulb to bulb. Some bulbs dim down further and smoother than others, and some work best only when using a specific type of dimmer.</p> <p> And that makes choosing a compatible dimmer difficult. </p><p> Check to make sure your dimmer was designed to work with dimmable LEDs, then check to make sure the LED you’re using is dimmable. If your bulb is not dimmable, it typically will state on the base of the bulb "not for use with dimmers". You will also typically find the model number for the bulb on the base as well. It could be helpful to check the dimmer manufacturer’s website to see if the LED you’re using is compatible with your dimmer.</p> <p> Lutron is one manufacturer that tests the latest LED bulbs and posts the ones that work best. To view Lutron’s list of compatible dimmers and tested bulbs, visit <a href="/LEDFinder">lutron.com/LEDFinder</a>.</p>Flickering4187
Try an LED dimmer that uses a neutral wire.https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/ProductsFAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=4191Try an LED dimmer that uses a neutral wire.Troubleshooting Steps<p>If you use any dimmer that has a neutral wire, including a digital or smart dimmer, that small amount of power that’s needed is designed to flow through a separate connection instead of directly to the LED, preventing ghosting.</p> <p>Many manufacturers sell neutral dimmers. A few Lutron options include:</p> <p><ul> <li>Maestro C·L PRO (model <a href="/en-US/Pages/SupportCenter/Support.aspx?modelNumber=MA-PRO">MA-PRO</a>)</li> <li>Diva (model <a href="/en-US/Pages/SupportCenter/Support.aspx?modelNumber=DVRP-253P">DVCL-253P</a>)</li> <li>Skylark Contour (model <a href="/en-US/Pages/SupportCenter/Support.aspx?modelNumber=CTRP-253P">CTRP-253P</a>)</li> <li>Nova T* (model <a href="/en-US/Pages/SupportCenter/Support.aspx?modelNumber=NTRP-250">NTRP-250</a>)</li></ul></p>Ghosting or Blinking4191
Try an LED-rated, reverse-phase dimmer.https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/ProductsFAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=4195Try an LED-rated, reverse-phase dimmer.Troubleshooting Steps<p>LEDs have a larger spike in current than incandescent/halogen bulbs do. These spikes increase the vibration of the components inside the LED.</p><p> Reverse-phase dimmers are better at reducing this vibration, simply due to their design.</p><p> Many manufacturers sell reverse-phase dimmers. A few Lutron options include:</p><p></p><ul><li>Maestro C·L PRO (model <a href="/en-US/Pages/SupportCenter/Support.aspx?modelNumber=MA-PRO">MA-PRO</a>)</li><li>Diva (model <a href="/en-US/Pages/SupportCenter/Support.aspx?modelNumber=DVRP-253P">DVRP-253P</a>)</li><li>Skylark Contour (model <a href="/en-US/Pages/SupportCenter/Support.aspx?modelNumber=CTRP-253P">CTRP-253P</a>)<br></li><li>Nova T* (model <a href="/en-US/Pages/SupportCenter/Support.aspx?modelNumber=NTRP-250">NTRP-250</a>)</li></ul><p></p><p>+Check the manufacturer’s website or LED packaging to make sure your bulb will work with a reverse-phase dimmer.</p>Buzzing or Humming4195
Make sure you’re using a recommended LED.https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/ProductsFAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=4197Make sure you’re using a recommended LED.Troubleshooting Steps<p>Double check the dimmer manufacturer’s website to make sure that the LED is recommended for use with the dimmer. There aren’t any manufacturing standards for LEDs, which means they differ from bulb to bulb, making manufacturing compatible dimmers challenging.</p> <p> You might consider using a Lutron C·L dimmer, which was designed specifically to control dimmable LEDs. To see if your bulb has been tested by Lutron/is compatible, visit <a href="/LEDFinder">lutron.com/LEDFinder</a>.</p>Dropping Out4197
Try an LED dimmer that uses a neutral wire.https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/ProductsFAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=4188Try an LED dimmer that uses a neutral wire.Troubleshooting Steps<p>Your bulb may be designed to work with an ELV (reverse-phase) dimmer. Check your bulb to see if it was designed that way; if it was, try it with a compatible reverse-phase dimmer.</p> <p> Many manufacturers sell reverse-phase dimmers. A few Lutron options include:</p><p> <ul><li>Maestro C·L PRO (model <a href="/en-US/Pages/SupportCenter/Support.aspx?modelNumber=MA-PRO">MA-PRO</a>)</li> <li>Diva (model <a href="/en-US/Pages/SupportCenter/Support.aspx?modelNumber=DVRP-253P">DVCL-253P</a>)</li> <li>Skylark Contour (model <a href="/en-US/Pages/SupportCenter/Support.aspx?modelNumber=CTRP-253P">CTRP-253P</a>)</li> <li>Nova T* (model <a href="/en-US/Pages/SupportCenter/Support.aspx?modelNumber=NTRP-250">NTRP-250</a>)</li></ul> </p> <p>+Check the manufacturer’s website or LED packaging to make sure your bulb will work with a reverse phase dimmer.</p>Flickering4188
Change out one bulb for an incandescent/halogen.https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/ProductsFAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=4193Change out one bulb for an incandescent/halogen.Troubleshooting Steps<p>Because this is not ideal, this is a last resort. If you do not want to change all of your LED lamps, then you could insert a halogen/incandescent bulb in the circuit. This can help to stabilize the other LED lamps and improve the dimming performance.</p>Ghosting or Blinking4193
Double-check your 3-way installation.https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/ProductsFAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=4189Double-check your 3-way installation.Troubleshooting Steps<p>If you have a 3-way installation (you can control your lights from two different locations), make sure that you are using a dimmer in only one of the locations. The only exception is if you have a dimmer that offers a master/companion setup, such as with a Lutron Maestro dimmer.</p> <p> Dimmers will not work properly if multiple dimmers are controlling one light source. If you’ve installed two dimmers, remove one and replace it with a standard 3-way switch.</p>Flickering4189
Change out one bulb for an incandescent/halogen.https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Lists/ProductsFAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=4190Change out one bulb for an incandescent/halogen.Troubleshooting Steps<p>Because this is not ideal, this is a last resort. If you do not want to change all of your LED lamps, then you could insert a halogen/incandescent bulb in the circuit. This can help to stabilize the other LED lamps and improve the dimming performance.</p>Flickering4190

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