Under cabinet LED bulbs flickering

rockuf8November 5, 2013

Have a weird issue with my under cabinet lights I can't figure out.

I'm using bi pin hockey puck style lights, but I replaced the halogen bulbs with the lower voltage, longer lasting, cooler running, LED bulbs.

The bulbs flicker, very slightly, it's subtle but it's enough to make me crazy. My wife can barely notice the flickering, but Ic an and I can't live with them as they are.

They are on a regular light switch and are hard wired and are all inline together, there is no dimmer used with these lights. I cut out wood stained it to match the under cabinets, then cut out circles to mount the pucks into so all wires would be hidden for a nice clean custom look.

I tried a few things. If I replace the last LED bulb inline with the regular halogen bi pin bulb they stop flickering completely. At first I thought it was a bad LED bulb, but I swapped out the bad bulb with the second to last bulb with the halogen last and they still don't flicker, so the LED bulb I thought was bad isn't the cause of the annoying flickering.

I'm using LED bulbs like the one shown below (notice the bi-pin halogen bulb in the pic they replaced)

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The lights use the below transformer I have hidden in the center cabinet, but I really don't think there is anything wrong with the transformer as the one halogen bulb installed with the other 5 LEDs prevents the flickering from happening.

This post was edited by rockuf8 on Tue, Nov 5, 13 at 8:40

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 8:37AM
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Don't mind the missing door, I'm in the process of adding trim to the cabinets and plan on painting them a cream color with some pinstripe glazing.

If anyone has any idea as to why this would happen, or if you have experienced the same thing I would appreciate to hear your thoughts. I've searched all over the web and only found issues from flickering LEDs used with a dimmer which isn't the case with mine. I really don't want to run the halogen bulbs.


This post was edited by rockuf8 on Tue, Nov 5, 13 at 8:42

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 8:38AM
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This reminds me of recessed kitchen lights flickering stories, where to avoid flickering in some (older) set ups, you need to have a least one incandescent bulb amongst the new LED bulbs. Why don't you try posting in the kitchen forum too with this question or doing a search there.

Good luck. How annoying flickering is.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 7:00PM
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Thanks, ok, I will do that.

Yes, the flickering is enough to drive you insane as subtle as it is.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 7:39AM
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It is perhaps a bad LED driver design in the pucks. What vendor and part number are the LEDs? Could also be that the transformer is not happy with the load (too low, or the fact that no current is drawn until the voltage in each cycle gets up a bit).

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 2:12PM
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Thanks for the insight.

Don't have the packaging anymore,they're like 3-4 years old, just got around to installing them now. The vendor I purchased the LED bulbs from has a transformer he tested with the same 5 bulbs as these and they were perfect. I guess I will have to splice in a different transformer, not what I wanted to have to do since it won't be nice and neat.

Is there anything else that can be done inline instead of changing out the transformer?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 1:46PM
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