dim LED at lamppost when "off"

homeboundSeptember 6, 2012

I'm a handyman asking this on behalf of one of my clients.

They have installed an LED bulb in an outdoor lamppost which is on a digital timer switch (Intermatic, I think). When the timer-switch is off, the bulb still glows faintly. Is this normal and can this be prevented? They are concerned about wasting any energy at all. Thanks much.

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Ron Natalie

Get a different timer. There are intermatic timers that use a switch rather than a semiconductor circuit. Sometimes they look identical to the incandescent-only ones. You have to read the ratings (they'll typically be good for fluorescent and small motors).

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:26AM
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homebound

Much appreciated.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 11:45AM
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lbpod

I agree. Sometimes there is something to be said
about the old fashioned mechanical contacts.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 3:29PM
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homebound

Just to clarify, is there a digital switch, intermatic, that does not have the semiconductor, or are you referring to a different type, eg. the one with the little dial?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Ron Natalie

I don't know which one you have, but Intermatic makes essentially the same electronic timer (with dusk to dawn or timed) available with either an incandescent only (semicondulctor) or more general (motorized switch). They look identical from the outside. I had the former and my CF fixtures flickered when off as well. All was well after I switched.

Here is a link that might be useful: Intermatic timers

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 3:56PM
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alan_s_thefirst

It is normal, with a conventional bulb you just can't see it, but it's consuming current.

As others said, 'electronic' switches always have a little leaked current. A relay, or a mechanical switch is the only solution.

That being said, it probably won't hurt an LED.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 2:41PM
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brickeyee

"That being said, it probably won't hurt an LED. "

The LED is not the issue, the AC-DC power supply operating the LED can be damaged.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 10:13AM
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alan_s_thefirst

By the switchmode supply, as per another thread? I can see that. Whilst an incandescent bulb is in there, there's still current being drawn, except bulb is just acting like a resistor, not a bulb.

I guess I should have qualified it by saying OP must verify timer is compatible with LED and/or CFL.

The same topic seems to be coming up, over and over.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 4:39PM
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brickeyee

Or the CFL or LED must be compatible with an 'conventional' dimmer for it to operate from a typical solid state switch.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:17AM
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