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Winston, Indiana
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Discussion Starter #1
I have wanted to upgrade the 4 fluorescent T12 units above my work/bench area for a while.
I just got done replacing the one fluorescent unit above the bench with 3 LED units and they are totally kick-ass.

However, there is just one small issue in that when I turn them off at the switch, they do not go completely off, instead, they flicker/glow very dimly.

At first I thought they might just need to "calm down" after being switched off..... Nope, they flickered/glowed dimly for the next half hour until I turned them off at the breaker.

Given that turning them off at the breaker fixed the issue, I thought I might have a bad wall switch. Nope, even with the switch completely removed and the hot, neutral and ground wires sticking out of the switch box and not connected to anything at all, the LED's still flicker/glow dimly.... unless I turn off the breaker.

I then thought that there might be some power "leaking" into the LED's circuit from one of the other circuits in the shop so I turned off all the other breakers. Nope!!! The LED's continue to flicker/glow dimly and will only go off completely if I turn their circuit off at the breaker.

The circuit that controls the LED's only powers the work area lights and 1 outlet. The outlet is not controlled by the light switch, meaning I can use the outlet even if the lights are off at the switch.

As I have not changed anything other than the lights, whatever the fault is, I suspect it has always been there but the old flouro unit wasn't bothered by it so it didn't show up whereas the LED's, being much more sensitive to voltage are picking up on it. I also suspect the fix is going to be simple but I can't think what it would be!

An online search shows dozens of ideas/opinions on how the issue might be fixed but none fit my set of conditions.


Hoping someone has the actual answer.
Thanks,

...W
 

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What if u take the switch out put a wire nut on the open wires turn breaker on if they dont flicker than it wud b the switch get a new switch. Not sure but. I wud try it
 

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Winston, Indiana
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Discussion Starter #3
What if u take the switch out put a wire nut on the open wires turn breaker on if they dont flicker than it wud b the switch get a new switch. Not sure but. I wud try it
I get what you’re saying but the lights don’t flicker/glow when they are on, only when they are off at the switch. With the switch removed and the wires nutted together, the lights work fine as you’d expect but if I un-nut the wires and they are all separated with the switch out of the picture, the lights still flicker/glow.
They must be getting some voltage from somewhere but I can’t figure out where.

...W
 

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Steve from Mississippi
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I would say it is a capacitor powering the LEDs until the energy in the capacitor draws down but by flipping the breaker and turning them off it eliminates that issue so I don't know. My LEDs don't flicker but they do stay on very dim for a few minutes. My neighbor owns an electrician company. I will ask him tomorrow.
 

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Dale - Missouri
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I get what you’re saying but the lights don’t flicker/glow when they are on, only when they are off at the switch. With the switch removed and the wires nutted together, the lights work fine as you’d expect but if I un-nut the wires and they are all separated with the switch out of the picture, the lights still flicker/glow.
They must be getting some voltage from somewhere but I can’t figure out where.

...W
2 of the most common ways to wire a light circuit is 1) power goes from circuit breaker to switch, then to light; 2) power goes from circuit breaker to the light, then power goes down to switch and back to up to light. Given this, try unhooking all the wires at the light junction box. Might tell you the problem is there instead of at the switch.
 

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I'm not an expert in home electrical but I work with automotive electrical almost everyday, you're getting too much power, if the ballast is still in the circuit from you're fluorescent that's going to be you're issue, if not somehow its back feeding from somewhere. I would test it with a voltmeter. LEDs are extremely sensitive especially to excess power.
 

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I have a similar situation with the bed light on my old pickup. I replaced the standard incandescent bulbs with LED's, and now it has a noticeable glow visible at night. I found out the reason was that the brightness of the light was controlled by a rheostat and not an open/close switch. Since the rheostat never really opens the circuit when I turn the light "off", theres a very minimal current flow/voltage drop in the circuit that keeps those very sensitive LED's lit. Took me a long time and lots of research to get that explanation.
 

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I dont know jack but I take it these lights are wired in and not corded?

I would attach a cord to one and go somewhere else and plug it in and see if it does the same thing.

I bought four from either HF or Wally and I agree they are nice. and cheap.
 

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I think the "bleed thru" is in your outlet on the same circuit, allowing a small current to go thru the white wire and back thru ground. To test this: unplug anything plugged into your outlet on that same circuit, if that doesn't work: disconnect the outlet from it's outlet box and see if that does not stop the light from flickering.
 

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Any chance you could get a volt meter to the contact points of the bulb (tube) sockets? I am just guessing with no training or experience to call on but I would think there has to be some voltage coming through the switch that is eliminated when the breaker is thrown.
 

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Winston, Indiana
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Discussion Starter #15
Any chance you could get a volt meter to the contact points of the bulb (tube) sockets? I am just guessing with no training or experience to call on but I would think there has to be some voltage coming through the switch that is eliminated when the breaker is thrown.
Jay,
The closest I can get to the bulbs is the wire nuts connecting the units but there is definitely some voltage getting through..... has to be.
I’m leaning toward the theory that it’s bleeding back through the neutral or ground from the outlet.
This little conundrum will keep me occupied next weekend; something to take my mind off everywhere being too frozen to fish!

...W
 
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