Installing LED Lights to Existing Circuits Resulting in Glowing

The LED ‘Glowing’ Issue

Let’s take a look at how it came about. You replaced some halogen globes with LED’s and the circuit is controlled by a dimmer, and is on 2 way switching. When you turn the lights off, they continue to glow. The next problem you find is that the dimmer does not function properly. In other words, it only ‘reacts’ at the end of its operation going from ‘bright’ to ‘very bright’

The Problem(s)

Start with the dimmer. This would have been rated to the lamps installed originally and most likely is rated from 60W to 300W. The LED’s you installed may have a total load of only 10W. That means you will have to install a dimmer suited to LED lighting with a range starting to suit the load. There are some good units available starting at 2W to 400W. This will address the dimming issues.

Now for the glowing when off. This is caused by induction. The LED’s need a very low voltage to start glowing and inductance provides that. You will often find this where two way switching is used.

The Fix

There are many ideas being tested to rectify this problem ranging from installing a “snubber” to the lights to putting back one of the original globes which does not look good. The best solution may be the least practicable and that is to get rid of the cause of the induction. You can do this by separating the cable of the light circuit from the rest of the cables in the roof. This is easier said than done though and not always achievable.

So, if this is not achievable, what can be done?

Try putting a small load across the circuit at the connection point so that it is not visible in the room itself – maybe in the ceiling space? This will eliminate the glowing of the LED’s, but does add another load to the circuit which may not be desirable. To me, this is the last resort. If I have tried to get rid of the induction and it is not achievable, I will go with an additional load to the circuit without it being visible in the room.

If you have come across better alternatives, why not share it here for our readers to see. After all, this is what we do – share information.

Till next time, stay safe and avoid shortcuts!