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Flickering bathroom LEDs / Dodgy transformer?
Flickering bathroom LEDs / Dodgy transformer?
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Old 12th September 2017, 12:52 PM   #1
Hemisphere is offline Hemisphere
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Default Flickering bathroom LEDs / Dodgy transformer?

Just wondered if there are any bright sparks knocking about who can help me diagnose a domestic headscratcher!

Been having some problems with the bathroom lights - A couple of little LEDs in a bathroom mirror in the flat I'm staying at. Connected to a regular 240v AC lightswitch, and run through a little transformer box.

I've been long convinced that the issue was with the electric lightswitch, as it's clearly ancient with rust on the inside and the plastic parts are falling apart, so I tried a couple of times to fix it via the switch, with some apparently limited success (flickering stopped for a few minutes before resuming), that cemented my suspicion that it was the fault of the AC switch.

But now that switch has been completely replaced with another from another part of the flat and the problem persists, so I had a look at the transformer box - opened up the back panel (not of the transformer itself, but the area it was housed in), and jiggled the wires about. Success! The lights stopped flickering, again for a good 5 minutes at least. Again I convinced myself loose wiring was at fault and that I'd solved it (I was able to give the whole mirror box a decent whack and the light still stayed on).

So I closed it all back up again....and again it starts flickering!

It's not like a constant rate flicker but a much more sporadic one, varying in frequency and intensity. Does anyone know what might be causing this and is there anything I can do besides replacing the transformer altogether? (something I wouldn't want to do unless I knew it would fix the problem).

The other thing to note is that there were two bulbs initially. The first one blew and shortly after the second began to flicker. Is it possible the transformer is simply operating below it's minimum threshold of current draw with just one little LED to power and getting the second light refitted would fix the problem? I went to replace both bulbs initially but the second one is much more tightly sealed into it's housing so I've left it for now, but I will probably try replacing the second bulb before replacing the transformer.
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Old 12th September 2017, 01:07 PM   #2
JonSnell Electronic is offline JonSnell Electronic  United Kingdom
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: The Jurassic Coast, England. GB
LED transformers produce a constant current. If one LED fails, it may overdrive the remaining LED and cause damage to the LED.
Alternatively you may find Clive has an answer for you; YouTube
Support for Fender, Marshall and all Valve Equipment; Audio Innovations, Audiorama FU29, Quad and Leak. www.jonsnell.co.uk
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Old 12th September 2017, 01:07 PM   #3
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Join Date: May 2007
If by "transformer" you actually mean SMPS PSU then they often have a minimum current below which they misbehave. In some cases people replace halogen bulbs with LEDs but leave the halogen 'transformer' in place; this rarely works - a trick is to add one halogen bulb in parallel with as many LEDs as you need.

LED transformers produce a constant current.
That may be true for some, but others are constant voltage.

Last edited by DF96; 12th September 2017 at 01:09 PM. Reason: extend
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Old 13th September 2017, 01:09 AM   #4
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Location: Lansing, Michigan
If you suspect the light switch on the wall, take the unit elsewhere and plug it in. Does it work OK there?
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