Why do my LED lights buzz?
Buzzing, humming, whirring, and whistling are many words used to describe the weird sound coming from LED lights.
And it can be especially puzzling if you just had your flights installed.
Often, the noise is subtle at first, and you may choose to ignore it.
However, as time passes, it gets louder and more annoying, making concentrating difficult.
Read on to learn what causes the buzzing in LED lights and what you can do to stop it.
Are Buzzing LED Lights Dangerous?
Often, the buzzing sound is not dangerous.
It’s normal for some brands of LED lights to buzz subtly.
The problem arises if the buzz or humming sound emanates from a switch or the wires.
Then it would be best to worry because it means there’s some defect.
Mind you, if the issue remains unresolved, it can lead to permanent damage so that your lights no longer work.
But even worse, it could lead to a fire hazard, especially if the noise comes from loose wire connections.
Thus, it would be best if you took action as soon as possible.
What Causes the Buzzing of LED Lights?
Too Few Lights Connected to the Dimmer Switch
Interestingly, the circuit load must be proportional to the circuit’s capabilities.
That means too few lights connected can cause the switch to buzz as they draw less power.
The reason is that when there are just a few flights, the dimmer switch gets exposed to more power than it can handle.
(Caption: Dimmer switch)
Similarly, dull bulbs that consume less power put the dimmer switch in the same position of managing more power than its rated value.
Unfortunately, sometimes a dimmer switch won’t work with LED light bulbs.
Unlike the old halogen bulbs, LED Lights are highly sensitive to incompatibility.
And when that happens, it could cause a buzzing sound.
Unfortunately, there’s only so much load a LED dimmer switch can handle without issues arising.
And usually, the number of LED lights connected determines the load the dimmer switch can handle.
Therefore, check to ensure that your dimmer switch can manage the load.
(Caption: Several LED light bulbs)
Poor installation, such as loose wiring and connection, can cause your LED light to buzz.
So try checking the connections and securing the wiring either by yourself or with the help of a professional.
Another wiring issue is when the hot (black) and neutral (white or gray) wires get wired in reverse, known as reverse polarity.
If that’s the case, correct the wiring.
Switching Power Supply
Having a faulty power supply could be the cause of the buzzing sound.
Sometimes, the power supply may contrast with your LED lights.
As a result, it may cause the buzzing sound you’re hearing.
Interestingly, this can occur even when you have installed noise filters.
Coils or chokes are part of the LED driver circuit incorporated into the lighting system.
And a problem with these can affect the intermediate storage of the supplied energy.
In turn, it may lead to EMC (electromagnetic) disturbances and, as a result, possible buzzing sounds.
Faulty LED Driver
Typically, you’ll find LED drivers at the base of LED ceiling lights.
And when these are faulty, the result is the annoying sound you’re hearing.
Usually, faulty LED drivers result from problems in the voltage supply caused by transformer issues.
Now capacitors are excellent filters as they set the required frequencies.
However, when the capacitor is faulty, it can cause a fluctuation of frequency, sometimes hitting peaks of up to 120 Hz.
When the frequency is that high, you can expect to hear buzzing.
Therefore, it’s vital to counter-check the capacitors.
Frequent Adjusting of Lights
Changing the amount of light in the LED bulbs too frequently can cause buzzing sounds.
And if you’re wondering when that occurs, it’s when you’re constantly dimming the lights more than usual.
For example, you may try to turn the dimmer switch to its lowest setting, yet the LED lights lack the required lower lumen.
When that happens, it strains the dimmer switch to achieve your desired lumen levels.
Overloaded Power Supply
Another thing that can cause LED lights to buzz is having several power-draining components in the same power supply line as your lighting system.
For instance, connecting kitchen appliances such as microwaves can significantly interfere with lower-power LED light devices in the room.
In turn, it causes a power surge that produces a humming sound.
How to Stop LED Lights From Buzzing
Soft-Start Circuit Dimmer Switch
Now a soft-start circuit dimmer switch is used to regulate the power supplied to the bulbs.
When turned on, the switch gradually increases the amount of power supply.
Doing so limits possible strain caused by a sudden increase in power to the switch.
As a result, it prevents excessive noise produced by the lighting system.
High-Quality LED Bulbs
You can try replacing your LED lamps with high-quality ones from a reputable brand.
But with that said, it’s essential to note that some manufacturers don’t consider the buzzing or humming a defect.
So they’ll expect you to buy new bulbs rather than exchange your bulbs with new ones.
Use a LED-Compatible Dimmer Switch
Always make it a pit to ensure you have the right dimmer switch.
In other words, one that’s compatible with the dimmer switch.
As mentioned earlier, not all dimmer switches will work with your dimmer.
Therefore, it’s wise to consider the manufacturer’s recommendations on the appropriate choice for compatibility.
Replace LED Bulbs
Sometimes, the buzzing persists even with the best LED bulbs and a compatible dimmer.
In this case, the only solution is to try new bulbs or stop using the dimmer.
Avoid Turning Your LED Lights On and Off too frequently
When constantly turning your LED lights on and off unnecessarily, it can cause a buzzing sound.
See, each LED light has its rated cycle, and frequent switching on and off induces stress on the bulb.
If this continues, it eventually damages the internal electrical components, causing them to stop working.
Use an In-Line Dimmer
An in-line dimmer is one device that will significantly limit the amount of noise your lamps produce.
What’s great about the in-line dimmer is its uniquely designed switch installed between the power source and the light fixture.
Also, it’s famous for working well with LED and halogen lights.
Use EMI Noise Attenuation Filters
Another excellent choice to help reduce the buzzing sound from your LED lights is noise filters.
You can install these in the power supply to combat the AC power electrical-generated noise.
But with so many types of filters, which one should you choose? Well, it depends on the amount of noise produced.
So you must select the right noise filter that meets your needs.
Why Do My LED Lights Buzz: Change the Power Supply
Sometimes, replacing a faulty power supply is the best or only solution to the buzzing sound.
Therefore, if the noise persists after you have installed a noise filter, the problem lies with the power supply.
In this case, replacing it will stop the buzzing.
That said, remember to check the description of the power supply because you need one that omits the least amount of electrical needs.
Thus, you may need to check out several power supply options before you can get the best.
Now you know why your LED light bulbs are buzzing.
As we’ve seen, the buzzing is a red flag that there’s a default in your LED lighting system.
And some possible causes are an overloaded power supply, compatibility problems, few lights, and a defective connection.
Thankfully, you now know what to do to stop the noise.