Why are my LED strip lights flashing on and off – what to do

Why are my LED strip lights flashing on and off? LED strip lights have always been a special decoration and a light source. LED lights are well-known for creating a special ambiance wherever they are situated. The LED lights can vary in form and color, so there are so many lights that you can select and put in your room.

But, unfortunately, there may be problems even with the LED strip lights. For instance, the issue of the strip lights flashing on and off. But you can fix it, for sure. In this article, you can easily discover all the information about LED lights flickering and the ways of fixing it as well. 

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The LED lights: general information

Before we begin knowing more useful information about LED strip lights, it is also necessary to get to know the LED lights in essence, surely. So, the LED strip lights are a flexible circuit board with light bulbs that provide you with bright and colorful light that, at the same time, can be an excellent decoration. The colors of the LED lights are not limited; you can select as many as you desire. 

Another good feature of the LED lights is that you can easily attach them to any surface and in any place, thanks to the adhesive at the back of the LED strip. The adhesive is good and strong, so, most likely, the LED lights will be stuck in the place where you put them. 

Usually, they last a long time, have almost no problems, and can be very effective. But sometimes, something unpleasant may happen. The LED lights can flicker.

Several types of flickering LED strip light

Curiously, the flickering can be extremely diverse. And there are two main times of flickering that you should be aware of if you have such a problem. The flickering of the LED lights can be visible or invisible. Invisible and visible flicker have something in common: both of them are bad for your health, and you can say that if you feel eyestrain, migraines, dizziness, or even cognitive impairment. 

But now it is time to note the differences between them.

There is a certain PWM frequency specification.

The visible flicker is the flicker that has a certain flicker frequency, which is below 100 Hz. 

The invisible flicker goes with a frequency that is above 100 Hz. It is called invisible because it is usually hard for the human eye to notice it. 

Now that you are aware of the two types of flickering, you can find out for yourself what type you have right now. 

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Why are the LED strip lights flashing on and off?

Finally, it is time to discover the reasons why LED lights can flicker and what causes flickering lights. It is possible to conclude that it is preciously important because, knowing the causes of the lights flashing on and off, it would be much easier for you to solve the issue and avoid the same problem in the future.

The causes of the visible flicker

Now we can see the basic causes of the visible flicker, so you can understand what to do with it and how to fix it.

The parts are incompatible

The first cause to mention is the incompatible parts of the damaged LED strip light. 

The LED strip dimmers are a significant part of the strip. But sometimes there is something wrong with the mechanism of the lights that causes flickering, as a rule. 

Now you get to make sure that both the LED lights and the driver can be supported for the dimming. After that, it is essential to make sure that the driver protocols are compatible with the driver itself. Because if they are not compatible, flickering is inevitable. 

The connections are poor

Poor connections are the most common reason why the LED lights start flickering. You get to check out the solderless connectors because it is a common place where it usually happens. You may notice that the wires have poor, unstable, and intermittent connections. The connections must be stable and correct; otherwise, the wires are getting worn out, and the circuits may get broken

So, this is why it is essential to pay attention to the connections from time to time to make sure that everything is alright. 

To fix this issue, you get to press the solder-free connectors a little, and they can go back to normal.

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The faulty LED power supply

An overloaded LED power supply is a problem that you may not face often, but it may happen, even if there may be special protection for the LED driver from getting overloaded. Therefore, the power consumption is bad.

When the system of the driver of the LED strip light is overloaded, flickering can appear because the overloaded driver is going to switch on and off all the time. 

The worst thing is when the driver is not overloaded but essentially defective. This issue with the power supply is worse because, in this case, you just have to replace it with a new driver.

The LED strip lights are defective

Not only the LED driver can be defective, but the LED strip lights can be defective as well, unfortunately. And of course, this may be the cause of the flickering LED strip light, too. 

The defect of the LED lights in the case of flickering is the bad and defective connection between the holder and the LED chip. It is crucial because the LED chip is part of the strip that produces the light. And it must be attached to the holder for sustainability. And because the current may not pass through the LED chip if it is not stuck to the LED holder. 

Therefore, no light appears at all, or light appears occasionally, which is what we know as flickery. 

Another possible defect in the LED strip lights is that the manufacturer has not soldered the PCBs and the LED beads correctly. This problem is also able to cause the flickering of the LED strip lights. This is a problem, as is the defective power supply.

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The circuit board design is poor 

Poor circuit board design is another common cause of flickering LED lights. It is bad because the design of the circuit is an important part of the mechanism of the LED strip, and if it is done badly, many functions can work incorrectly.

And the flickering is just one of the consequences of such a poor design. 

The ripple voltage in the power supply

The ripple control, which causes the riffle voltage, is a common kind of electrical load control in some countries. But sometimes, even with electrical load control, a sudden ripple can happen in the power supply. Further, the ripple voltage in the power supply is the reason the LED light strip is flickering. 

The LED strip lights are faulty

Sometimes, the issue is the flickering LED strip lights themselves. Unfortunately, some manufacturers do not take full responsibility for the production of the LED strip, and the result is many defects. These defections may appear either after a short time, immediately, or after a long period. 

But with no doubt, it is going to appear. And the flickering LED strip light is one of the consequences of the bad production. 

The weather conditions are bad

This case happens quite rarely, but it can still be the reason the LED strip lights are flashing on and off. When there is a strong wind outside or a heavy storm, the wires in the street can be damaged easily, and this affects the LED strip lights as well as anything else. 

But it is truly temporary, and it can be solved by the special services and not you, so you do not have to worry about this very much. This is something that can be fixed quite quickly. 

The causes of the invisible flicker 

So, the second group of causes is the invisible flicker causes, which are also necessary to talk about. There are not as many causes as for the visible flicker, though. You should read it carefully as well and discover if anything in it is relevant to your situation.

The AC power LED strip

The AC is the alternating current, and the electricity is transmitted through the AC, as usual. The feature of the alternating current is that it transforms its direction, and the change of direction can be very sudden. One flow of electricity, just out of the blue, goes in a very different direction. 

There is a problem with it. Right at the moment of changing direction, the devices that were plugged into this electricity flow just lost power.

It happens very fast, and you may not always notice the changes in the electricity and the work of the devices. 

But the LED strip lights can indicate it for you because the change in direction of the electricity flaw causes the flickering of the LED strips. 

There is nothing you can do about such an issue, unfortunately, because it is not caused by the issues in the LED light strips themselves.

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How to stop LED strip lights from flickering: the instructions

Now it is time to discover what you can do to stop LED strip lights from flashing on and off. All the methods are strongly connected to the causes of the flickering of the LED strips, so every instruction will be short and straight to the topic.

Before checking any of the instructions, it is strongly recommended to find out what the problem is with the flickering. 

You should replace the incompatible parts

If you have found out that the issue is the incompatible parts, then you should follow this short instruction. So, as it said, the defective part may be the LED drivers, the LED strip dimming, or other details of the LED light strip that are not compatible. 

You get to replace them with new details. So, you should purchase new details for the certain model that you have and make sure that the details are compatible beforehand. Then carefully put them in the LED strip lights where they should be. After that, you get to switch the light on and make sure that everything functions well. 

Check out the connections

One of the easiest issues to solve is the problem with the connections. What you should do is thoroughly inspect every place where there are connections and find the places where the connections are poor. After that, you get to try to fix the poor connections yourself, make them straight, and unravel them if needed.

You should be very attentive and not miss any connections because poor connections not only cause flickering but may also cause a fire. 

Purchase a new LED driver instead of a defective power supply

Either the high-quality LED drivers are overloaded or defective; you have no other choice but to purchase a new LED power supply and replace the old one with it. You can also purchase a higher-wattage power supply instead. 

You get to make sure that the new LED power supply is high-quality and compatible with the LED strip lights. It is better to purchase LED drivers that are the same model as the previous power supply but are not defective.

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Set up the brightness adjustment

Sometimes, the cause of the problem is not so obvious. The flicker may also occur because some lights on the LED strip are way too dim, and there is nothing to do with these lights. 

What you can change in this case is the brightness adjustment. You get to find icons of the sun and an arrow on the remote control of the flickering LED strips. After that, you get to click this several times. This method may assist you in fixing the flicker.

Purchase a new LED strip

If you have found out that the problem was the faulty LED strip on all the lights, then you have no other choice but to purchase a new one. It must be the high-quality LED strip that is going to acquire the circuit board with better design, stable and firm connections, and the LED driver with high resistance to overloading. 

But beforehand, you get to make sure that the LED strip is not faulty and that it functions well.

By the way, you also get to be sure that the details of the LED strip are compatible, all the details function well, and there are no defective parts. 

You should pay attention to the LED driver and ensure that it has no defects as well.

Purchase the low-voltage DC strip lights 

When the issue is with the AC, then you definitely get to use the low-voltage LED strips. This is going to allow you to monitor the AC electricity change of flow, and there will not be any problems anymore and no invisible flicker, for sure. 

With the low-voltage LED strip, you should apply a high-quality LED driver to fully ensure that everything will work well. This method usually helps to fight the invisible flicker. 

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In conclusion, it is easy to fix the flicker

You have seen now how many there are possible causes of the LED strip. All you have to do is discover the problem in your situation and fix it with special instructions in this case. There is nothing very complicated. You should just discover and apply the perfect solution to the issue that you have. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix flashing LED strip lights?

You can give the LED strips a break for a few hours, which may fix the sudden flickering. Or you can change the LED strip and the power supplies, check the connections and fix poor connections, check the LED drivers, check the incompatible parts, and replace them with the correct ones. 

Why are my LED strip lights turning on and off by themselves?

There may be several reasons for this problem. It may be because of the defective LED strip, overloaded LED drivers, incompatible parts, the PWM flicker, poor connections on the LED strip, or just bad weather conditions.

You get to check this all out, and you are going to find the true cause of the flicker. One of these causes must be the one that you have at the moment.


I am an electrician since 2003. As someone who’s worked in the Electrical industry, I have had the pleasure of speaking to thousands of lighting users over the years. I made lot of indoor and outdoor projects.

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