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Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

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  • Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

    I think I'm having an issue with my bathroom light.

    When we bought the house, one of the first things I did was swap out the regular switch in the bathroom for a dimmer switch - I can't stand getting blasted with a full light when you get up in the middle of the night! I'm pretty sure it was a fairly economical leviton brand switch that I got at home depot.
    IMG_20200315_1334104.jpg
    Ever since then the fixture did seem to burn through 60w bulbs a little faster than normal, but I never thought about it much.

    A couple weeks ago I replaced a number of the overhead lights in the house with these flush mount led fixtures, also from the home depot.

    IMG_20200315_1334160.jpg
    all of them worked great, except for the one in the bathroom.

    I noticed almost right away that it often had a bit of a flicker to it. Not much, just very slight, slight enough that you can almost convince yourself you're imagining it. It's not a constant flicker either, it seems to come and go.

    Then, after two weeks, the fixture just up and died.

    I assumed it was just a defectivdefectie fixture, since the others were good, but now the replacement has the exact same slight flicker, and I'm worried if I leave it it will also up and die and the depot won't so willingly give me another replacement.

    The box on these fixtures clearly said they were dimmable, but was that maybe a lie? Or is my switch perhaps defective? Any other ideas or things I could check?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by callee; 03-15-2020, 12:45 PM.
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  • #2

    Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

    Dimming LEDs can be tricky.
    1. The LED has to be a dimmable version.
    2. The dimmer has to be rated to dim LEDs.
    And even then, they sometimes give issues.
    Doug G likes this.

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    • #3

      Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

      So far my few attempts at LED dimming have never given a totally satisfactory result. The control is often "jumpy" (no light then too much light). I have saved a couple of attempts that were for multi-bulb fixtures to put in 1 incandescent with the LEDs. Not surprising this helps since one of the problem is the low current drain of the LEDs by themselves. The other problem is that most of our dimmers are of the leading edge variety where a trailing edge dimmer is more appropriate they say. I've never seen one saying "trailing edge" in the stores.
      Best thing you can try to do is find out from the lamp vendor what dimmers they claim work properly with their product or wear sunglasses on your nocturnal trips .
      billh

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      • #4

        Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

        so same switch, same light... what is unique to the bathroom light? The wiring? check all connections from source to switch to fixture.

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        • #5

          Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

          Is it acting up while dimmed or full brightness?

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          • #6

            Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

            Thanks guys.

            It's at full brightness that I notice the flickering. Though I should say it doesn't dim very well - very jerk-y like Bill described.

            I have a standard switch sitting right here, I suppose a good test would be to swap it out for a few days and see if that fixes it.

            If it's not the switch, then I'm wondering if it's something in the wiring. The upstairs has two bedrooms and a bath, for a total of 5 lights and 5 receptacles, and as far as I can tell they are all on a single circuit which the previous owner wired himself.

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            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

              Maybe check the ground on all the outlets on the circuit? Other than that change the switch as per your thoughts. You may also try the current switch in a completely different circuit.

              That said I am not an electrician.
              Egon
              from
              The South Shore, Nova Scotia

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

                If you have a GFI in the circuit it could be time to replace it , they last about 10 years .

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

                  Buy a night light for the bathroom and go with a regular switch.
                  Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com

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                  • #10

                    Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

                    Originally posted by Harold , Cape Breton View Post
                    If you have a GFI in the circuit it could be time to replace it , they last about 10 years .
                    Yes, there is a gfi right beside, definitely more than ten. Years old, what would that do?

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                    • #11

                      Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

                      Every electrician I’ve ever worked with has mentioned that leds don’t like dimmer switches.
                      So lose the dimmer switch or change the light fixture.

                      Your wiring is probably fine, your gfi is not the cause of flickering.
                      i don’t understand how that makes sense.

                      Gfi S are supposed to connected down stream of the lights or independently.
                      so that if the gfi trips it doesn’t shut off the lights.

                      Leds are a on off technology.
                      That doesn’t work well with a dimmer.

                      Nathan
                      Last edited by nnieman; 03-17-2020, 08:10 AM.

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                      • Thread Continues Below...

                      • #12

                        Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

                        There are dimmable LED bulbs. I replaced the small halogen ones above my pool table with dimmable LED's and using an old dimmer switch. I first tried some cheap ones off eBay but they would only dim properly if I had one regular halogen in the 8 light fixture (needed some minimum load on the dimmer I guess). But I did not like the brightness or the colour and replaced them with a brand name type from Home Depot. They work OK. On the same dimmer circuit there are 2 9W led bulbs in a different fixture. They dim OK too.
                        I did the same in my kitchen, and they occasionally flicker but not often. I think I replaced the dimmer switch on that one to a one compatible with LED's.
                        Cheers
                        Randy

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                        • #13

                          Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

                          I have a motion light it started to come on and off on it's own continuously . My buddy is an Electrician , he suggested the replacement of the GFI , it worked the Motion light now functions as it should . That is the basis for asking if you had one in the Bathroom , they are good for 10 years apparently . I have Tungsten bulbs in a ceiling fan they are dimmable and do not flicker .....

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                          • #14

                            Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

                            On a side note but sorta on the topic I just installed LED pot lights when you flip the switch it takes a count of 2 before they come on is this normal?
                            Jerome
                            Canada's South Coast

                            Port Colborne On.
                            Every loaf of bread is a tragic tale of grains that could've become whiskey.......but didn't....

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                            • #15

                              Re: Electrical Issue with Bathroom light *updated*

                              Originally posted by Jerome View Post
                              On a side note but sorta on the topic I just installed LED pot lights when you flip the switch it takes a count of 2 before they come on is this normal?
                              Yes, the driver (power supply) has a built in start delay............Rod.
                              Work is the curse of the riding class.

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