Edit for clarity- The bulbs are not flickering or flashing. They periodically (> 10 minute intervals) turn off and then on in unison.

I have a chandelier with 5 bulbs. I recently replaced all 5 60w incandescent bulbs with 40w equivalent Philips LEDs. The chandelier is on a dimmer. The bulbs work fine but after about 10 or 15 minutes, all 5 bulbs blink once at the same time. Then there will be another long pause and it will happen again. Rinse. Repeat.

I thought it might be the dimmer which is about 25 years old so I replaced it with a new Leviton slider dimmer(LED compatible). The same thing just happened again. The only common element to the five bulbs is the dimmer switch, right? There are no electronics in the chandelier.

What else could cause them all to act in unison?

  • Do your bulbs say they're dimmable? – ThreePhaseEel Oct 5 '17 at 22:34
  • Was the Leviton dimmer on the list of dimmers the bulbs' instructions say they work with? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 5 '17 at 23:11
  • do they blink when run at full power instead of dimmed? – dandavis Oct 6 '17 at 5:52

You need to install a new dimmer that is specifically qualified for use with LED type bulbs.

One common work around that you can use in the mean time to stop the blinking and flashing is to temporarily re-install one of the incandescent bulbs.

  • It says "Controls LED/CFL and Incandescent/Halogen Bulbs". I use the same switch in my kitchen for track lighting that has 3 LED bulbs with no issues. Leviton LED/Compact Flourescent/Incondescent Slide Dimmer No. 6674-P. Just to restate the problem - they are not blinking or flickering. Every once in awhile all 5 bulbs turn off and then on at the same time. – Bill RVC Oct 5 '17 at 22:19
  • It is a known issue that some LED bulbs are not compatible with some dimmers. There are older style and newer style dimmer switches. Try the trick of installing one incandescent bulb and see if the problem goes away. The three LED bulbs on your track in the kitchen may be a type that draws more current than the five in your light fixture. – Michael Karas Oct 5 '17 at 22:28
  • Thanks. Same brand bulbs (Philips), same brand and model dimmer (Leviton), but the bulbs are different wattage. 3 x 9.5 = 28.5 (Kitchen) vs 5 x 4.7 = 23.5 (Chandelier). That could be the difference. After I installed the new dimmer, the lights flashed once after about 10 minutes but haven't done it again. Probably because I'm watching. If they do flash again I'll try replacing one bulb with an incandescent. – Bill RVC Oct 5 '17 at 22:39
  • I second the suggestion here. I had the same happen to me (with a parallel string of recessed lights). No amount of money spent on different bulbs and dimmers could fix the problem, but I put one regular bulb back in and presto! – pscl Oct 6 '17 at 4:06
  • After upgrading the dimmer switch the problem is less frequent and less noticeable but still present. Adding one regular bulb has stopped the issue but I'm not crazy about the solution as the difference in bulbs is noticeable. – Bill RVC Oct 6 '17 at 19:57

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.