Have 48 led (2 Banks of 24) Shoplight with a standard AC plug into ceiling outlet, controlled by awall switch. Shoplight operated normally for the past year. And then, one day it didn't. It Powers up, but all the LEDs are very dim. Every once in a while, it works normally, but have not been blessed with that for a week now... It is on the garage ceiling, not exposed to moisture... What to check?

  • 1
    Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. It's quite likely that some component has died inside the shop lamp, but it's hard to tell from here. Apr 6, 2018 at 1:38
  • Durability of LED fixtures is largely decided by the quality of the electronic driver circuit, and there are a lot of places to cut corners there. Was it a cheapie? Apr 6, 2018 at 2:59
  • You did not state the brand/model of LED light ? Possible a loose connection ... but typically the drivers can go bad - even be affected by power spikes and brown outs. Depending on manufacturer some really back their products others don't respond at all. CREE is a very good brand of LED bulbs but I don't think they make shop lights. I know they warrant their bulbs with no hassles. Perhaps this shop light has built in obsolescence ?? Just like incandescent bulb manufacturers got together years ago and decided to sell bulbs they needed to make them to fail after about 1000 hours.
    – Ken
    Apr 6, 2018 at 7:00
  • As a disclosure for my planned obsolescence comment ...Just for reference: economicstudents.com/2012/09/… , there is a bulb in a Fire station in California it has been on 24 / 7 since around 1907 and never changed but still lit.
    – Ken
    Apr 6, 2018 at 7:03
  • that 100-year old lightbulb is very inefficient and cost a lot to make, not practical...
    – dandavis
    Oct 18, 2018 at 18:19

3 Answers 3


Thanks for the suggestions... Solved --- sort of...

Took fixture apart to search for loose connections. Initial inspection showed nothing out of the ordinary. All the bulb connections are of the permanent type, hardwired rather than plugged.

I touched and checked everything I could see at both ends, and pushed to ensure they were all tight. plugged fixture in, and voila, lights.... 10 seconds later, no lights... (actually back to very dim).

Thought perhaps the chain pull switch on fixture may be the culprit, so cut wires and hardwired around the switch. Lights, then no lights.

Tried to pull the circuit board out, thinking there was a wire that had a bad solder joint or something similar, but couldn't remove it. Banged my screwdriver on the metal top of the light, and lights came on... left them on a while, and then eventually turned off the power strip. Turned strip back on, and no lights. Tapped top again with screwdriver, and lights came back on.

So, again tried to remove the circuit board, again unsuccessfully. Stuck my finger in the area circuit board is located, and pressed on all the components and solder joints I could reach, and plugged fixture in again, lights instantly on and stayed on. Powered down and on again the strip down and on again and lights off and on normally. Cussed a bit, and put fixture back together again.

Tested one more time successfully, so reinstalled fixture in garage. Has been working normally since, but recognize this is not necessarily a permanent fix. Have narrowed solution to circuit board, and will wait till next failure before I assault the circuit board again. Believe there is a questionable solder joint or component somewhere on the board.

Again, thanks for all the suggestions.

  • Jerry, please accept your answer so the question is resolved.
    – isherwood
    Oct 18, 2018 at 18:50
  • percussive maintenance!
    – AllInOne
    Oct 18, 2018 at 20:41

These lights consist of an LED strip (in your case two strips) and a AC/DC voltage converter referred to as a "driver". Typically when LED drivers fail, they fail completely. The failure you describe is typical of a bad connection - most likely at the LED strip. If you can disassemble it gain access to the strips you should see two "poke in" connectors where the wires go in. I suspect that's where the problem lies.


I just had this happen where 1/2 the LEDs did this in a cheap LED shop light. It turned out that there were two series circuits in the fixture so a failure of one LED would kill half the lights (or severely dim them). I found the defective LED and bypassed it to get the other LEDs working again.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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