I realise there is a lot of information out there on LED lights flickering, however I'm struggling to find anything relating to this situation, i.e. GU10 fittings and a regular switch (i.e. not a dimmer). Any help would be greatly appreciated!

We've just moved into a new place and the hall lights fixture takes 3 GU10's and currently only had 1 working halogen in. We've got people coming round tomorrow and wanted a brighter hall so dashed out to get some LED replacements, we did but rather cheap which might be there issue? When all 3 are fitted the light flickers/strobes very strongly the entire time it's on. Replacing one bulb with a halogen mainly fixes this problem so I was thinking this could be due to the LEDs drawing so little current? But I didn't think this should be an issue with GU10s as they work at mains voltage so there shouldn't be any transformer or led driver behind the fitting, and there is no dimmer switch to be causing issues.

Does anybody know why this might be occurring? And would replacing the LEDs with more expensive branded versions help? Or would this just be throwing good money after bad?

Sorry for the long message. Any help greatly appreciated! Thanks.

Edit: Mystery solved, we found a second switch on the circuit we had previously overlooked which was a dimmer, oops. Thank you all for your time and help, and sorry for missing the obvious!

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Good quality LED bulbs shouldn't flicker, especially if they aren't on a dimmer. It isn't clear, though, that the problem is with the bulbs here. Trying a different bulb is probably the only way to find out. Apr 21, 2018 at 18:46
  • Thanks, I might try some better quality LEDs then! So long as I'm not missing something obvious :)
    – RGriff
    Apr 21, 2018 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


a regular switch (i.e. not a dimmer).

Although dimmers are the main culprit for this sort of problem, there are other devices that can cause similar problems when used on the same circuit. Especially devices that operate in switch-loops without neutral. Perhaps you have a switch-locator light or a smart switch?

they work at mains voltage so there shouldn't be any transformer or led driver behind the fitting,

There will be a small driver circuit inside the GU10 lamp housing. Due to size constraints it will be a very simple circuit and cheaper products may be more susceptible to this sort of problem.

  • Thanks for this RedGrittyBrick. I can't see any other devices on the same circuit, certainly nothing obvious and the switch is just a regular plain switch, no locator light or smart functionality. I'm beginning to think the problem is just buying too cheap bulbs, although it seems strange that out only happens when it's all LEDs. I'll replace them with more expensive versions soon and consign the cheap ones to the drawer where spare bulbs go to die. I'll update my post once it's done with the result! Thanks.
    – RGriff
    Apr 22, 2018 at 15:19

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