I got a batch of LED bulbs which have been working well until now. Some of these are having an issue. Let me describe the issue. A bulb start to flicker after while and if I try it on another socket, it works just fine. So that makes me think it is the original socket. So I go ahead and try another bulb on the original socket and that bulbs works just fine as well.

So for some reason, the original bulb flickers on the original socket only - but both the bulb and socket seem to work with other socket and bulb. This has been happening with a few bulbs. What could the problem be? Could it be the base of the bulb s of bad quality so it creates some sort of reaction with the socket so those two cannot work well anymore. I have no idea and I am out of ideas. PLEASE HELP! Thank you.

  • Try a small dab of silicone grease on the center contact of the bulb. Silicone grease is used to prevent/stop flickering of automobile bulbs. If putting it on the center contact doesn't work, put some on the threads. – Jim Stewart Jul 16 '18 at 8:31
  • ... and if the base is the problem, replace it. – Daniel Griscom Jul 16 '18 at 12:14

Notice that the base of an LED bulb (the part above the socket) is wider than the base of an incandescent. Often, something about the fixture is making contact with the wider LED bulb, so that it binds up and prevents it from screwing into the socket all the way. It feels like it's screwed in all the way, but it's not.

If you look at the nub on the bottom of bulb or socket, you may see arcing marks.

  • The bases look intact and they are all E27. It cannot be this. Thanks – Hushmand Jul 16 '18 at 6:52
  • @hushmad I think you misunderstand. I'm not saying the sockets are incompatible. I'm saying if you lay an incandescent bulb next to an LED, the LED has less of a "neck" and is wider near the socket. And this may be striking part of the fixture. Changing to an LED with more of a neck would cure this. – Harper Jul 17 '18 at 4:33

I've had this problem with ceiling-mounted fixtures and particular LED bulbs: the bulbs would flicker in the fixtures, but other bulbs (particularly incandescents and CFLs, but other LEDs as well) worked fine.

I left one of the flickering LEDs in the fixture for a few weeks to see what would happen. As it turned out, the LED burnt itself out--apparently its own heat was too much for it and one of the small LED clusters fried (I took the bulb apart and looked at the circuit board--you can clearly see the burnt spot). Because the bulb has multiple clusters wired in series, one bad cluster breaks the circuit and turns the bulb off.

Conclusion: cheap LED bulbs aren't designed to mounted in ceiling fixtures as they produce enough heat to damage themselves. This starts with flickering, then results in a dead bulb.

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