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I have a LED kitchen light fixture which has been working great for around 18 months. There's no dimmer on it and it's controlled by a standard light switch. A couple of days ago it started flickering fast, so fast it was like a strobe light and hard to look at. So I ordered a new one which came today. When I wanted to make sure the power was off to the fixture when I replaced it the flickering was gone. What could the reason be? Is this an indication the fixture is bad, or just a freak incident that may not happen again? Nothing has changed in my kitchen and everything else electrical work as it should. I do not want to replace it if it's going to continue working. Maybe just keep the new one as backup in case the old one is on it's way out?

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    Ordered? Can you link the product? – Harper Jul 7 at 0:19
  • The old one I can't find a link for, but the new one I ordered is from Amazon: is.gd/PSBaVN – Christian Jul 7 at 1:02
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It's the electronic driver, no doubt of it.

I couldn't quite read the numbers on it. But it's calling out a very exact current flow (I underlined in red).... and a general/wide working voltage range (underlined in blue).

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If you can find a driver module that same size, you can swap 'em out. Current is the critical factor; it must be exact. If you find drivers that aren't quite in that voltage range, you can carefully scrape the insulation off the 2 wires where I point to in green, and measure the lamp's actual working voltage with a voltmeter (while it's lit normally). Your driver needs to support that voltage and 3-5 volts on either side.

My usual source for drivers is Mouser.com, and they have a search engine to let you narrow by current and voltage. However a quick look showed a quality Meanwell unit, but it wasn't that shape (form factor). Alibaba/AliExpress.com is awash with driver circuits of that exact form factor, in the $1 to $3 range, and ePacket delivery from China is cheap. The downside of course is you're getting cheap Cheese junk, and it won't last any longer than the last one.

Speaking of that... There are several Chinese dumpers who are absolutely flooding Amazon with junk. The dumpers have certain patterns: Amazon Marketplace ("Sold by XXX and Fulfilled by Amazon" right under the "Buy" button), no UL Listing nor any other reliable testing lab (CE, ROHS, LVD and EMC are not a testing lab), the brand sounds weird and doesn't have a normal marketing/support/jobs website, the brand is fairly new, etc.

Their typical business model is they find super cheap stuff on Alibaba/AliExpress, have the manufacturer put them in boxes labeled for Amazon fulfillment, ship them straight from China to the Amazon warehouse, create a listing with price just a little below quality units, then sell a few units to shills who then write the early fake reviews. People get suckered in either because the product description is competent or they don't realize Amazon Marketplace is a flea market of junk.

At first I thought this was a dumper I call "Ikea Guy" (because he has hundreds of fake brands that sound like items in the Ikea catalog). But now I'm not so sure, because I see non-Amazon sellers also selling them under that brand. They may just have a funny name and be fairly new. Just be careful; products from those dumpers are the bottom of the barrel and simply will not last. The 18 month experience is consistent with the dumped junk.

That's been my experience too. I once bought a 10W LED security light for $10 from a dumper, and a $15 one from LEDWholesalers, who is an importer. Both Chinese of course but you could tell the latter was much better made. The no-name one went out after a year. The other is still going after 6 years.

  • Thank you for a great and thorough comment. I learned a lot I did not know! i finally found a link to this particular light. I notice that the driver has the same brand as the light itself "B & G": is.gd/ukurux. I added a better picture of the driver to the original post also. This morning it flickered again, but stopped after a few minutes. I think the easiest os putting up the light I got from Amazon. Worst case I get another year of service, but then I will come here and ask for a recommended light fixture! :) – Christian Jul 7 at 11:07
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    I was right, that was a 54 and a 300... yes this item is definitely a cut above the cheap Cheese, those guys don't bother putting their consumer brand on the driver module. I would contact S&G and see if they can help you out with a driver. – Harper Jul 7 at 12:05
  • @Harper so the driver puts out a constant current (300 mA in this case) and varies the voltage to accomplish this? The driver is capable of voltage outputs in a certain range (here 54 to 85 V) depending on the load? Is a driver like this dimmable from its wall switch? So a single LED is designed to give rated light output at a certain current? Are the individual LEDs in a fixture like this in series or in parallel? – Jim Stewart Jul 7 at 13:09
  • I added a picture of the markings on the new fixture. Is this one likely to last? – Christian Jul 7 at 16:30
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    Yes, you are correct, LED devices operate in a constant-current (or rather, current-regulated) mode, for best performance without thermal runaway. They are generally wired in series or a few series strings in parallel. LEDs can be dimmed two ways, current reduction or extremely rapid flashing (far too fast to see) - this is incompatible with household triac dimmers, so dimmable LEDs have some smart electronics onboard to used the shaped power as a signal of dimming intent, and dim thusly. Low voltage DC LEDs can dim much more elegantly. – Harper Jul 7 at 17:50

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