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Some of my home LED lights (not all) are not working after a power outage. Could they have been damaged even though they were turned off before and after the power outage?

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  • Do you have a multimeter? Can you test for nominal voltage at receptacles around the house (US/Canada: ~ 120V for regular, 240V for clothes dryer)? Commented May 16, 2023 at 17:46
  • Does changing the bulb to a known-good bulb make the fixture work? Commented May 16, 2023 at 20:32
  • Anecdotally I have lost a couple of the Ikea Tradfri bulbs during/after power outages. My guess is big transients at the start/end of outage fried them.
    – nmr
    Commented May 17, 2023 at 0:09
  • Thanks for the info. I don't have a multi multimeter.
    – Alexander
    Commented May 17, 2023 at 5:21

2 Answers 2

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Not being connected to power doesn't damage electronics, so a power outage wouldn't cause a problem.

Think of it this way: every time the switch on the wall is turned off you're causing a localized power outage to just that light bulb, right?

The problem is other funny things can happen on the wires during an "outage", like a voltage spike, a brown-out, or a DC offset. All of those certainly can cause damage.

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  • Thanks for the feedback. All this sounds like really good info. Could a voltage spike take out only some of the lights connected to the same switch but leave others unaffected?
    – Alexander
    Commented May 17, 2023 at 4:27
  • @Alexander: Yes. This sounds like classic surge damage.
    – keshlam
    Commented May 14 at 20:04
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Two possibilities come to my mind:

  • If the bulbs are regular (non-smart) LED lights:

It is more likely that the circuit breaker for the circuit that feeds those lights has tripped. This isn't likely to be caused by a power outage, but some breakers (AFCI and GFCI type breakers) have additional monitoring circuitry and could be tripped by power fluctuations right at the beginning or end of the outage.

Go check your circuit breaker panel for any handles that aren't lined up (tripped breaker handles often spring right to the middle between ON and OFF. Always flip OFF before turning back ON.

  • If the bulbs are Smart LED lights or on Smart switches (controlled by an app or other wireless device):

The lights themselves might be working fine, but the smart portion might have lost its programming and may need to be re-synced to whatever controller is in use (a smart lighting hub such as Hue or the like)

If the bulbs unscrew from a standard socket, you can always swap in a known working bulb to test. That will tell you if the light itself is dead or if you are looking at a switch or circuit issue.

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  • Thanks for your feedback. The LED lights are non-smart. Also, the interesting thing is that only some of the LED lights went out while some still work and they are all connected to same wiring (i.e. share the same turn on switch).
    – Alexander
    Commented May 16, 2023 at 21:40

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