I just removed our new tape lighting and plugged it in. The brand name is Patriot Lighting 12 volt 16.4' flexible LED tape light.

All it does is flash on and off. Any suggestions?

  • How fast does it flash? How long does it stay on, and off?
    – wallyk
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 8:11
  • Are you attempting to use a dimmer?
    – HerrBag
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 20:08
  • Need more details. Is it the same on several outlets in the house? Does the unit have a flashing mode? Have you measured voltages?
    – Bryce
    Commented Oct 19, 2013 at 21:37
  • Sounds like a bad power supply. Do you have all of the lights connected or have you cut and rewired the strip?
    – mikegreen
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 14:44
  • Do you mean that the lights just flash on briefly then go off and away off?
    – Johnx66
    Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 22:22

2 Answers 2


CFLs and LEDs can be very sensitive to leakage currents, especially when 'turned off'. It doesn't take much leakage to make them flash. Lutron has a line of dimmers that are adjustable that should help.

  • +1. I can cause my LEDs to flash by turning the dimmer down but not completely off. Basically, what's happening is that the power supply is trying to charge itself up far enough to light the LED, reaches that point, turns the LED on and promptly drains the capacitor, and repeats the process -- a low-voltage equivalent of how xenon strobes work.
    – keshlam
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 5:02

If once you plug the LED Tape into the transformer and you turn it on and it flashes on and off in a consistent motion. By this I mean a kind of slow strobe then the reason for this would be one of 2 reasons.

  1. Overload. This means the total wattage of the LED Tape exceeds the total wattage that the transformer can power. To work out your total wattage of LED Tape you get the rating (usually measured per metre) and then tines it by the total length of LED Tape you have. This should be at least 10% lower than the wattage rating of the transformer to give it somwe 'head room' to run smoothly and for a long time.

  2. Short circuiting. Your LED Tape may have either a bad solder joint where the + and the - are touching with solder or this could be the case with a cable. Check along the table thoroughly to check for this.

There is some good information on installing LED Tape in this blog article that I wrote. It also has common questions and answers, which is handy..

  • 1
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    – Tester101
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 16:08

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