I have a chandelier that takes 5 25w candelabra based bulbs. It does not put out enough lumens based on using incandescent bulbs. I figured I would then purchase LEDs that use much less wattage but put out a lot more lumens. I bought two different brands to compare the light quality/ color. I like a bulb that is soft white in the 3000k region and not another brand that was at 2700k. My problem arises that when I install the 3000k bulbs only 3 sockets work. I can install an incandescent in the other two and they work fine. It's not the bulbs I've rotated and it's always the same 2 sockets. When trying the 2700k bulbs if I install all 5 they barely turn on at all. Incredibly dim, if I remove one, and it doesn't matter which the remaining 4 come on at full brightness. I am currently running the 4 2700k with a 25w incandescent and not a fan of the warm color. Is there any way to get all 5 LEDs working?



  • 2
    Is the chandelier on a dimmer circuit, or is there a switch on the chandelier that controls the brightness? It's also possible (though I haven't heard of this in practice) that it's wired with some of the bulbs in series instead of parallel. This would make incandescents burn dimmer, but they'd still work, while LED's would not work properly. If it is on a dimmer switch, the LED"s need to be dimmable and the dimmer needs to be LED compatible.
    – Johnny
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 1:15
  • Yes the chandelier is on a dimmer. It's a new chandelier and the bulbs all state that they are dimmer compatible on their boxes and they do dim about 60% with the switch. I thought about switching out the dimmer, guess I'll attempt that this afternoon. Just wasn't sure if the switch would be the issue when different number of bulbs worked and they did still dim. Thanks!
    – Scott S
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 15:12
  • LED's (even dimmable ones) need an LED compatible dimmer. SInce your dimmer is old, you might have an old rheostat or transformer sliding-tap dimmer that reduces voltage instead of clipping the waveform. Some old solid state dimmers do waveform clipping, but in a way that's not compatible with LED's. It's possible that due to the age of the dimmer that even when it's on "high" that it's not putting out a voltage or waveform suitable for LED's. Before you invest in a ew dimmer, a quick and easy test would be to swap out the dimmer with a standard light switch and see if that works.
    – Johnny
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


It sounds like the line voltage is low. I have had this issue before with some cheaper and counterfeit bulbs from China. Check your line voltage at the socket (the thing the bulb screws into) and see how much of a drop it has from, say, a nearby outlet. You can then get a general idea of how much voltage drop the 4 LED bulbs are causing in total. What happens is that the little inverter type power supply board in the LED is really fussy in the cheapies, and if the voltage at the junction box is already low (old house, end of a trunk , other loads in line, etc.), the voltage is too low to run five, but just enough to run 4. you can sometimes see this if you take a high frame rate HD video (70fps and higher) of 1 led bulb installed, and then with 1 less than the number that is stops working at (5 in your case, so 4 for you). Then playback the videos on a player at slow speed. You will see a flicker with 4, but no flicker with just 1. T322his is due to the driver voltage being just sufficient with 4 lights, but too low with 5.

If you have a dimmer, try all 5 without the dimmer. If that works, you either need a magnetic driver type dimmer or you have non dimmable bulbs. If it doesn't work, your line voltage is too low and it simply won't work. And remember, this is all assuming you have checked for shorts, bridging, etc in the fixture, wiring and sockets.

  • Not sure of I can post brand names on here but the 3000k is from a reputable US brand and were $7.50/ bulb, with the 2700k being a Chinese made at a similar price. You say try it without the dimmer, do you mean just install a regular switch? The current dimmer is an older rotary type, and our house is about 100 years old. Our wiring is updated and we do have a modern breaker box. Thanks.
    – Scott S
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 15:14
  • yes, replace the rotary dimmer with a standard switch and see if it solves the problem. some LED lights are dimmable, but only with a certain type of dimmer. if your LED's are dimmable, then using a regular switch will help to see if its the wiring or the switch. if it works, then you can get a magnetic driver type dimmer and that should solve the problem, if not, then you have a wiring issue. Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 16:39

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