Recently I noticed that my led bulb turns on/off for a split second randomly over the past few days. Does this mean it is starting to die or could it be something wrong with the lamp?

I've unscrewed to see if anything was damaged but could not detect any damage.

  • LED overheating sometimes causes flickering. Power supply may be driving it to hard, but it usually means the light is not long for this world. Mar 3, 2016 at 18:20
  • I've had a lot of issues with LED bulbs making poor connection to the screw-in socket. This causes them to flicker when any vibrations are present etc. It may be the brand of bulbs I got, but sometimes tightening them in the socket helps, or even bending the socket's tab out a bit (WITH THE BREAKER OFF!!) may help. Oct 26, 2017 at 18:46

3 Answers 3


LED drivers are generally switching power supplies, which apply pulses of power to keep themselves charged to the level the LED needs. One side effect of this is that if there's a trickle of power available, they will still try to charge up, turn on the LED, immediately run out of power, and repeat. It's a complicated form of a "relaxation oscillator."

If your switch has a light or remote-control circuit that is powered by allowing a trickle of current through the load, or if you have a dimmer which fades far down but isn't cutting off completely, you'll get this effect.

For what it's worth, sample-to-sample variation means that different LED bulbs will blink at different rates for a given underpowering level. I have a 16-bulb fixture in my living room which, when faded down, does a nice imitation of christmas tree lights, "randomly" blinking in unpredictable patterns.


If the issue you're having is like the one I've seen (where a light will be on consistently for minutes and then you get a single flicker of off) then the short answer is you'll have to replace the bulb. Keshlam's answer is correct about the "how" part, but it boils down to the power supply within the bulb failing to provide constant power to drive the LED.


Shhhh. The "Big LED" cabal of manufacturers won't want you to know this, but the blinking is a


that the bulbs use to communicate diagnostic and self-test information.

When they blink like that, the blink code means

It's time for you to replace the bulb

  • 1
    PROTIP: This code usually also indicates that the manufacturer's warranty on the bulb has expired. Oct 26, 2017 at 18:48

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