When I turn off my LED lights, Why do they glow?

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So you switched off your LED light and found it is still glowing. Now you are perplexed as to why this is happening. Do not worry; you are not alone. A lot of people face this issue.

There could be various reasons why your lights keep glowing even if you switch them off. For example, your LED lights store tiny electric energy due to resistance, and that stored energy helps them glow. Maybe you are using Poor-quality LEDs. Besides this, faulty electrical circuits could be a possible cause.

I noticed that generally, people who use non-branded LEDs have to deal with this problem. Furthermore, this problem affects those who previously used incandescent bulbs. Moreover, who have not upgraded their boards and fixtures.

Remember, for better compatibility, LED lights require harmonious fixtures. Whatever the issue is behind the illumination of LEDs when switched off, there is a solution. I will talk about solutions but first, let us discuss possible causes.

when i turn off my led lights, why do they glow

Reasons for LED Lights Glowing When Power is Switched Off

Does your LED light produce a weak light even if the power switch is off? It is a common problem with LEDs. 

However, you might be wondering why this happens with LED lights only. The reason for the same is, unlike conventional bulbs, LEDs have diodes. These light-emitting diodes can illuminate with a low level of current. It is one primary reason that LEDs lights consume low electricity comparatively.

While these glowing LEDs do not cause any significant harm to the light, they can increase your electricity bill.

The following are some of the most common reasons why LED lights continue to shine after you turn them off.

Your LED Light Storing Electric Energy

Sometimes, LED lights inadvertently store energy even from the low-level current. Since the diodes of LED lights can run at low power, stored electricity is adequate to make them glow. The source of the electric current could be faulty or earth wiring.

You might be curious to know where LED lights store this low amount of electric energy. LED lights can store energy in two places: the LED driver and the phosphor layer. Let us get to know more about them in the following section.

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Phosphor Layer

The phosphor layer is also known as Phosphor coating or luminescent layer. It is a coating layer found in LEDs. It produces visible white light when exposed to deep blue.

The purpose of phosphor coating is to absorb blue wavelength light and produce visible light. However, the phosphor layer by nature sucks up energy. And this energy is enough to light the LEDs weakly when the switch is off. 

How much electric energy a phosphor coating stores depends on its semiconductor material. As a result, the afterglow effect of LED lights might last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

Not all LEDs come with phosphor layers. If such LEDs are glowing when turned off, there is a possibility they are getting energy from the driver. 

Let us find out more about the LED driver.

Electricity Circuit or LED Driver

Like every light, LED luminaires also have LED electronic circuits, known as LED drivers. 

Another cause of your LED lights glowing even when they are off could be this. If you can’t detect a problem with your LED light, the issue could be with the electrical circuit. 

An LED driver consists of inductors and capacitors that can store energy accidentally. And energy stored in an LED driver can make lights glow for minutes. 

An LED driver or circuit acts as a storage device for electrical energy. Based on the design of the circuit, capacitors and inductors might still be active even if the input voltage is off. 

Until this stored energy discharges, your LED lights will keep glowing. It might take a few minutes to dissolve energy.

In addition to LED drivers and electrical circuits, fancy switches could be the culprit. Because of the wiring, the LED can be lit up with a minimal amount of power.

electricity circuit or led driver

Switch Board with Indicator Lights

Your LEDs may glow if the light switch allows residual current to pass through even when it is off.

Sometimes, sockets with indicators could be responsible for your LED lights glowing without the main switch being on. 

If your socket board has a motion sensor or an indicator light, it will need some electricity to stay on standby. Your LED light can draw some electric power from it due to wiring. Thus it stays dim even if you do not switch them on.

Poor Electrical Installation

If the glowing of LEDs is not due to the above reasons, check for electrical installation. In some cases, poor electrical installation is the culprit behind your LED being lustrous even if the switch is off.

Generally, it happens due to an incorrectly connected light switch or dimmer. Sometimes, poor wire routing is responsible for it.

If the problem is with the electrical installation, you will see it with LEDs only. Conventional bulbs generally do not light up with such low electric energy. 

Remember, a small leakage of current and persuasive voltage is adequate to keep your LED light glowing at dim.

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Old Dimmer Switch

Traditional electronic dimmer switches with push-button don’t meet the requirements for LED lights. These dimmer switches require a minimum load to function.

Some ordinary LED lights do not achieve that minimum load. When the load falls below the minimum load, the dimmer fails to turn off its output voltage, even when the dimmer switch is off. Therefore, some LED lights glow weakly with that power

High Resistance

Due to the integrated power supply unit, LED lights to get a higher resistance than incandescent bulbs or halogen lamps.

For example, some fancy switch lights feature built-in night lights. They help you find the switch in the dark. However, these integrated lights are connected in series to the switch load. 

Even if you turn off your switch, the glow lamp’s serial connection closes the circuit. As a result, the LED driver experiences a minor voltage drop, and your LED continues to glow in dim light.

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What Can We Do to Stop LED Lights from Gleaming When Switched Off?

In the above section, I discussed the reasons for glowing LED lights when off. Now let us find out how we can stop it.

Try Replacing LED Light

First thing first, let us try changing the light. Sometimes, poor-quality light is the offender. While it will not solve the core problem, it is one of the simplest ways to turn off LED lights. Always make sure you buy LED lights from trusted brands only.

Check the Earth or Neutral Wire

Another problem might be your electrician has not linked neutral wire to the earth accurately. Additionally, maybe the wire has very high resistance. 

If you doubt this could be a possible reason, call an electrician to check it.

An experienced electrician can quickly identify the fault with the neutral wire. Once you earthen the wire appropriately, you can see the results.

Moreover, there might be a little current between the bundled wires due to electromagnetic induction.

Try Installing a Bypass Capacitor

LED lights on the wall or ceiling usually have two-way connections. You can install a bypass capacitor to see if it helps. 

In this situation, conductors are too far away from the switch. 

Sometimes, a conductor that carries voltage persuades its voltage into nearby conductors. You can avoid this situation by using a bypass capacitor in the ceiling lights. It will help in reducing the resulting voltage.

Update Your Dimmer

If the problem is with your dimmer, you need to upgrade it. Choose a dimmer that can work according to the specification of your LED lights. Remember, if your old dimmer works according to the old halogen lamp, it might not work with modern LEDs.

As soon as you replace the dimmer, you will find that your LED lights have stopped glowing when you turn them off.

Get a Neon Detector

A neon detector acts as a visual indicator of the circuit’s operation. It might also solve your problem.

You may get a neon detector if you think any leftover current is responsible for making your LED lights glow even if you have turned off the power.

You can buy a neon detector as they are readily available. Place a neon detector close to the fitting of neutral or earth wire.

The neon indicator will begin to glow if the problem is caused solely by the residual current. Now instead of your LED light, only the neon detector will light up if you switch off the light.

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Final Words

All in all, I would say the glowing of LED lights when the switch is off is not a big issue. However, if it irritates you, seek solutions.

Apart from this, I would advise you to buy LED products from genuine brands only. I hope this post helps you resolve your problem. 


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