Replacement chandelier lights blink occasionally

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Old 04-01-18, 04:13 AM
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Replacement chandelier lights blink occasionally

I bought this 6 bulb chandelier which we used for about a month until the replacement came (there were numerous quality issues). After hanging the replacement, we notice occasionally all bulbs will blink. Here is some detail:

- There is a new dimmer switch I put which I did before installing the first chandelier. Furthermore, I use the same dimmer in every room in the house with same brand LED lights with no issues

- The blinking is very strange and is not your typical flicker that comes and goes periodically. Blinking is same as when power comes and goes in a split second during storm.

- The blinking only happens once (for a split second) in say 15-20 minutes (sometimes it doesnt happen).

- The wires in the fixture box were in very very poor shape when I installed the first light. After 70 years of abuse using old bulbs (not to mention 480 watts total!) the wires were very brittle. The insulation of the hot wire was completely gone, bare metal. Previous owners taped it but did a very bad job. I wrapped them with high quality scotch tape (the one that has higher temp range) and during the install of the second chandelier, they seemed to be doing fine.

Is the issue the fixture or bulbs or dimmer or wiring?

I always thought for loose neutral the blinking would be more like flickering and it would be either constant or a lot more frequent than what I have.
 
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Old 04-01-18, 06:26 AM
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Look at the obvious items first. Are all connections tight at the fixture and at the fuse/breaker box and any in between junction boxes? Are the center tabs of the bulb sockets raised up enough to make good contact with the bulb base?

Sounds to me your wiring is very old and may need updating. Experts will be along shortly to offer better suggestions.
 
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Old 04-01-18, 09:10 PM
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It doesn't matter if you have a loose neutral or a loose hot wire...... the flicker will be the same. I doubt it's a "wire" issue. I understand the insulation is cracking/missing/gone but that won't cause a flicker.... a short definitely but you'd know that.

That leaves the splices at the light and the connections at the switch...... or anything before that.

Sometimes when troubleshooting I need to load a circuit so I carry a 100w bulb screwed into a socket with two wires. I'll attach this to a circuit to see if it flickers. In your case..... if you know where the hot comes into that circuit..... connect the test light there and see if it flickers. If it's a loose connection..... usually the higher the load.... the more it will flicker.

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Old 04-02-18, 06:56 AM
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Here is some update. I didn't do what you suggested with the 100W bulb but I did use vacuum cleaner.

- When vacuum cleaner runs ANYWHERE on the circuit with the chandelier, ALL lights on that circuit (3 different rooms) flicker the same way. I tried every outlet, including the first outlet right after the breaker which is GFCI outlet that controls rest, the outcome is the same.

- When the vacuum cleaner runs ANY CIRCUIT on ANY outlet of such circuit with LED light fixtures being part of that circuit, the same flickering happens only on that circuit (not on the chandelier). So I have an entirely different circuit that has similar LED fixtures and they all exhibit the same type of flicker.

- The flicker does NOT happen to certain LED bulbs, such as Phillips Hue smart bulbs OR Phillips LED bulbs.

- The flicker happens on all LED light fixtures (i.e. the ones with a built in LED strip) PLUS the chandelier which accepts smaller LED bulbs (small socket).

So I'm thinking this is just how it is? I think LED lights due to their physical nature cannot handle voltage drop like old glow bulbs. With the bulbs, our eyes cannot tell because it takes a few milliseconds for glow to stop whereas LED is function in speed of light and after voltage drop their initial power up phase is too slow (which is a general issue with LEDs, they turn on slow).

That's my explanation of it.
 
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Old 04-02-18, 07:07 AM
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Try using a non-dimmable LED bulb, and one of a name brand such as Phillips. If the Phillips brand works then use just that.
 
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Old 04-02-18, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Norm201 View Post
Try using a non-dimmable LED bulb, and one of a name brand such as Phillips. If the Phillips brand works then use just that.
But what is that going to solve? I need it to be dimmable. I will try a phillips bulb (dont know if phillips makes them) however, I think this is just how it is with these bulbs. Which also explains why this flickering in the chandelier happens so rare. It's just that its much more visible on the bulbs and a lot less visible on LED strip fixtures.

All in all, the thing that I care the most is that my wiring isnt faulty or I dont have to open up that darn thing again. Hanging the chandelier is so much work and I already had to do it twice!
 
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Old 04-02-18, 07:29 AM
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Just curious. Maybe I didn't read it carefully or did not understand completely. But what is the amperage rating on the circuit (assuming 15 amp) and what else is on the circuit besides lights? If any other equipment is used then flickering will result. Especially any type of motor start up or variable speed motor.
 
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Old 04-02-18, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Norm201 View Post
Just curious. Maybe I didn't read it carefully or did not understand completely. But what is the amperage rating on the circuit (assuming 15 amp) and what else is on the circuit besides lights? If any other equipment is used then flickering will result. Especially any type of motor start up or variable speed motor.
That circuit is 15amp and I can produce the flickering on any part of it with no other load. There is nothing else running on it besides bunch of LED lights and the TV (but the TV was off during this testing).

what I am saying is, the flickering isnt limited to that circuit, or that chandelier. It happens on any circuit when the load is applied to that particular circuit, with almost all types of LED fixtures with the only exception of Phillips Hue/Phillips A19 LED bulbs.

I have different types of LED fixtures in my house and every LED fixture (let's call them "native LED fixture" since there is no bulb in them but LED strip thats hard wired) exhibits this flicker when the load is applied to that circuit with vacuum cleaner.

I want to clarify though, ONLY the circuit where vacuum cleaner runs flicker

I think this is just how it is with LEDs. It's because LEDs are not like regular bulbs. They are either on or off. Its not like with regular bulbs when voltage is low, they continue to glow. LEDs also are SLOWER to turn on. So if you think about it because they respond to any voltage drop in OFF stage, and then them coming back on is slow, we see this flicker.
 
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