LED Buzzing: How to Solve this Common Problem


Do you remember the led buzzing sounds from older lights? No doubt, they were loud and irritating enough to break your concentration. Interestingly, the introduction of LEDs offered an energy-efficient option and a way to eliminate buzzing sounds.

However, the pesky buzzing still affects LEDs but for different reasons. Yes, it cannot be very pleasant, but unlike its predecessors, LED buzzing is fixable.

So, what do you do when your LED lights start buzzing? Keep reading to discover how to handle LED buzzing easily.

Why is My Light Making a Buzzing Noise?

Hand removing LED from a lamp

Hand removing LED from a lamp

LEDs eliminate most problems associated with older lighting options (Halogen, Incandescents, etc.). But one issue that persists is buzzing. 

In other words, LED buzzing shows that something is wrong. Remember that not all LEDs make a buzzing noise. More importantly, LEDs can suffer from EM buzz, which may occur due to the following reasons:

Bad LED Dimming Set-up

Dimmer Switch

Dimmer Switch

Dimming switches can generate and regulate your light’s operating voltage. These switches come with several components to help with the process and avoid generating unwanted EM generation.

But dimmer switches designed for traditional bulbs may cause buzzing problems for your LEDs. Most of these switches work for bulbs ranging from 200W to 1,000W. And most LEDs usually need switches that support as low as 9W.

For instance, a dimmer switch that operates incandescent and CFL light (40W and above) won’t be compatible with a 9W LED bulb. Additionally, it will send out inconstant voltages to the LED and generate annoying buzzing noises.

Wattage Surge

High voltage sign

High voltage sign

Generally, buzzing occurs when an appliance has a higher power draw than an LED. But, it becomes detrimental when the LED and appliance have the same power circuit. This common occurrence usually results in flickering, and it occurs more often in kitchen spaces because of the many high-powered appliances in them. 

Typically, LEDs use drivers that help moderate power voltages, making them low-power luminaries. But turning on high-power electronics creates a short voltage overflow. And your LEDs will flicker or buzz when the internal drivers work overtime to adjust the surging voltage.

Also, your circuit breaker may be bad. After all, overloaded circuits have many issues, including buzzing light fixtures, which could cause unexpected damage.

Loose Wiring and Connections

Hand checking loose wiring

Hand checking loose wiring

Buzzing LED lights may also indicate loose wiring or connections in your home electric system. These problems are popular with recessed lighting fixtures. And you may not detect the issue until the annoying buzz comes from your ceiling.

Loose or old wiring is the last problem you’d want as it results in situations worse than LED buzzing. So, we recommend solving this quickly if it’s causing the buzzing problems.

Is LED Buzzing Dangerous?

No, it’s not a dangerous issue. As mentioned earlier, LED buzzing indicates a circuit or wiring system problem. But, a buzzing or crackling sound from a switch, wire, or outlet is more dangerous. So, it’s crucial to employ an electrician immediately.

How to Stop a Light Bulb from Buzzing

Fixing LED buzzing depends on the problem. It may need a simple fix or more complex solutions requiring professionals. Let’s look closely at these solutions.

Fixing Bad LED Dimming Set-ups

The best way to fix buzzing from dimming switches is to find a compatible dimmer. Then, ensure you check the wattage rating to confirm that it matches your LED. Afterward, get an electrician to check if the dimmer is the problem or do it yourself.

Here are the steps you can follow to ease the DIY process:

Step 1: Locate the Buzzing LED

First, try pinpointing the source of the buzzing noise. If only one LED is buzzing, you can replace it with a different one to match the switch.

Move to the second step if all your lights in the circuit buzz.

Step 2: Disconnect the Dimmer

Ensure you turn off the power before attempting this step. Next, remove the two wires from the dimmer switch (usually black) and connect them with a wire nut.

Then, restore the power and see if the lights still buzz. If they do, consider upgrading the LEDs. But, if they don’t, check the final step.

Step 3: Replace the Dimmer

If the lights stopped buzzing after disconnecting the dimmer, it’s time to replace the switch. We recommend checking the list of compatible products the manufacturer provides for the best dimmer.

Note: Don’t try replacing the dimmers yourself if you can’t handle the process. It’s best to call an electrician.

Solving High-power Draw Problems

If your LEDs buzz from high-power appliances, it’s time to call a professional. Fixing the issue is complex, and it requires accessing numerous electrical systems.

A qualified electrician will fix shortages and excess power without any issues. We recommend separating your LED lights and moving them to a different circuit. Also, consider using a circuit breaker to run everything safely.

Loose Wiring or Connections Solution

If all your efforts fail to stop your LEDs from buzzing, it could be a fault with the wiring. So, it’s best to call a qualified electrician to examine the wiring in your ceiling.

For recessed lighting fixtures, the electrician will access all the components. And if there’s loose wiring at a connection point, re-tightening is the way to go. However, your electrician may advise you to replace the wiring if it’s old. Be sure to comply.

In Conclusion

LED buzzing isn’t as bad as it sounds. And it usually indicates no problem with the LEDs, but with other things, like dimmer switches, loose wiring, heavy power draw, etc.

Luckily, the solutions above will make your bulbs work fine and eliminate any buzzing. Also, remember to employ the help of a good electrician so you don’t cause more problems in your home wiring system.

Do you have more questions? Reach out to us, and we’ll be ready to help.

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