What causes the LED lights to flicker when the fan is turned on?

Usually, people install LED lighting to reduce electricity and power consumption and get sufficient light to perform routine operations. Sometimes, even when the LED lights are off, they flicker.

Nothing is more unsettling than a flickering bulb in your house. It is one thing you want to fix immediately. It is rarely a significant problem when your bulb flicks in a single lighting fixture.

If you have installed a fan in a house fixed with LED lights, you might notice your LED lights flicker once you turn on the fan.

Users may also use CFL bulbs that tend to flicker when they get cold. Sometimes when your incandescent bulb flicks, you may just have forgotten to fasten it.

Not every problem causing flickering is trivial, but you will need to call a technician when you have an approach to perform all the quick fixing possibilities.

This article explains why LED lights in your house flicker once a fan is turned on. The article also outlines various other causes of flickering lights in your room and how to eliminate the problem.

Effects of LED light flickering

LED lights to flicker when the fan is turned on

LED lights can flicker in two ways: visibly and invisibly. Users will not be bothered by the invisible flickering of LED lights because they will not notice it, but the visible flickering is considered harmful to their health.

Because of the susceptibility to frequencies, visible flickering can lead to health problems such as epileptic seizures. People are affected by photosensitive epilepsy due to the visible flickering associated with LED lights when they are turned off.

Reasons why LED lights flicker when fan turned on

1. Inrush Current from the fan

As a result of turning on high-power appliances, your LED lights may begin to flicker and dim. Electric stoves, air conditioning units, and heaters are some of the high power-consuming appliances. For our case, we will consider the installed fan in the house, which needs much power to operate.

A high amount of inrush current causes your LED lights to flicker in this scenario alternately. Inrush current is the amount of energy when appliances are turned on and is measured in kilowatt-hours. Once the fan is turned on, it can cause a voltage reduction because it consumes a significant amount of power.

If your LED lights and the fan are connected to the same circuit, you may realize that the LED lights dim or flicker or even turn off and on at random intervals.

Of much importance, understand that LED lights consume less energy than halogen lights. Since they consume significantly less power, increasing the current that flows through them can frequently flicker.

Therefore, it would help best if the fan is connected to its circuit to not interfere with the current flow to the LED lights and other devices connected on the same line.

2. Overloaded circuits

 It is acceptable to have many appliances loaded in the same circuit, provided that the installed meter box can support them all.  Besides this, this element is responsible for the distribution of electricity all across your home. The first indication that the electric current system isn’t up to meet your growing energy requirements will be LED lights that are constantly flickering.

When the fan is started for the first time, it generates an amount of inrush current. Nevertheless, as your home grows in size and you add more appliances, probably, circuit imbalance might well develop. When it comes to electrical current, fans require more current than the energy supply can provide. As with faulty wiring, an electrician can help you determine whether the meter box can meet your needs.

If that’s the circumstance, you will most likely need to modernize to a meter box with a higher rating to support your fan and the LED lights. As an advantage, you will be protected from electrical hazards as well as having your LED lights fixed.

3. Incompatible dimmers

In some cases, when your LED lights flicker while the fan is turned on, it might not be an issue associated with the fan but due to incompatible LED light dimmers. It is critical to ensure that any light dimmers you purchase are compliant with your fixed LED bulbs if you plan to use them together.

In the presence of conventional dimmers, a considerable number of LED lamps encounter premature failure or complete failure. It is possible that your bulbs will not light up at first, but they will flicker after a short period.

Incandescent light bulbs with a high current load are intended for use with traditional lighting dimmers. These devices work by varying the amount of current that flows into the bulbs consistently and predictably.

A rapid on/off process is also carried out to reduce the amount of power presented into the circuit while it is in use.

The dimming effect is caused by the “consistency” of old light bulbs, which is why they are so common. As early as the current is shut off, the practice of “shutting down” the bulbs begins to take effect. Consequently, the lights are never completely turned off because the dimmer is turned on and off rapidly every few seconds.

In contrast, they hover somewhere between the two extremes, resulting in the dimmed effect. While LED bulbs are more energy-efficient than traditional bulbs, they are less long-lasting. As a result, if used with LED bulbs, dimmers designed for elderly bulbs may cause the lights to flicker intermittently.

4. Loose connections

LED light turns on and off

One of the most common causes of lights that flicker is light bulbs that are not correctly connected. Once the fan is turned on, it will consume a considerable amount of electric current.

In addition, since the LED light bulbs are loosely connected, they won’t receive the desired energy to light up perfectly; hence they will start flickering. In this particular instance, the socket does not make a sufficient amount of good interaction with the light bulb, to put it simply.

It is worth noting that LED downlights (also known as recessed lights) can become sluggish over time, resulting in the light bulb flickering. The first step is to screw their bulbs together to make sure they are tightly secured.

It is important to ensure safety when handling the LED lights because excessive force can make them crack. Even though LED lights do not generate a considerable amount of electromagnetic radiation, it is recommended that you wear gloves for your protection.

5. Incorrect installation

Incorrectly installed LED lights or the fan in your room might lead to the flickering of the LED light bulbs. This could result from interference of either of the device’s circuits. Again, it would help best if you followed the user manual to install your devices correctly.

Other causes of flickering LED lights

What causes the LED lights to flicker when the fan is turned on

a) Many homes are equipped with basic switching devices for turning on and off the lights. The majority of the time, when users turn on the switches, a slight amount of energy leaks, hence does not reach the LED light bulbs. However, if the switch is a little loose, the total current leakage will be greater, leading to the flickering of the LED bulbs.

b) The installation of an Infrared Sensor on the circuit board, however, can help to detect and correct current leakage problems. However, if this does not resolve the flickering issue, the sensor could be loose or obstructed BY dust. Alternatively, environmental factors such as direct sunlight, rain, and other elements may harm the sensor’s condition and cause it to malfunction.

c) A further potential reason for the flickering of LED lights is current leaks from the light switches’ capacitors. As a result, it is always recommended that electrical connections be made securely and neatly. The connections may become loose over time; therefore, it would help best if you check on them regularly to avoid any problems.

d) Some electrical switches are equipped with pilot lights, which indicate whether or not there is currently flowing through them. Pilot lights of this type typically consume only a portion of the overall current required to keep them illuminated. As a result, the LED lights will flicker unavoidably if the right current amount is not conveyed to them when the voltage is low.

e)  Individuals who complain about LED lights flickering even after turning them off should understand that this is due to retained current remaining in the circuit.

Frequently Asked Questions;

Is it normal for LED bulbs to flicker before they blow?

The majority of the time, no. LED lights will dim as they blow, but flickering lights do not necessarily indicate that they should be replaced.


We often experience flickering LED lights in our houses, but one can hardly tell the cause of the problem. Many homeowners have their places of resident installed with LED lights for maybe a better lighting experience. You may notice that the lights flicker once the fan is turned on. As discussed, this could result from different factors, including inrush current and overloaded circuits.

I would urge that you check for inappropriate or loose connections and wiring in your circuit. If you cannot locate any loose wiring within the fixture, it is necessary to contact a qualified electrician as loose wiring could be located elsewhere within the circuit. Hidden loose wiring is a fire hazard that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

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