Why doesn't my LED dimmable light bulb work correctly?
TCP advises care when purchasing a dimmer switch for you LED light bulb. LED light bulbs are not always compatible with standard halogen dimmer switches. You must ensure that you have at least enough lamps on the circuit to draw the correct minimum wattage from the switch; this is referred to as the load.
LED dimmable bulbs can appear faulty because they have such a low wattage but in fact the problem is usually that there isn’t enough power being drawn. The problem occurs because the minimum load quantity of the switch is too high for the dimmable bulb meaning it becomes overloaded resulting in problems such as flickering and trouble dimming.
TCP advises that when purchasing an LED light bulb you should ensure you have a LED compatible dimmer switch.
TCP also advises that you check the minimum load of your chosen LED compatible dimmer switch to ensure that you load the correct wattage onto the circuit.
For example: if the load requirement of a dimmer switch is 10w-100w then you must ensure that you have at least one 10w lamp or multiple lamps with at least 10w. Because LEDs have such a low wattage, you may find that if you have one 5w bulb on a dimmer it won’t function properly. You would need to add another bulb to meet the 10w minimum requirement or replace the bulb for one with a higher wattage.
Tips for Dimmers:
1.Use the same type of lamp on the same circuit
For example: only have A-Shapes on one circuit, or only have candles. Try not to mix candles and A-Shapes.
2.Use the same wattage on the same circuit
For example: don’t mix 5w bulbs and 3w bulbs on the same circuit.
3.Don’t mix manufacturers on the same circuit.
For example: manufacturers vary slightly in the way they apply the LED technology to a bulb and these differences can affect performance.
Symptoms of Dimmer incompatibility
Not dimming all the way down
Not dimming at all
These symptoms may often be signs of incompatibility or not meeting the minimum loading. In this case the bulb(s) may just be overloaded and not faulty.
TCP recommends these 2 brands of dimmer:
1. Varilight V Pro
Both of these dimmers are intelligent programmable dimmers that work on leading and trailing edge.
Why do my bulbs seem to burn out quickly?
There are a variety of reasons why your light bulb could be burning out prematurely. If you notice that a specific light fixture consistently has light bulbs burning out in it, it could be the fixture. Light fixtures can wear out over time and can cause light bulbs to prematurely fail. Also, make sure you are using the correct bulb for your application; verify the wattage, bulb shape and recommendations found on the packaging.
How long should my light bulbs last?
TCP adheres to an industry standard for rating light bulb life called “rated life.” All of our packaging shows the average rated life of that specific bulb. All light bulbs are tested to determine what their rated life will be. The time that half of the test sample fails is considered rated life. By definition, some lamps will fail before their rated life and some will operate beyond their rated life. Keep in mind that different styles of light bulbs can have different rated life. Using a bulb in an incorrect application can also have an impact on the life of the bulb. Application information can be found on the bulb packaging.
What should I do if I have a defective light bulb?
All of TCP’s products follow strict quality guidelines. If you feel that you have purchased a defective bulb, you can return the bulb to the retailer that you have purchased it from and they will be able to provide you with an immediate solution. If you have a problem returning the bulb to the retailer where it was purchased you can contact us here.
What is a CFL?
CFL stands for compact fluorescent lamp. It is a small fluorescent light bulb that uses 75% less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb and can be screwed into a regular light sockets.
How does a CFL work?
Fluorescent light bulbs are more energy-efficient than regular bulbs because of the different method they use to produce light. Regular, incandescent light bulbs produce light by heating a filament inside the bulb. The heat makes the filament white-hot, producing the light that you see. This method is very wasteful as it uses a lot of energy to heat up the filament that produces light. Fluorescent bulbs contain a gas that produces invisible ultraviolet light (UV) when the gas is excited by electricity. The UV light hits the white coating inside the fluorescent bulb and the coating changes it into light you can see. Because fluorescent bulbs don't use heat to create light, they are far more energy-efficient.
What's the difference between a CFL and a fluorescent bulb?
The size of the bulb is the main difference between these two types of bulbs.
CFLs, compact fluorescent lamps, are smaller.
Where should I use a CFL style bulb?
Use CFLs any place a traditional incandescent light bulb is used. However, the most practical use for a compact fluorescent bulb is in a lamp or fixtures turned on for at least three hours at a time. Hard to reach fixtures are also good candidates, since a CFL does not have to be changed as often as an incandescent bulb.
What is a Lumen?
A lumen is a measurement of the amount of light that is contained in a certain area. The technical definition of a lumen is one candela multiplied by one steradian. A much simpler definition of a lumen would be that one lumen is equivalent to the amount of light put out by one birthday candle when you are standing one foot away from it. If a light bulb puts out 100 lumens, imagine standing one foot away from a cake with one hundred birthday candles on it.
Lumens are more accurate way of measuring the amount of light a particular bulb is putting out, because lumens are a direct measurement of light output. Wattage, even though it is what people have become accustomed to seeing on packaging and measuring how much light they are seeing, it is not really an accurate way to measure light output. Just because a light bulb uses a particular amount of energy to run, does not mean that it directly correlates with the amount of light that is put out.
Can I use a CFL or an LED with a dimmer switch?
All of TCP’s LEDs have a fully dimmable option. However, in order for an LED to work on a dimmer switch you must purchase an LED bulb that is made to work with dimmers. All of TCP’s dimmable LEDs say that they are dimmable on the packaging.
TCP's CFLs are not dimmable.
Can I use a CFL in applications where I will be turning the lights on/off frequently?
Some CFLs cannot handle frequent on/ off cycles and these products may have a shorter life if frequently turned on and off. However, There are certain CFLs that have been designed to handle frequent on/ off cycles, such as TCP’s TruStart.
Can I use a compact fluorescent light bulb in an enclosed light fixture?
Yes, you can use a CFLs that are 23 watts or below in a fully enclosed fixture.
Can I use a CFL bulb outside?
Many CFLs can be used outdoors, as long as they are in an enclosed fixture. Make sure to verify on the package if the bulb says that it can be used outdoors and verify the operating temperature for the area where the product will be used.
What about air temperature & CFLs?
Compact fluorescent light bulbs may generally be used where the air temperature is between 20 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Above 140 degrees, there may be reduced light output and premature ballast failure. CFLs have a harder time starting below 32 degrees, reducing the brightness.
Can I use a CFL in any position?
CFLs can be used in any operating position unless there is text printed on the lamp and/ or packaging that indicates a required operating position.
Can LEDs create interference with electronic equipment?
LED lights do not cause interference with other electronic equipment.
Can I use a compact fluorescent light bulb with an electronic timer or photocell (AKA electric eye)?
Electronic timers, photocells, or lighted switches may have a leak thru voltage sometimes called a pass-thru voltage even when the switch is in an open position. This leak-thru voltage is a low voltage and CFLs read this voltage coming thru the line. The circuit board on a CFL reads this voltage and tries to start but there's not enough power for it to start. So it starts to cycle and sometimes you can see bulbs strobing. The cycling eventually burns out the circuit board components causing early bulb failure. This is why every CFL manufacturer puts a disclaimer on their package.
If you have a device that meets the following UL standard then you can use a CFL with it.
Do CFLs give off Ultraviolet (UV) light?
CFLs give off a minimal amount of UV light. It does not pose a hazard.
Should I be concerned about using CFLs in my home?
CFLs are safe to use in your home. No mercury is released when the bulbs are in use and they pose no danger to you or your family when used properly.
How do I safely dispose of a CFL when it burns out?
It is best to recycle your CFL. Many local hardware stores and communities have different recycling programs for CFLs. That way the bulbs will then be managed responsibly by an environmental management company who will coordinate CFL packaging, transportation and recycling to maximize safety and ensure environmental compliance.
Information on how to safely dispose of bulbs can be found at Recolight: http://www.recolight.co.uk/FREE-Recycling/
What should I do if I break a CFL?
TCP recommends that if a CFL breaks carefully sweep up all the fragments – wipe the area with a wet towel and dispose of all fragments, including the used towel, in a sealed plastic bag. Follow all disposal instructions.
If possible open windows to allow the room to ventilate. Do NOT use a vacuum. Place all fragments in a sealed plastic bag and follow disposal instructions.
You can find full instructions here: http://www.hpa.org.uk/ProductsServices/ChemicalsPoisons/ChemicalRiskAsse...
What is an LED?
LED stands for light emitting diode, these devices are semiconductors that permit current to flow in one direction. During this process, light is emitted very efficiently.
How does an LED work?
An LED is a junction between two materials. One material has an abundance of positively charged atoms while the other abundance of negatively charged atoms. When voltage is applied to the LED, the negatively charged material release electrons into the positive material which creates light.
How long should my LED last?
Where should I use an LED?
LED technology has taken on many forms and functions and should be able to be used in any application large or small where light is required.
What wattage should I buy?
|Incandescent (Watts)||Lumens (lm)||TCP LED (Watts)||TCP CFL (Watts)|
Wattage equivalency varies depending on the technology involved.
If the wattage equivalency is not labelled on the packaging, the most accurate way to compare light is to best match the lumen output of the products.
Can LEDs been turned on and off frequently?
LEDs can be cycled on and off as rapidly as the application would call for.
Can LEDs be used outside?
LEDs can operate outdoors as long as they are used in UL approved fixture that keeps direct rain or snow from coming in contact with the bulb.
Can LEDs be used in any position?
LEDs can be operated in any position however many of these units are designed to put out light in a specific direction.
Can LEDs create interference with electronic equipment?
LED lights do not cause interference with other electronic equipment
How should I dispose of an LED when it burns out?
LEDs can be disposed of just as any other electronic device is as they contain no Mercury.
How much heat does an LED produce compared to incandescent?
In comparison to incandescent lights LEDs only produce a fraction of the heat.
Is there any Mercury in an LED?
No, LEDs are mercury free.
What beam angle should I choose?
|Beam Description||Typical MR16 or GU10 Angles|
|Narrow spot light||5-15 degrees|
|Spot light||16-22 degrees|
|Narrow Flood light||23-32 degrees|
|Flood light||32-45 degrees|
|Wide Flood light||45-60 degrees|
*Please note, lamps in the reflector series describe the products beam angle, however this is measured by different standards to the lamps above.
What should I do if I have a defective LED?
All of TCP’s products follow strict quality guidelines. If you feel that you have purchased a defective bulb, you can return the bulb to the retailer that you have purchased it from and they will be able to provide you with an immediate solution. Alternatively, if you have a problem with one of our products please get in touch, by following the Contact Us link at the top of the page.