Lights still flicker even when completely switched off

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firealarmveteran15
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Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:16 pm

Before I explain the issue, I usually turn off the lights in the kitchen before I hit the sack (yes, the kitchen lights because I live in an absolute joke of a house).

Just recently, when I tried to turn off all of the lights in the kitchen, some of the lights were flickering, even though the dimmer switch outside the kitchen indicates that the lights are off.

Here's the video (sorry in advance if the video is kind of hard to see; also I had to mute the audio for personal reasons):


When I took this video, it was long after I shut off the lights to the point where the flickering was barely noticeable. The light bulbs that are barely flickering in the video are only two of the four lights that would usually work when the lights are completely switched on (more on this in a subsequent post). I can assure you that the circuit for the kitchen lights are completely switched off. If anyone wants proof that the light bulb circuit was completely switched off, PM me, and I'll show that to you.

Could it be caused by the dimmer switches? (yes, there are two dimmer switches -- one outside the kitchen, and one inside)

I just don't understand why this could happen. It doesn't make any sense to me that the lights would flicker even when the circuit is OFF. Yes, I did go to Google for this issue, but I felt like I didn't get anything out of it.

This is very unfortunate as that these are LED lights (I believe), and they were installed just before sunset on New Year's Eve. There's more that led up to this, but I've said quite a lot in this post alone.
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TheBlueCFL
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Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:11 am

Interesting.. I am no electrician, but I may have a few ideas based on my knowledge.
Generally, only one dimmer switch is used per bank of lights unless those lights are controlled by a multi-location dimmer system. Those do appear to be LED cans, and I'd be surprised if the culprit is an issue with the fixtures in some way if you say they are so new. It could be a failing switch allowing current through when circuit is open (I can see that being more common with something solid state compared to a mechanical switch). Wouldn't hurt to check if a switch is a little warmer than normal. I don't want to give too many suggestions without knowing more about contributing factors. Like I said, I am not an electrician, but I will try to help the best I can.
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jelimoore
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Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:14 pm

What that guy said.

*disclaimer: I am not an electrician*

Dimmers aren't meant to be wired in series, unless they are special ones which are pretty much like an addressable fire alarm system: they talk to a master dimmer which just adjusts the value. I'm assuming you don't have that type of dimmer.

Try swapping out a dimmer for the old switch (if you still have it). If that doesn't fix it, swap it out for another dimmer until it works. Just gotta eliminate all the variables.
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firealarmveteran15
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Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:11 am

Update: Just last night, one of the two offending lights actually gave out (it didn't blow, it just stopped flickering and faded to off), and only one light bulb is flickering.

Here's the video (again, sorry if the video is hard to see):


Only this time, it kept flickering like mad, even by the time I woke up this morning. Case in point: I actually recorded that video not long after I woke up.

Here's more information on the four lights that were installed on New Years Eve. This is actually four of five bulbs (there are/were initially six of them, but one of them isn't used anymore) that needed to be replaced. At the time the four bulbs were replaced, the "fifth bulb" was the only one that worked, hence why it wasn't replaced. Just before this ordeal happened, that one bulb had stopped working, and I suspect that might be what had caused the other lights to flicker as they were behaving normally.

Another possible cause: for a short time, with these lights alone, I had the lights dimmed before I hit the sack (this was a "long-standing tradition"). The lights were flickering just a little bit, but it wasn't as bad. Unfortunately, I had to resort to completely shutting off the lights rather than dimming them because they were brighter than the previous bulbs, and even setting the dimmer switch to the lowest setting was still too bright.

Because of the fact that I had to resort to shutting the kitchen lights entirely, we had to get a night light with an ambient light sensor (got two of them, but only one of them is in use). Don't worry, though, the ceiling lights flickering doesn't cause the night light to flicker.
TheBlueCFL wrote:Generally, only one dimmer switch is used per bank of lights unless those lights are controlled by a multi-location dimmer system.
These lights are controlled by two dimmer switches: one in the kitchen, and one in the family room outside the kitchen (with LED indicators along with three other switches that control other things outside the kitchen).
jelimoore wrote:Dimmers aren't meant to be wired in series, unless they are special ones which are pretty much like an addressable fire alarm system: they talk to a master dimmer which just adjusts the value. I'm assuming you don't have that type of dimmer.
I wouldn't know for sure. I've been living in this house for a little more than 20 years (1997), and I believe that the house was built at around 1988, and there were people that lived there before my family moved in.
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jelimoore
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Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:22 am

Yeah you would probably know if you had a master-slave dimmer setup. If you’re unsure the answer is probably no, especially since master-slave setups are a relatively new thing. It could probably be a failing switch. Do you know if the LEDs are able to dim and the dimmers are meant to dim LEDs? I know cheaper LEDs will refuse to dim properly, and the dimmer switch has to be designed properly to handle LED dimming.
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firealarmveteran15
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Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:37 am

jelimoore wrote:Do you know if the LEDs are able to dim and the dimmers are meant to dim LEDs? I know cheaper LEDs will refuse to dim properly, and the dimmer switch has to be designed properly to handle LED dimming.
I have no idea about that either.
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TheBlueCFL
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Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:48 am

firealarmveteran15 wrote:
jelimoore wrote:Do you know if the LEDs are able to dim and the dimmers are meant to dim LEDs? I know cheaper LEDs will refuse to dim properly, and the dimmer switch has to be designed properly to handle LED dimming.
I have no idea about that either.
I did some digging and found that LED bulb do require LED dimmers and those LED bulbs need to be dimmable. I also found that common side effects for unmet criteria are flickering and premature bulb and/or circuit failure. Hope this helps
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