5 Common Reasons and Solutions to Non-Working LED Lights

Have you ever wondered, “Why won’t my LED lights turn on?” Like any other lights, LED lights may encounter problems. If you want to fix it, you must determine why it doesn’t work.

We listed the common reasons LED lights won’t turn on and troubleshoot. Keep reading to learn more!

Reason #1: Failure in electrolytic capacitor due to heat

common problems with led lighting

Sometimes, the problem is not the LED bulb but its LED driver. The drivers are exposed to more harsh conditions than the other applications. An LED light operates in full load within an extremely high heat environment.

The driver absorbs the high heat that is released within the environment. Due to this high heat, the driver is more prone to failure.

Within the drivers, the most affected components are the aluminum electrolytic capacitors. When the capacitance decreases, the efficiency of the LED light lowers.

Within the aluminum electrolytic capacitor are a filler and liquid. When the temperature rises, the liquid evaporates. Because of this, the capacitance of the driver lessens.

Once this happens, the output ripples current increases. This will affect the quality of light released by the bulb. If the capacitance continuously lessens, the LED light will stop working.

Aside from heat, the lifespan of the LED light is longer than that of the power supply. Residential LED lights can last for 25,000 hours. On the other hand, commercial LED lights’ lifespan is 50,000.

However, the lifespan of a power supply is only 20,000 hours. Here is a comparison between an electrolytic capacitor and other components’ life span:


 Life Span

LEDs (based on L20)

About 45,000 hours

PWM Controllers

 About 100,000 hours

Other semiconductors

About 100,000 hours

Ceramic Capacitors

Not specified

Electrolytic Capacitors

 20,000 hours

As you can see, electrolytic capacitors have the shortest lifespan. It may decrease when the temperature continuously rises.


If your LED lights don’t turn on, check if the capacitor has an external abnormality. One of the indicators is if it has already started to swell.

You can purchase a new electrolytic capacitor or resort to a film or ceramic capacitor. These capacitors are less affected by high temperatures.

Another option is providing a suitable topology for the driver. You should place the capacitor where it is far from heat-generating components. Through this, the efficiency of the LED light won’t be affected.


Reason #2: Incompatible driver

led light goes on and off

An underdriving or overdriving may occur because of the incorrect amount of current. The driver regulates the flow of electricity transmitted to the LED light. If the current is too low, there will be underdriving, but there will be overdriving if it is too high.

Underdriving happens when only a single circuit supplies current to multiple bulbs. Although the volume remains constant, the current delivered in each bulb decreases.

The insufficiency in the current leads to underdriving. This makes the LED lights dimmer than usual. It may prolong the lifespan of an LED light, but its illumination will suffer.

An incompatible driver may also lead to overdriving. Driving the LED light with a current that is more than the required power may burn the circuit. It is one of the reasons why some LED lights don’t turn on.

When too much power is exerted, the energy does not increase the lumen output, but it becomes heat. Once there is too much heat on the circuit, it will burn.


If the LED light doesn’t turn on because of overloading, there is a chance that the circuit has already burned. The only way to make the LED light work again is to replace your old LED driver with a new one.

Also, ensure that the driver is compatible with the current needed by the LED light. By doing this, you will prevent underloading or overloading in the future.

Not everyone knows what the appropriate driver to choose for the LED light is. If you are unsure, you can call an electrician or a professional technician. To help you choose the right LED power supply, watch this video.


Reason #3: Unexpected Power Surge

led light bulb keeps going out and coming back on

A sudden spike in the electricity, called a power surge, can damage the LED lights. When a power surge occurs, it may lead to overheating, which can melt and burn the components of an LED light.

Although a regular LED light can last for 50,000 hours, a single power surge can end its life instantly.

So what’s behind a power surge? A power surge occurs because of dirty power or electrical pollution. Abnormalities in the electrical signal compromise the quality of electricity.

For LED lights, the electromagnetic interference results in the flashing of lights. It may also lead to premature failure.

Turning high-powered appliances like air conditioners may lead to an electrical surge. Other causes are overloaded power outlets and severe fluctuations caused by power outages.  Damaged wiring and circuits, and lightning are also factors.


If your LED light stopped working, check if its circuit melted or damaged because of a power surge. In this case, you have to replace your LED light with a new one.

It is better to replace it with an LED light with a built-in surge protector to prevent this from happening. Most LED corn bulbs lights have built-in surge protectors.

If your LED light is still working, you better install a surge protector immediately if you still don’t have one. For LED floodlights, corn bulbs lights, inline surge protectors are suitable.

Photocell receptacle surge protectors are ideal for LED shoebox lights. Don’t forget to replace the surge protectors every two years.


Reason #4: Faulty Electrical Wiring

why have my led lights stopped working

Rarely does an LED light doesn’t work because of defects. Most of the time, it is caused by external factors. One of the reasons why an LED light doesn’t turn on is because of faulty electrical wiring.

You must detect the problem in the installation or wiring immediately. Not taking action may lead to electrical fires.

If you have pets in the house, check if there are chewed wires. If this is the case, call an electrician to repair the wiring. One of the signs of faulty wiring is if the circuit breaker trips frequently.

Also, observe if there are flickering or dimming lights on your LED light and some of your appliances. Lastly, check if the wires show any discoloration.


If there are signs of faulty electrical installation, you must contact an electrician.  He will conduct a professional diagnosis. If your home’s electrical system is still not grounded, it is better if you upgrade.

A grounded electrical system is a regulatory requirement. Aside from that, it is also safer.

If you don’t know if your electrical system is grounded or not, you can use a receptacle tester. Once it signaled that there is an open ground, you don’t have a grounded electrical system.

It is also possible that it is not installed correctly. If this happens, call an electrician so that they can upgrade your electrical system.


Reason #5: Incorrect Installation of Power Supplies or LED Light

why are my led lights not working

An incorrect installation may affect the performance of your LED light. LED lights cannot work if the installation of power supplies is improper.

Also, installation restrictions should be followed. By doing this, you will be able to ensure the efficiency of your LED light.

If you have installed a non-waterproof power supply, make sure that it is in a face-up position. Also, it must be in a well-ventilated room to release the heat. When you fail to install it correctly, the power supply may suffer from overheating.

Aside from the position of the power supply, you must also check if the power supply has the correct wiring. Some electricians can make mistakes in wiring, so it is better to check it.

The wires must be exposed and connected to the correct ports. If you are unsure what it must look like, using a multimeter test can help.

Don’t forget to check if the power supply is set to the proper input voltage. Non-waterproof power supplies have internal switches. The input voltage must be 100 or 120 VAC or 200-240 VAC.

If your power supply doesn’t have the correct setting, it will affect the power supply’s output. Also, check if the switch is in the proper position.


Check if the power supply is installed correctly. Ensure that the power supply is appropriately mounted. Also, the wiring must be connected correctly, and the proper input voltage is set rightly.

If you don’t know the appropriate power supply installation, you can call an electrician. If you want to know how LED installation works, click this video to learn more.


Have we answered your question, “Why won’t my LED lights turn on?” There are different reasons why LED lights fail to work, and it’s vital to detect them immediately.

Most of them are caused by some external factors. Examples of these are power surges, faulty electrical wiring, and incorrect installation.

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