How To Stop LED Lights from Glowing When Off?

Do you have an LED bulb that is emitting dim light when the lamp’s switch is in the off position? Often, the lamp’s circuit has a residual current that makes the bulb glow even when off.

If you are wondering how to stop the LED lights from glowing when off, then you are in the right place. We know how annoying and bothersome this can be for you. This post addresses the causes and what to do when your lamps glow when switched off.

What are The Main Causes of LED Lights Glowing Even When Off?

1. LED bulbs vary in quality so a poor-quality bulb may glow, flicker or buzz when switched off.

2. You may also find that there is a problem with the electrical circuit and not the bulbs. Some light switches will let through electricity residue even when the switch is off. Why does this happen?

There are 2 reasons why this may occur:

  • The neutral wire in the circuit may not be bonded to the earth or the earth wire is at a very high resistance creating a small current that lights your bulb.
  • There may be a small pick-up of electricity from cables that run along each other caused by an electromagnetic induction resulting in the glow.

What You Will Need to Follow this Tutorial?

You will need some tools to complete this tutorial with various solutions for the problem.

  • Extra bulbs
  • Zener Diode
  • Neon Indicator
  • Screwdriver
  • CFL

How To Stop LED Lights from Glowing When Off?

Solution 1: Change the bulb

Change the bulb

If your bulb is glowing after you have replaced your incandescent bulbs with LED ones, you may try buying a replacement from a reputable brand and replace the glowing ones with that. If it stops glowing then you can replace the others.

Often, the type of bulb you may have installed may be incompatible with the installation in the home leading to the glow or flicker.

Solution 2: Make Sure Wiring is Earthed or Install a Zener Diode

An electrician will be in a position to tell you whether the glowing is caused by the wiring not being properly earthed and fix this for you if so. This is very easy to fix. If the glowing is due to the cabling being too close, you could ask the electrician to set up a Zener diode which will regulate the voltage of the electricity circuit your glow led is on.

This Zener diode will block any residual voltage coming from the circuit. It should not take an electrician long to install the Zener diode. The diode itself costs a couple of dollars so it should be a straightforward and affordable job.

Solution 3 Use CFL or stick something else to soak the extra voltage one solution to this conundrum could be trying to stick something in the circuit to soak up this unwanted voltage. Using a CFL or incandescent lamp in one fitting [if a multiple lamp/downlight configuration] should mop it up even though this is not the ideal solution. It may work for you as a temporary measure as you try to resolve the problem using other safer and more lasting solutions.

Solution 4: Get a Neon Indicator

neon Indicator

Another way to solve the problem is to get a neon indicator. You can search for this from Amazon or any other reliable electronics supplier and you will get good results for a couple of dollars. Get a prewired one with flying leads to save you the trouble of any messes. You should install the indicator between the lone and neutral at the fitting or at the end of a string of downlights so it can soak in all the unwanted current. The neon will then glow instead of the bulb and it can be tucked away from sight.

Make sure that the neon you select is compatible with the current voltage you have at your home. You can get neon indicators from kitchen appliances such as freezers, fridges, and kettles. This is an easy task to accomplish if you are a handyman with the help of a screwdriver. Take advantage of the goods that have already reached their end of life as good indicators will still burn for years losing brightness over time but still functioning.

Solution 5: Try a Neutral With Lamp or Talk to Your LED Lamp’s Manufacturer

You could be using dimmers or smart switches such as illuminated, touch-sensitive, or WIFI-enabled models that are most are neutral. The clever circuitry in such switches operates by passing a tiny current through the bulb and then back to neutral.

This current will pass all the time keeping the switch on even when the lights are off. These types of switches will need power all the time because they have touch dials, indicator lights, or use a WiFi bridge to connect or need to stay on for any on or off dimming commands.

While this is happening, a small current that passes through the filament of the incandescent lamp will not make it glow butt with LED lamps, there may be some reaction causing the glow.

If you have smart light switches and find that your LED lights are glowing when switched off, you may need to consult your manufacturer to find a switch that is compatible with the lamps. The other option is to call an electrician to run a dedicated neutral to the switch you have installed in your home (if it can support one) so that it does not go through the lamp.

dimmable LED lamps

Solution 6: Work with other lamps

When all is done and nothing seems to work, you may try matching your LED bulb to other lamps. Some dimmable LED lamps work better than others and sometimes mixing in an odd lamp can have positive effects.

Solution 7: Inspection

As previously stated, problems can arise from the unwanted voltage on your wiring due to induction from neighboring circuits. It is not unusual for one to place a tester on a dead circuit and still get a few volts that maybe have been inducted into the circuit or are getting in through poor insulation resistance from adjacent wiring. If your wiring is old or has not been checked lately then you should consider having it inspected to see how your lighting is behaving.

However, the truth is that the issue may be connected to the lamp, the switch, or the wiring and frigs such as the neon or resistive load. If you are not comfortable with screwdrivers and being around electricity, search for a competent electrician from around who can help in diagnosing and correcting the issue.

Bottom Line

LED lamps are a great invention. They are beautiful and functional making our living spaces striking while remaining a cost-friendly alternative to incandescent lamps. However, if your LED lamps still glow even when off, you may have questions as to whether this is the right lighting solution for your home. Before you throw out your LED lamps, try the quick fixes listed in this post and see if any work for you.

You can also watch this tutorial to see if a visual aid helps you tackle the problem. Remember to be careful with electricity as it poses a danger for any inexperienced persons. If the problem persists, seek professional help.

We hope that this post has helped you. Let us know if you have any additions or comments. Please share with others who may find this useful.