How to Avoid Flickering LED Lights

Installing dimmer switches throughout your home makes it easy to create ambiance for any occasion, control lighting for specific tasks and save energy every time you dim. To enjoy the perfect dimming experience without the LED bulb flicker, you need to start with the perfect LED bulb and dimmer switch match!

When shopping for bulbs, keep in mind that LED bulbs are are now the norm, having essentially replaced incandescent bulbs. Long-lasting LED bulbs are competitively priced and available in a broad range of “color” outputs – from industrial bright white to warm, comforting hues. Best of all, they come in “dimmable” models, which you’ll need if you are planning to use the bulb with a dimmer switch.

Why a dimmable LED bulb? A dimmable model is engineered to work best during the dimming process because dimming LED bulbs is more complicated than dimming traditional incandescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs create light using a filament, so they dim without hesitation. LED bulbs create light using a semiconductor and although they can also be dimmed, the dynamics are different. This may cause glitches when dimming including:

  • Noise – buzzing or humming sounds
  • Flickering, strobing or flashing
  • Pop ON, drop out or poor/limited dimming range
  • Ghosting – light glows after being turned off


LED bulb flicker and other glitches can be easily resolved by adhering to a few basic guidelines:

  • Use only LED bulbs labeled as “DIMMABLE”
  • Be certain the dimmer switch is rated to dim LED bulbs (older models may not be)
  • When purchasing a dimmer switch, seek out well-tested, quality products
  • Check the instruction sheet that came with the dimmer to see if it has an adjustment switch to set the minimum light level. Setting the minimum light level helps ensure smoother dimming if you encounter any flickering or other glitches noted above
  • Use Leviton’s online LED Compatibility Selector Tool. It’s the fast and easy way to find the perfect LED bulb to pair with your Leviton dimmer for seamless dimming…every time!


Visit or watch our video below to learn more.