Fix a Flickering High Density LED Strip | HitLights

Flickering High Density LED Strip: Causes and Troubleshooting

Installing a high density LED strip can be the perfect way to bring a project together. You can use them to highlight merchandise in a display case, add mood lighting to a theater room, create task lighting in a work area or enhance an outdoor living area. You can choose the color and style you want, but if the lights start flickering the entire mood will be ruined. Here's how you can address the problem and get everything working again.

Table of Contents:

How To Check Each Part of the High Density LED Strip

LED lights are valued in part for their reliability, so when they don't work like they are supposed to it can be a frustrating experience. Getting the issue fixed quickly and correctly is important not only to get the look you want but also to keep your renovation or construction project on track. Malfunctioning lights could slow down other projects. When your LED strip lights start flickering, examine each component for potential problems.

Power Supply

Flickering in LED lights is often a sign that something is wrong with the electrical currents running through the strip, so the power supply is a good place to start your diagnosis. Strip lights are meant to operate within specific voltage levels, and your power supply needs to generate a consistent current for proper performance.

If lights are flickering, make sure the setup is using the right power supply. Sometimes parts can get mixed up during installation. If this is the case, disconnect it and switch it out for the part that you need. Also remember to always double-check the label if you have the correct voltage and wattage capacity for your installation.

When you are sure you have the correct power supply and driver, look for signs that this part may be malfunctioning. Is it hot to the touch or making a buzzing sound? There could be a shortage in the unit. Not only will that lead to problems with how the lights function, but it could cause damage to other components.


Once you've ruled out the power unit as the cause of the flickering, it's time to examine the high density LED strip itself. Since electricity must travel down the entire line to reach every diode for even lighting, a malfunction on the strip could lead to flickering.

Check the wires on the entire run of the LED strip and take care to look closely at any points where the unit is bent. A wire could be under too much pressure or have broken, causing an inconsistent flow of electricity that leads to uneven lighting. You may need to replace the entire strip or remove and cut the damaged part on the designated cutting mark and use a gapless connector to reconnect them

You should also look for any dirt, dust or other buildup on the LED strip. These substances can have an impact on performance, so take the time to clean up each strip before installation.

When installing a long run of LED lights, double-check that you aren't trying to string together too many strips. All power supplies and connectors have limits on the loads they can handle. Exceeding those limits can lead to a voltage drop, causing flickering or dimming. It may be necessary to divide the lights into smaller runs and make a parallel connection to the power supply or you can run them with more LED drivers so power will be consistent for each light.


The connectors are a common culprit when looking for the cause of a flickering LED light. Loose or broken connections will lead to inconsistent electrical currents for the lights. To check for this, visually inspect all connections and ensure that they are tight and secure. You can also use a continuity tester to check for continuity between the power supply and the LED strip. If there are any broken or loose connections, reconnect them or replace any damaged connectors.

Checking your connectors is a good time to make sure that the connectors are compatible with the specific high density LED strip you are using. Using incorrect connectors can mean not enough power is getting to the strip. HitLights offers a wide range of connectors for LED lights, including ones that are made for multi-colored lights. Pick ones that are compatible with your strips for the best performance.

Incompatible Accessories

When you are installing a high density LED strip to work with other lighting accessories, all of the technology doesn't always work well together, causing flickering. Dimmers are a common pain point. The devices offer great control over the lighting for the clients, but if they aren't installed correctly or designed to work with your strips, you can experience problems.

This risk is elevated when you are renovating a space. Adding lights to existing dimmers or adding new dimmers to older strip lights can create a mismatch of electrical systems that aren't compatible with each other. For the best results, install dimmers and right accessories along with your LED strip lights so you can order them together and know they will be compatible.

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Flickering LED Lights

A flickering LED strip is definitely an annoyance, but it may be tempting to leave them be if the flickering isn't severe or if the light is in a discreet place. There are a few reasons you shouldn't do that.

Overall Client Satisfaction

First, it's never a good idea to cut corners on any job, even installing LED lights. Renovations and construction represent significant financial investments, and your clients want to make sure they get their money's worth. That means the final product should always be the best it can possibly be.

As an installer, you also want to be able to proudly show off your work. Each job is a representation of you and how you perform. You want each job to end on a positive note that could lead clients to recommend you to more people. Leaving a flickering LED light will leave a bad impression.

Long-Term Risks

Fixing flickering lights also factors into safety. The blinking lights are generally an indication that something with the transfer of electricity in the lights has gone wrong. Whether that's happening at the power source, at a connection point or in the strip, there is a possible risk of an electrical overload or shortage. Either can create a fire hazard, especially if the lights are near any flammable material.

Voltage problems can also shorten the lifespan of a high density LED strip. They can typically last for years, but if the circuits are working overtime to accommodate problems with the current, they will burn out sooner than expected. Because of that, the end user will have to spend more money and time to replace them more often.

Replacing installed LED lights is a hassle as well, especially if they are recessed into walls, floors or tight spaces. Often, the installation happens while other construction is going on, so the process isn't very intrusive. Revising this work, however, may mean demolishing or disassembling other items that will then need to be repaired or replaced.

Reduced Usability

LED strip lights that flicker are less usable. A person may not want to deal with the annoyance of a light constantly blinking out of the corner of their eye and decide to turn off the light altogether. This defeats the purpose of having the high density LED strip installed in the first place. Now the end-user must find another lighting solution or just live with not having the setup they wanted.

Flickering lights that are in a prominent place can also cause eye strain and irritation and generally ruin the mode of the space where they are present. It's best to make sure the lights work properly before wrapping up a project so your clients can enjoy them as intended for years to come without the need for workarounds.

Stop Your High Density LED Strip Light from Flickering

No one wants to install a new high density LED strip light only to see it start flickering, but it happens sometimes. Rather than get frustrated or ignore the problem, get to the bottom of the issue and find a fix. Start by examining each component, including the power supply, the light strip, connectors and all accessories, then make the repairs or replacements as needed. For great results and support to help you through the process, get the parts you need from HitLights and complete your next lighting project.

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