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Old 03-19-2012, 01:05 PM   #1
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Glowing LEDs


Greetings all - I recently picked up some LED replacement bulbs from Costco and installed one in a bedroom light fixture. Yesterday I noticed that the LEDs have a slight glow when the fixture is powered off, and I'm trying to figure out why.

This fixture is one of those combo ceiling fan units with 4 edison lamp sockets. The LED is in one of the sockets and the other 3 are open. This is an older house, and I would be surprised if the fixture was grounded.

I also noticed that if I pull the chain to turn the fan "on" (not really on because the wall switch is still turned off) or pull the other chain to turn the lights "off", the LEDs go out.

So I guess there's some kind of phantom current in the neutral line... or something? Any ideas what's going on here?

Thanks,

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Old 03-19-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
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Glowing LEDs


Do you have a wireless remote on that fan? They have leakage current even when off and they will cause a LED to glow.

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Old 03-19-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
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Glowing LEDs


Is the light switch on the wall lighted. If it is that is your problem. The light draws a miniscule amount of current through the bulb to light. This current is probably your issue. It will also make CFL lamps flicker. Try putting one regular old type lamp in one of the empty sockets and the LED will probably go out.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
Do you have a wireless remote on that fan? They have leakage current even when off and they will cause a LED to glow.
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Originally Posted by joed View Post
Is the light switch on the wall lighted. If it is that is your problem. The light draws a miniscule amount of current through the bulb to light. This current is probably your issue. It will also make CFL lamps flicker. Try putting one regular old type lamp in one of the empty sockets and the LED will probably go out.
Thanks for the replies guys.

Nope, no wireless remote, no lighted switch, and no multiple-switch configuration for the fan power... just a plain-jane toggle switch on the wall and the two pull chains for fan and light control.

Could there be some kind of inductive current being picked up by the circuit?

I have to admit I'm a bit out of my element here, I'm more of a low-voltage DC guy and AC isn't really my thing.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
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Glowing LEDs


are you sure they are LEDs and not CFLs? CFLs glow sometimes for a little while after they are switched off....
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:40 PM   #6
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are you sure they are LEDs and not CFLs? CFLs glow sometimes for a little while after they are switched off....
Definitely LEDs, and this is not immediately after switch-off.

Interestingly the LEDs in my kitchen do have a bit of "afterglow" but this fades out after a while.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:51 PM   #7
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There has to be some current leakage through the switch. Normally this would only happen with a dimmer, motion detector, remote, or other active electronic switching device. Does it still happen if you disconnect one wire from the switch?
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:48 PM   #8
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There has to be some current leakage through the switch. Normally this would only happen with a dimmer, motion detector, remote, or other active electronic switching device. Does it still happen if you disconnect one wire from the switch?
Good question, I'll have to try that.

Is this something I could pickup with a voltmeter? If there's current flowing there should be some voltage potential, right? Don't I need .7v or something to bias the diodes?

It doesn't make much sense that the switch would be leaky though... what if this thing was setup as a switched neutral? This wouldn't surprise me given the other lame DIY work I've seen around this place. Then the socket would always be "hot", and perhaps a tiny amount of current is leaking to ground somehow?

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