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Thread: Approved LEDs Flash On and Off Repeatedly

  1. #1

    Approved LEDs Flash On and Off Repeatedly

    I have 6 approved retrofit LEDs (model #EVL6741AWH40) installed that are tied to a Caseta Switch (model #PD-6WCL-WH) and 2 Pico remotes. If I turn the lights on from a cold start, the lights work great. However, if I turn the lights off and then turn them back on shortly thereafter, they flash on and off in 1 - 1.5 second intervals and never stop (and these are hard flashes, not flickering, almost like someone is turning the switch on and off). In fact, I have to wait 5+ minutes before I can turn them on again to have them work. If I attempt to turn them on again in 1-4 minutes after the first cold start, I will get the repeated flashing.

    Troubleshooting I've tried with no results:

    + Removing 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the LEDs to see if one was causing an issue
    + Swapping out the Caseta Switch with another that I know works
    + Trimming the low and high dims
    + Testing across the wired and Pico remotes and the Lutron app. The results are always the same

    I also have the exact same LEDs (4 of them) with the exact switch in another room and not having this issue whatsoever. This is so frustrating and I'm really hoping someone can help! Please!

  2. #2
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    Manufacturers change internal parts without changing the part numbers often. This can make an approved fixture behave poorly, and it seems like the dimmer is the cause. If you have a PD10NXDWH, try running the neutral wire dimmer and see if the problem persists. You mentioned that you swapped dimmers for one that works, so the internal change seems probable. Also look if there are other loads on the circuit which may be causing feedback, such as fans or heaters (motor loads, especially). It may be coming from another source, and usually the neutral wire dimmer will fix the issue as well. It may require trimming of the new dimmer to fine tune.
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  3. #3
    Thank you for your reply.

    What did you mean by this?:

    "You mentioned that you swapped dimmers for one that works, so the internal change seems probable." - to clarify, both Caseta dimmers resulted in the same flashing problem.

    I have a
    PD10NXDWH coming and will try that. I'll also try and see if there is something else on the circuit.

    I also forgot to mention that everything worked beautifully for 4-5 days. We just started having this issue yesterday.

    B

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by brandonpence View Post
    Thank you for your reply.

    What did you mean by this?:

    "You mentioned that you swapped dimmers for one that works, so the internal change seems probable." - to clarify, both Caseta dimmers resulted in the same flashing problem.

    Since you swapped the dimmers and the problem persisted, and the second dimmer was proven good from a prior location, it stands that it is either the light bulbs or the circuit. I usually recommend this swap if the customer has another dimmer to eliminate the possibility that it is a defective dimmer. They do "go bad" or are defective from the factory, but VERY rarely. Also, the problem appeared several days after the initial dimmer was installed. Lutron builds dimmers nearly bulletproof. They could be cheaper, but cheaper materials means higher failure rates that are unacceptable back at the mothership. An internal change due to sourcing or cost saving measures is often done by lighting manufacturers as the market is flooded with cheap alternatives. Even a small piece can change the way that particular bulb behaves with Lutron's digital dimmers. I've experienced this in my own home. If the manufacturer does not change the part number, they usually don't send in the new version for testing. This makes the "list" obsolete for that part number effectively. Note: Lutron tests these bulbs at no charge to the manufacturer, and only when the manufacturer sends in samples. I have personally mailed a box of 47 pounds of LED bulbs into the engineers for testing.
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  5. #5
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    You can try moving the dimmer in question to the location that is working. If the problem moves with it, the dimmer is the problem. If you moved a working dimmer to the location that is not working and the flashing persisted, it is in the electrical system.

    Anything with a motor will generate noise on the electrical system. Refrigerators, HVAC, washers, etc. Microwaves are the worst culprit. I haven't seen the problem as much with newer flat screens, but TVs can also be major noise generators. LED drivers will multiply the noise exponentially. If you have 5 drivers on a circuit, the noise is multiplied 32 times! This is why you see quantity limits on a dimmer even though the wattage is well below the dimmer rating. Dimmers also compound the issue.

    You also need to make sure the neutrals are separated. Prior to arc-faults it was common to just tie all the neutrals together. That meant noise was distributed though out the entire system.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyc View Post
    You can try moving the dimmer in question to the location that is working. If the problem moves with it, the dimmer is the problem. If you moved a working dimmer to the location that is not working and the flashing persisted, it is in the electrical system. Anything with a motor will generate noise on the electrical system. Refrigerators, HVAC, washers, etc. Microwaves are the worst culprit. I haven't seen the problem as much with newer flat screens, but TVs can also be major noise generators. LED drivers will multiply the noise exponentially. If you have 5 drivers on a circuit, the noise is multiplied 32 times! This is why you see quantity limits on a dimmer even though the wattage is well below the dimmer rating. Dimmers also compound the issue. You also need to make sure the neutrals are separated. Prior to arc-faults it was common to just tie all the neutrals together. That meant noise was distributed though out the entire system.
    My apartment was built in the 1970’s and does not have neutral wires. The Caseta switches solved the problem. Recently I installed some smart color changing bulbs. The bulb had rapid flashing with the in-wall dimmer, trimming the low and high voltage on the switch did not solve it. The switch itself was also freaking out, led brightness indicator fluctuating wildly. The weird part is that I tried the same bulb on a Caseta plug in lamp dimmer and had no issues. Maybe there’s a procedure I’m missing to disable the in wall dimmer dim function?

  7. #7
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    Figured it out, I was trying to put two smart bulbs in a circuit. If I removed one and replaced it with an incandescent bulb, the smart bulb worked fine with the wall dimmer switch. I’m thinking that two or more smart bulbs in a circuit will mess with the dimmer’s perceived load or generate too much EMI and overwhelm the dimmer. The plug in dimmer had on smart bulb, hence no problems. FEI, I was using the Globe Electric Smart Color changing bulbs.

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