Globe LED Bulb Flashing Issue

northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
I while back, I purchased two Globe LED vanity bulbs. They are the G25 8 watt, 3000k bulbs. I immediately noticed there was an issue using them. Upon turning them on they would for a spit second come on to their normal intensity, and then almost immediately drop down to a much reduced intensity. After about 5 seconds or so, they would flash up to normal intensity a couple of times, and then back down again to the reduced intensity. Both bulbs did this and their flashing was not in sync.

Now here's the really mysterious part. They have not flashed even once on inverter power. I have had them on 2 totally separate and different pure sine inverters, and have yet to see this odd behavior with them. Yet, they regularly exhibit this flashing behavior on grid power. It seems to be worse on start up and sometimes they will come on steady after a few cycles of flashing. Other times it persists and they don't operate normally at all.

I had a tech come in from the electric company check my power and said there is no problem with the power. He had no explanation either. I have tried using the bulbs in another house across town, and they have the same problem there too. I have decided to keep the bulbs, as I am going off grid soon, and they work fine on my Outback inverted power as I mentioned.

The only difference I can see with our power is that the voltage is maybe about 2 or 3 volts higher, but should be well within tolerance. Also, I do know that the electric company sends pings down the line in order to make meter readings (electric and water). Had me wondering if that has something to do with it???:confused:

Comments

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Globe LED Bulb Flashing Issue

    Very interesting. Are these "bulbs" by chance made up of many small traditional LEDs? Reason I'm asking that, is I've had a couple of that type a few years back, and when they began to fail, some of the LEDs began to flicker, and it seemed to be related to the temperature of the LEDs. This brought me to wonder re the voltage difference between your inverter and grid. My inverter runs 110 volts, my grid usually 128. I think the higher grid voltage here is a stunt by the power corp to force more power through appliances, making them use more power, run hotter, and thus spin the meter faster. More income for the power company :(
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Globe LED Bulb Flashing Issue
    Very interesting. Are these "bulbs" by chance made up of many small traditional LEDs? Reason I'm asking that, is I've had a couple of that type a few years back, and when they began to fail, some of the LEDs began to flicker, and it seemed to be related to the temperature of the LEDs. This brought me to wonder re the voltage difference between your inverter and grid. My inverter runs 110 volts, my grid usually 128. I think the higher grid voltage here is a stunt by the power corp to force more power through appliances, making them use more power, run hotter, and thus spin the meter faster. More income for the power company :(

    I think this bulb just has a few of the newer high power LED's, but I don't know for sure as the bulb is frosted, and the LED's are not visible. I don't think it is a flickering problem with regards to an LED failing, as the whole bulb intensity drops at once, and it all happens fairly regularly.(ie the it always flashes twice in a row.)

    My inverter voltage is very close to 120 volts, whereas the line voltage is about 122 volts right now, very little difference. The explanation I got from the utility company tech that came by was, they increase the voltage slightly to compensate for those that are a long ways down stream of the substation/transformer.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,883 admin
    Re: Globe LED Bulb Flashing Issue

    Did you measure the power at the socket wiring when they where flickering?

    Anyway, about the only suggestion other than electrical circuit variation (and, if these are different circuits, it could be a "poor/bad neutral" connection--this can cause some lights to dim while other lights brighten--but this would be at the same time/in sync).

    Lastly, I have had old/bad electrical sockets/wire connections that can behave badly with low power lights. A high power light generates extra heat at the poor connections causing them to expand and get, temporarily, better connections.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Globe LED Bulb Flashing Issue
    BB. wrote: »
    Did you measure the power at the socket wiring when they where flickering?

    Anyway, about the only suggestion other than electrical circuit variation (and, if these are different circuits, it could be a "poor/bad neutral" connection--this can cause some lights to dim while other lights brighten--but this would be at the same time/in sync).

    Lastly, I have had old/bad electrical sockets/wire connections that can behave badly with low power lights. A high power light generates extra heat at the poor connections causing them to expand and get, temporarily, better connections.

    -Bill

    I have not measured the power at the socket wiring no.

    They display the same behavior in another house on the other side of town, so not my wiring. Also, show same behavior in different fixtures. Both bulbs do this and is worse when they are cold. Usually after warming up they eventually stay on as they should. Sometimes they don't flash, other times it takes awhile, before they come on steady, and yet other times they continue to flash for an extended period? The flashing between them is also not in sync, but they both flash in a similar pattern. But I have yet to see them flash on my inverter power. Very odd!
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Globe LED Bulb Flashing Issue
    Did you measure the power at the socket wiring when they where flickering?

    Ok, I just measured the power with a plug in meter, and they measure a little over 9 watts of draw when fully on, and only about half a watt when they dim down. So essentially, the bulb circuit is dimming the LED down, or the LED is not drawing what it should periodically?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,883 admin
    Re: Globe LED Bulb Flashing Issue

    Making light bulbs is a matter of fractions of a penny in profit margin when looking at high volume manufacturing... I would not put it past them that this is an internal circuit design issue.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Globe LED Bulb Flashing Issue
    BB. wrote: »
    Making light bulbs is a matter of fractions of a penny in profit margin when looking at high volume manufacturing... I would not put it past them that this is an internal circuit design issue.

    -Bill

    Yes, I was thinking the same, that it's likely a cct design issue. I increased the voltage of my inverter to 123, and it still will not flash. Wondering if it also has something to do with the pings they send down the line for the meter readings???
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,883 admin
    Re: Globe LED Bulb Flashing Issue

    Anything is possible--But my guess is not.

    If you have a portable transmitter (HAM, FRS, CB, etc.)--Try using that around the lamp.

    Another thing to look at, measure the neutral to local grounds (socket, bathroom sink, etc.)... If you have a lot of electrical noise on the neutrals--It could cause noise coupling issues.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Globe LED Bulb Flashing Issue
    BB. wrote: »
    Anything is possible--But my guess is not.

    If you have a portable transmitter (HAM, FRS, CB, etc.)--Try using that around the lamp.

    Another thing to look at, measure the neutral to local grounds (socket, bathroom sink, etc.)... If you have a lot of electrical noise on the neutrals--It could cause noise coupling issues.

    -Bill

    I don't have a portable transmitter. But I did check the neutral to ground bond and it is good. The ground wire is connected to a metal water pipe, where it comes out of the ground at the utility service entrance, and that's standard procedure here (well it used to be, not sure what is done now).

    But, I tried a little experiment by connecting my off grid ground together temporarily with my grid ground. My off grid ground makes earth ground contact at one 3 meter long grounding rod, there is another 3 meter rod bonded to it within 3 meters distance. After tying the grounds together, no change in result. I still get the led flashing from the utility power source, but not from my inverter source. In fact have not seen it even once from my inverter power. And even now with waste not engaging and causing a flicker on the output, the bulbs do not flash. Definitive proof that there is an issue between the grid power source here and the bulbs circuitry.
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