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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been having issues with some houses where their lights (led) will flicker or moreso flutter for a little bit then stop and continue.
We’ve measured voltage, it’s been consistent. We’ve changed breakers, panel guts, checked for over tightness and loose wires, changed led fixtures and bulbs. There are no dimmers.

The power company has been out snd say their side is fine (of course).

any other things we can try or check to further narrow it down to outside being good or tricks to get it to stop?
 

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Don’t load up the parts cannon and blast away. First thing is look for a pattern. Well pump cycling, huge refrigerator, garage door opener, air conditioner, on and on. Look at loads that come and go. If nothing there, look who shares the xformer with the house, neighbors running a wood planer, or welder or an air compressor can do it also. LED lights are really sensitive to power fluctuations unlike the old incandescent bulbs with the “thermal inertia” factor.
Try to source an analog multimeter (Simpson 260) and you have a much better chance of reading a voltage drop than using a digital multimeter (Fluke).
 

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I would have started out with non-desructive PQ meter measurements. Run it over a few days to get the day/night patterns down and ensure that I have enough captures under different scope formats. Later, I would switch between L1 and L2 120's, 240 and ensure that I differentiated between the N and G probes over a few days. A scope meter or a simple scope might reveal some higher frequency noise on the line. It's possible for that to disrupt LEDs.

Voltage can't really be "consistent" as in steady, if the lights are dimming...not across the circuit.

If you're seeing that at multiple residences, where you say "houses"...are they on the same distro?
 

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Power distribution and controls
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In my experience to trouble shoot flicker I always start with grounding. You have already replaced a bunch of materials so that rules out bad materials. You state SOME HOUSES???? What does that mean? What is different about the homes that are not effected.

Check the ground/test the ground. Hopefully you know you need a special meter for that.
Then check mechanically and electrically all of the bonding in the service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would have started out with non-desructive PQ meter measurements. Run it over a few days to get the day/night patterns down and ensure that I have enough captures under different scope formats. Later, I would switch between L1 and L2 120's, 240 and ensure that I differentiated between the N and G probes over a few days. A scope meter or a simple scope might reveal some higher frequency noise on the line. It's possible for that to disrupt LEDs.

Voltage can't really be "consistent" as in steady, if the lights are dimming...not across the circuit.

If you're seeing that at multiple residences, where you say "houses"...are they on the same distro?
I have never experienced this issue in 15 years, so the need to purchase a meter like you are talking about hasn’t been needed (I’m just a small mainly residential contractor in Oklahoma) so I’ve been working with what I know. Most of the bigger towns where we normally work I’ve had zero issues, it’s just the specific more rural newer area that it’s popped up.
I’ll look into a scope meter and monitor it onsite, thanks for the suggestion.
 

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I’ve been having issues with some houses where their lights (led) will flicker or more so flutter for a little bit then stop and continue.
You say some houses, is this a development?
Have you tried a different brand fixture?
Have you seen it or just been told?
Can you make it do it, by plugging in some heavy loads like two hair dryers?

Cowboy
 

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I’ll look into a scope meter and monitor it onsite, thanks for the suggestion.
Try again with the power company ask them if they can hook up a recorder. Most times the line people just check connections. You can rent analyzers but some skill is needed to read the results.

Cowboy
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In my experience to trouble shoot flicker I always start with grounding. You have already replaced a bunch of materials so that rules out bad materials. You state SOME HOUSES???? What does that mean? What is different about the homes that are not effected.

Check the ground/test the ground. Hopefully you know you need a special meter for that.
Then check mechanically and electrically all of the bonding in the service.
Grounding has been tested as well as the service.
You say some houses, is this a development?
Have you tried a different brand fixture?
Have you seen it or just been told?
Can you make it do it, by plugging in some heavy loads like two hair dryers?

Cowboy
Yes, sorry it’s in a newer development.
we have tried different brands of fixtures that we use all the time in other places.
I have seen it first hand
There’s been no need to do anything more than flip a light switch on a wait a couple minutes to see it happen. I can’t speak for what’s going on in other houses that are fed from the same distro.
I have a feeling it’s the PoCo since it’s happening across multiple circuits and multiple single family dwellings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Try again with the power company ask them if they can hook up a recorder. Most times the line people just check connections. You can rent analyzers but some skill is needed to read the results.

Cowboy
I’ve requested them to hook up a recorder.... no luck.
 

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Grounding has been tested as well as the service.
we have tried different brands of fixtures that we use all the time in other places.

I have a feeling it’s the PoCo since it’s happening across multiple circuits and multiple single family dwellings.
Just these two tell me you are correct.
Have you tried adding a regular 100 watt bulb in the the string for testing, sometimes that load stops this. This constant load stop some of the spikes.
 

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We had a similar situation a while ago. Fortunately we own a recorder so we were able to prove to the PoCo that it was their problem. Recorders are available for rent.
 

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I’ve been having issues with some houses where their lights (led) will flicker or moreso flutter for a little bit then stop and continue.
We’ve measured voltage, it’s been consistent. We’ve changed breakers, panel guts, checked for over tightness and loose wires, changed led fixtures and bulbs. There are no dimmers.

The power company has been out snd say their side is fine (of course).

any other things we can try or check to further narrow it down to outside being good or tricks to get it to stop?
You need to upgrade the lamps, the control, or sneak in an incandescent lamp with them.
The first gen stuff just wasn’t as good as what you get from a well vetted professional supply house.
If you are. Using junk from alibaba, you are paying the price now.
 

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I had this problem several months back and it turned out it was interference caused by the washing machine. Every time it was turned on, it would cause a dip in the lights every few seconds. It was not caused by the motor or the water solenoids. It was the washer in general. All this new digital, electronic equipment ??? Nobody gets together to follow the establish standards with equipment.
Also check if they recently had the new " Smart " electric meter installed. I have heard that they can cause problems with the LED lamps.
 

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This reminds me of a house I worked on about ten years ago: Intermittent mystery flicker affecting the whole house.

Many things were checked and the POCO visited. It ended up being loose/charred prongs on the back of the meter that weren't easily evident.
 

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Okay and Hello. I have seen this many times before. I have a check list that I use to fix these problems. First the type of light fixture, how many are affected. Does it effect any other lights in the home.
I have always found that the problem can be RFI on leds and if it is flickering all lights it come down to a bad neutral connection on the power tranformer mounted on the power pole. I have had show up one time do to loose rivets on the main breaker are resetting them the problem never came back. Tale note go drink a coffee kick it around then you will find the problem. retired EEE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just these two tell me you are correct.
Have you tried adding a regular 100 watt bulb in the the string for testing, sometimes that load stops this. This constant load stop some of the spikes.
I was wondering about that, i have read that doing that can help. Since this is across multiple circuits would 1 incandescent lamp work on any circuit or would i need to add 1 per circuit.

This particular house is small enough we only have 3 "living circuits" which consist of a mixture of lights and receptacles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You need to upgrade the lamps, the control, or sneak in an incandescent lamp with them.
The first gen stuff just wasn’t as good as what you get from a well vetted professional supply house.
If you are. Using junk from alibaba, you are paying the price now.
all the materials used were new and the same stuff i have used multiple places without issues.

Sadly i cant seem to get a rep back with me on alibaba or id have 3 pallets of 12/2 romex in my shop for the work we have. $122 for 250' is not my idea of a good time.

Ill try the incandescent lamp thing and get an oscilloscope meter or find out where i can rent a recorder.
 
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