Explained: Why Do My LED Lights Keep Burning Out?

LED lights have been around for some time and largely replaced incandescent lights in our homes for the right reasons. While LED lights are an energy-efficient, cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly illumination source, you may feel concerned if your lights are burning out often. 

Imagine heading to your garage late at night to pick up the groceries from the car. When you turn on the light, you realize that the LED light you replaced a week ago has burnt out again. This was my ordeal last night when I realized that my garage LED light had been burning out quite often. This led me to research the same and fix the issue. Even in my recent article ‘how long do LED lights stay on,’ a reader posted about a similar concern, asking, ‘can LED lights die.’ Hence, I decided to put my research into use and write the article.

If your LED light is burning out often, the reasons for this can vary considerably from the power supply to the bulb itself. Often LED lights burn out because of a high voltage power supply, improper connections, incompatible dimmer switch, etc. Though LED lights do not produce a lot of heat, they will likely burn out if your LED light is overheating.

Whatever the tell-tale signs of your LED light burning out, there is a solution to most of these issues. If you are wondering why do light bulbs burn out, this article will take you through some of the reasons why your LED light may be burning out and some reliable solutions to fix the issue.

How Do LED Lights Work?

How Do LED Lights Work?

A lot has changed since Thomas Elva Edison invented the light bulb. The incandescent bulbs invented back then, illuminated our homes for a long time until LED lights replaced them. The incandescent bulbs produce light by heating a wire filament. Once the filament reaches a certain temperature, it results in the generation of light. However, an LED or Light Emitting Diode produces light by passing the current through a semiconductor diode which emits light. 

Due to different functioning principles, LED lights are much more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. Since they do not produce much heat, LED lights do not burn out frequently, making them a cost-efficient investment. 

Do LED Lights Burn Out?

Coming to the point, can LED lights die? Despite all the good things, LED lights do burn out at times. However, the cases where an LED light often burns out are rare. The reason your LED has burnt out may vary from faulty power supply to faulty light. Once you know that it is normal for LED lights to die, it is important to investigate why do light bulbs burn out.

I am listing some reasons why your LED light may have burnt out.

Reasons for LED lights burning out

LED Light Burning Out: Possible Causes And Solutions

When everyone cannot stop praising LED lights, having to replace lamps at your home because they died may be disheartening. When I had to replace my garage light frequently, I was definitely frustrated until I found out the cause. As I said, a typical LED light bulb lasts more than 35000 hours. If your LED lights keep burning out much before they should, it’s time to investigate. This section of the article will discuss why your LED light may be burning out and how you can fix these issues. 

Improperly Connected Bulbs

Improperly Connected Bulbs

An improper connection is one of the most common reasons why LED lights die. Also, since LED lights go a long way, we are out of the habit of changing bulbs often. If your LED light usually burns out, I recommend checking whether the connection between the electricity socket and the light is proper.

Check The Socket Tab– The electric current is delivered to the light bulb through a tiny metal tab at the bottom of the socket. If the socket tab gets pushed down too far, the bulb will either have a fluctuating or no connection with the electricity. In this case, your LED light may not be burned out but simply not receive the electric current. 

To fix this issue, try twisting the bulb within the socket to see if it turns on. Else, use a popsicle stick to bring the socket tab to its original position and see if the LED light works.

Check For Any Loose Connection– Loose connections often make an LED light die as they cause them to flicker a lot. If your LED lights flicker when burning out, there are chances that the connection between the socket and the bulb is loose. In this case, ensure that the bulb is tight enough in the socket. 

Check for the wire connection: A loose wire connection may be another reason your LED lights keep burning. If the wire connecting the socket is not connected correctly, the current supply will not be continuous, which may result in the lights dying. Turn off the power and check whether the wire is connected correctly to the socket.

Power Supply Voltage Too High

Power Supply Voltage Too High

Do LED lights burn out due to high voltage? Well, yes! If you notice your lights burning brighter than they should and one or more of your LED lights have burnt out in a span of a few days, there are chances that the voltage at your home is too high. There are often spikes in voltage due to lightning or the use of generators. These surges are deadly for our LED lights in the same way they were for our computers in the 80s. High voltage often makes any kind of appliance burn faster.

In the US, the standard voltage is 120 V. If you suspect this issue, use a multimeter to carefully test the voltage at your home. If you observe a rise in the voltage than the standard value, have an electrician look at the problem. You may also contact your electricity utility provider for recommendations.

Water Ingress

Water Ingress

Water ingress describes water leaking into the light. The cause may be water seepage in your ceiling or rain. Since water is a good conductor of electricity, it becomes hazardous as it passes through the LED light fixture. Touching a wet component can cause electrical shock and result in your light dying out completely. You must take care of the issue if you see tiny water droplets inside your LED light.

In this case, do not turn on your LED light until the water droplets disappear. Use a cotton cloth to dry out the water from the surface of the light. Allow the LED light to stay and let the water evaporate. You may use a blow dryer to help evaporation.

Please Note: I wouldn’t recommend doing anything that is unsafe therefore please don’t do anything if you are not confident.

Excessive Vibration

Excessive Vibration

The lights fixed on areas where there is a continuous movement like those installed on our ceiling fans or in our garages are exposed to constant vibration. As a result, these lights are subjected to frequent bad connections. It is common for the connections of the lights to go poor or the wire connecting the light fixture to get loose. In either of the cases, there are chances that your LED light will either stop working because of not receiving the current or burn out.

To avoid this issue, you may use rough-service lights, which are designed to withstand vibrations and do not die out that easily.



I know I have mentioned a couple of times in my article that LED lights do not produce much heat. But what is also true is that LED bulbs generate heat, as does anything that consumes electric energy. However, the important thing to remember is that LED lights consume considerably less energy than incandescent or halogen bulbs and convert most of the energy as light rather than wasting it as heat. Hence, while LED lights generate heat, they will be much less than that compared to a conventional bulb. 

But what is also true is that LED lights are much less sensitive to heat than incandescent or halogen lights. Also, the external environment of the LED light predominantly affects the temperature of the LED light. So, if your LED lights are overheating for any reason, there are high chances that your light will die out as LED light components cannot withstand a lot of heat. 

To avoid this, you must ensure that your LED lights are not overheated. If you have fixtures around your recessed lights, ensure they do not lead to the LED light’s raised temperature.


Incompatible Dimmer Switch

Incompatible Dimmer Switch

Having the control to dim your lights as per your need can help you adjust the light according to your mood. But it is crucial to know whether your LED lights are dimmable or not. Standard LED light components are not designed for dimming. 

If you ask me, ‘do LED lights burn out’ because of an incompatible dimmer switch, unfortunately, my answer is a yes. Your existing dimmer switch may help you regulate the brightness of your LED light technically, but in the long run, an incompatible dimmer switch is very likely to burn out your light. 

Flickering or light, buzzing sound in your, etc., are a few preliminary issues people face when using an incompatible dimmer switch. In many of these cases, users have reported that the LED light eventually died. In-fact , I did an extensive article on whether you can put a dimmer switch on any light.

First, your LED lights are dimmable only if the package says they are dimmable. Secondly, you can only dim your LED lights using an LED-compatible dimmer switch. Fortunately, affordable and durable dimmer switches for LED lights are available on the market. I have listed my best pick for dimmer switches in one of my articles in the past.

Short Circuit

Short Circuit

If your LED light suddenly goes dark, there is a possibility that your light is not burned out, but there is a short circuit. A short circuit is a condition when the electric current flows outside the wiring pathway. This causes the resistance to reduce and increases the flow of current through the circuit. As a security measure, this results in the fuse to blow to stop the current flow, and eventually, the LED light and other appliances will go dark. In most cases of short circuits, You won’t damage your devices, but a few unfortunate circumstances lead to faulty appliances, including the LED light due to overheating or even fire.

If you have encountered a short circuit, ensure that your wires or fixtures are not burnt out due to overheating and replace the fuse to avoid further accidents.

Low Quality LED Lights

Low Quality LED Lights

One of the most common and significant reasons why your LED light may be burning out frequently is the use of low-quality LED lights. As a smart lighting expert, I strongly advise against unreliable brands installing cheap LED lights. Consistent color and an excellent thermal management system can identify a good quality LED light.  

Unrequited and unregulated LED light manufacturers do not adhere to industry standards; hence, the lights are more susceptible to short circuits and burnouts.  As long as you’re purchasing your LED lights from a reputed manufacturer like Phillips Hue or Hubbell Lighting, who adhere to product criteria associated with the industry, the overheating and burning out of these lights is not a concern.

Do LED Lights Flicker When Burning Out?

Usually, LED lights get dim when they are burning out. So if you ask me do LED lights flicker when burning out, I will say ‘not in most cases’. When an LED light is flickering, the underlying issue in most cases is with the power supply. An interruptive power supply, fluctuating voltage, loose connection with the LED light fixture, etc., are a few reasons your LED light may be flickering. However, if your LED light is flickering after getting dim, there are chances that it might die. 

While most LED lights do not flicker while dying but rather just dim down, investigating why your LED light is flickering will help you fix the issue. 

Here’s how

  • Ensure that the power supply at home is continuous.
  • Check the voltage of your home using a multimeter to see if it is fluctuating or low.
  • Ensure that the LED light is fixed correctly in the fixture. 
  • Ensure that there is no water ingress in your LED light.
  • Check that the socket tab is not depressed. 
  • Ensure that there is no loose wire connection.

How Long Do LED Strip Lights Last?

How Long Do LED Strip Lights Last?

If you are wondering how long do LED strip lights last, you may be surprised to know that an LED light can last for up to 25 years. The average lifespan of an LED light is around 35,000-50,000 hours compared to that of incandescent light, which is about 750-2000 hours. 

Since LED strip lights produce much less heat than other kinds of lights and have a different working principle, these lights do not burn out that easily. So, if you are somebody who recently googled ‘do LED light strips burn out?’, I can assure you that as long as you are not using cheaply manufactured LED strip lights, they won’t burn out on extended use. 

However, turning off your lights, when not required, increases the longevity of your LED lights and is an informed choice to make environmentally.


Q1. How to find the burnt bulb in Christmas lights? If I have one bad bulb in my Christmas light, will the rest of the lights work properly?

Answer – Bring the light tester device close to each bulb to find the burnt bulb in your Christmas lights. The tester indicator light turns on close to a functioning bulb. If the light does not turn on close to a bulb, that bulb may be the burnt one. As long as the wiring harness of the Christmas light is undamaged, the rest of the lights should work correctly.

Q2. Can short circuits cause the lights to burn out?

Answer – A short circuit usually does not cause light bulbs to burn out as circuit breakers protect your devices and home against short circuits. However, in a few cases, lights burn out because of short circuits.

Q3. I bought some inexpensive LED lights from the Target store. Why do my light bulbs keep burning out?

Answer – Read the fixes given in the article to investigate the reason why your LED lights keep burning out. In some cases, if the LED light is poorly manufactured, it cannot withstand the little heat it produces and ends up burning out. That is why I recommend that my readers use LED lights by reputable and reliable brands.

Q4. Can LED lights burn out if exposed to the rain?

Answer – Unless your LED light is specially designed for outdoor use, rain can definitely cause the lamp to burn out. The water that enters the LED light acts as a good conductor of electricity and interferes with the circuit.


Long ago, many of us bid farewell to the conventional filament bulbs and found new friends with LED lights. From our garage lights to our kitchen cabinets, from pink grow lights to LED strip lights, LED lights have taken up a little space in almost everyone’s life. We welcomed LED lights in our areas with a promise that they are long-lasting, so if your LED light burns out frequently, it is definitely a matter of concern.

If you are somebody who is looking for why do LED lights burn out, this article must have helped you in figuring out and fixing the issue. In case you have anything more to ask about LED lights, write to me in the comment.

Leave a Comment