Flicker in LEDs

Many homeowners have concerns about using automated dimmers and LED lighting loads because of flickering issues. Needless to say, flicker in LED lighting is the main issue which several homeowners face. However, new-age LEDs have changed it all for good, as they are hardly subject to flicker. Many companies provide power-efficient LED lighting solutions that enlighten your premises like never before.

Flicker is basically a constant fluctuation of the light output between its transitions from on to off. In other words, it is a quick and repeated change in light intensity and it appears as a light that flutters and appears unsteady. Flicker is caused when the voltage supplied to the source of light changes or the power line itself fluctuates.
Flicker in LEDs can make people uncomfortable and might cause headaches and harm to the human eye. Flicker can also lead to malaise and visual impairment. The retina can sense flicker up to 200 Hz, but numerous tests have shown that flicker above 160 Hz can be harmful to our health.

LED requires little power as compared to traditional lighting. Keeping up with the trend of replacing incandescent and fluorescent lights with improved solutions, LEDs strive to provide more efficient and longer-lasting solid-state lighting (SSL). LEDs are more resistant to flicker ensuring your health and the safety of your home.
LEDs use solid-state lighting (SSL) which is a direct-current output module. This means that as long as consistent current is supplied, the LED will stay illuminated without any chances of flicker. However, in rare cases, LEDs may also oscillate in light output causing it to flicker.

A lot of homeowners ask themselves how they can avoid flicker in LED lights. A well-designed driver can reduce the flicker coming from an SSL LED luminaire. Drivers are equipped with a capacitance that filters out the AC ripple component. The current is then filtered providing anti-flicker light output.
Choosing an LED without flicker comes with a trade-off of reliability in many cases. This is because certain companies use low-quality capacitors in LEDs. However, there are still companies that stick to quality perfection and offer impeccable LED lighting solutions.

Sunlight improved – the best lighting in the world

During a recent recent to Barcelona I visited the Sangrada Familia, the unique cathedral designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/

The size of the building both now and in the future (as its not yet finished) is impressive at 172.5 metres tall, the Sagrada Familia is one of the tallest religious buildings in the world.

Whilst the outside is pretty amazing, the inside inside is truly stunning. Whilst we can do some amazing things with today’s lighting, nothing can compare with the sunlight through the Venetian stained glass.

Click to enlarge

Sangrada Familia Light
Sunlight through stained glass
Stained glass in Sangrada Familia
Light in Sangrada Familia
Window in Sangrada Familia

NS11 Vandal and Shock Resistant Waterproof Recessed Downlights

A robust, contemporary LED downlight that is ideal for a variety of purposes, such as lighting schools, prisons, sports facilities, and other environments where a sturdy fixture is necessary.

The recessed LED downlight is both water resistant and vandal resistant, making it suitable for all manner of buildings where a strong frontal is vital.

The elegant NS11 is available in 5 different sizes, each offering 6 lumen output choices. This makes the product adaptable enough to meet requirements for varying room sizes and also suitable for any given size of recess.

As a highly energy-efficient light, the NS11 uses up to 60% less energy than a fluorescent tube. In addition, it has a standard Colour Rendering Index of CRI80+, although a CRI90+ option is also available, allowing natural lighting to occur on nearby objects.

The NS11 LED downlight is designed to meet existing and future building regulations, thanks to the energy-efficient Samsung LED module.

Installation of the product is a straightforward process with a simple but highly effective click-system. Additionally, the NS11 features thermal efficient cooling for a long lifetime, plus can be effectively

dimmed, either with PUSH, DALI or 1-10V.

The highly durable NS11 downlight comes with a five-year guarantee!!

LED Strip – Up/Down Wall and Ceiling Lighting

 In this example we are using Up/Down aluminium profile to light up the low wall and sloping skeiling (yes skeiling not ceiling!) of a large bedroom in a country cottage.









The LED Drivers necessary are concealed in the roof space above and 12 volt cables run down to the corner where needed.

Here’s an image showing the connection between the 12 v cables and the LED Feed-In. It can all be neatly concealed for a clean finish.

Here’s an image showing both the upper and lower LED tapes connecting to the same driver.



Control for dimming is via Wall Mounted rotary wheel and wireless remote

All this is available from Toplightco!

Why use an independent lighting supplier?

Why use an independent lighting supplier instead of just Googling “cheap led lighting”? (it returns 23,300,000 results by the way!).

Well of course you can do that, but the £1.99 LED Light that lasts 15 years just might be around little longer than the companies that sell them. And when those same lights in your home, shop, store or commercial premises fail you will not only have the hassle, and double installation costs but the original price will suddenly seem much too cheap.

Maybe you’re feeling lucky and you still want to buy cheap, but can you wade through questions like Degrees Kelvin, CRI, Angle of Beam, Lumen output and Lux values?

We deal in those values every day so are well placed to advise you for free, give you support and, should the worst happen, still be here to give backup when you need it years down the line, just like we’ve been doing for more than 11 years now.

Contact us now for good, friendly advice and/or site visit to your project.

Spotlight on Toplightco suppliers: SLV

SLV via Intalite their UK Distributors was where it all started for us 11 years ago when we were looking to move on from just selling light bulbs to lighting.

One day the Big White Catalogue dropped through the letterbox and it was clear that this was the way to go.

We could offer a wide range of all different kinds of lighting to customers up and down the UK in 3-4 working days wherever they were.

We soon found that the quality of the lighting was quite superb, and just as importantly so was the back-up.

Today we are in a different world where non specialist all and sundry websites  like Amazon, Ebay and Wayfair sell everything from Air conditioning to Zip Ties via Lighting!

We are still selling SLV products although we’ve been joined by many others who have depressed prices (good for customers) but who have no real knowledge of the products themselves (bad for customers) leading to unnecessary cost and stress.

Today the range is wider than ever with LED being the lighting technology used in practically all their lights and technology that we used to sell so much of (like metal halide and halogen) being gradually phased out.

SLV themselves have been bought and sold a number of times by institutional investors which makes their future direction a little unclear, but one thing is still the same as always – quality at a fair price.


How far will we go for our customers?

When the shop fitters from a job they were doing using lighting track supplied by Toplightco found that they didn’t have enough track adapters on this Easter holiday weekend, our managing director personally drove the 70 miles from his home to get them out of a fix and make sure the project was delivered on time.

We will literally go the extra mile or miles for our valued customers!

Order EARLY – Yes really early!

I ordered some LED Tape for my own home the other day together with some Aluminium profile for it to go inside. The delivery duly arrived, BUT with 3 Cool White rolls of LED tape instead of what I ordered which was 3 x Warm White 5m rolls!

So I notified the suppliers and they said, no problem, we will send you out a replacement. So a couple of days go by and I get another package, YES with the Warm White LED Tape but only one roll of it!

So I go back to the supplier and ask for 2 more, and wait another couple of days..and so it goes on…

So the moral of the story is, Order early to prevent disappointment!!

What does IC Rated Mean?

When buying recessed downlights for installation in your ceiling, you may have been puzzled about the use of the term “IC Rated”. Put simply this means Insulation Contact and refers to the fact that even LED Downlights can become hot on the outside and if there is packed insulation material around it, there can be a risk of fire.

If your downlight is already IC Rated then no problem, but if not you can add a cage around it to bring it up to the IC Rating. That’s it!

Why Convert to LED Lighting?

Over the last few years, the costs of LED lighting has tumbled significantly meaning more households are considering the switch to the eco-friendly lighting option. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of LED, and are they a good choice for your house?


Energy efficient – LEDs are up to 90% more energy efficient than filament or halogen bulbs.

Long Life – a correctly fitted LED light should last over 50,000 hours, compared to the 5,000 of traditional bulbs.

Durability – LED’s are also somewhat more rugged than traditional lights as they are made of solid material with no filament or tube to break.

Instant turn on– Unlike eco-lights which have a warming up period, LED lights turn on instantly

Controllable – LED’s can be controlled for brightness and colour as well as directionality. This means there’s no light wasted.

Environmentally friendly – As well as great efficiency LEDs contain no mercury or other hazardous substances.


Cost– Although the price of LED bulbs has fallen significantly there is still a higher outright cost price. This will eventually be offset by savings

Over Heating–  Poor quality, or badly fitted LED bulbs are prone to overheating causing the LED to burn out

Directional light– Older LEDs used to emit light like a torch, in straight lines. Although new bulbs have improved the light spread is not quite the same as a standard bulb.

Dimmable compatibility– LED lights are not always compatible with older dimmer units, so a new switch may be needed