How To Fix Flickering LED Headlights
Automotive

How To Fix Flickering LED Headlights

LED headlight manufacturers have come a long way in solving the formerly common problem of flickering headlights. However, there are still occasions where users notice that their headlights are flickering.

Why do LED headlights sometimes flicker and how do you solve this problem?

Why Are My LED Headlights Flickering?

A common reason for flickering LED headlights is a failed communication between the computer system of your car and the electrical system of the LED headlights. Another common cause of flickering LED lights is an unsteady AC power supply.

The bad news is, there are many other possible reasons why LED headlights are flickering. Pinpointing what the exact problem is can be time-consuming and you might have to consult a mechanic to be absolutely sure of the cause and how to fix it.

The good news is that the flickering can be resolved in most cases. Often times you only need to add an extra piece to the circuit to keep the LED corresponding properly to the cars electrical system.

If it’s failed communication, it simply has to do with the fact that most cars on the road today are still built with xenon lights or halogen lights. Replacing these headlights for the brighter LED alternatives also means changing how the headlights respond to the car’s computer.

Fixing Flickering LED Headlight Problems
Check your fittings to make sure nothing is loose!

Flickering caused by an inconsistent electricity supply is a common issue with LED lights, not only headlights. The LEDs are not actually flickering but turning on and off at a very rapid rate which to your eyes appears as flickering.

In contrast to other forms of lighting like incandescent lights, LED lights shut off when the voltage falters. Since there is practically no delay in LED lights, LED lights are able to shut off and on at a speed that looks like flickering.

How To Stop LED Headlights from Flickering

Flickering LED headlights used to be quite a common fault when the first models came out on the market. However, manufacturers have focused on resolving this issue since then and have come up with a few solutions.

To prevent problems caused by an unsteady electricity supply to super bright LED headlightsmost are fitted with a driver that maintains a steady voltage. The driver compensates for the wiring of the car that cannot deliver a constant current.

Why are My LED Headlights Flickering

If you have installed the driver correctly but the headlights are still flickering then you need to check the connection to the other systems in the car. Check the wiring, relays, and switches for any damage or general wear and tear.

When the cause of the flickering is a failed communication between the headlights and the car computer system then you can purchase warning cancellers or capacitors and anti-flicker adaptors. These are simple pieces of car equipment that basically translates the miscommunication between the car computer system and headlights; the car computer system will no longer read the LED headlights as a fault in the system.

Also, don’t forget to check the bulbs themselves. Sometimes the problem can be so minute as bulbs that are not fitted tightly enough or are at the end of their lifespan.

One example of car equipment that gets rid of flickering in LED headlights is the Rigid Industries PWM anti-flicker adaptor. This small but effective wiring addition is specifically designed for Jeeps that have a PWM system that does not respond well to replacement LED headlights.

Rigid Industries PWM Anti Flicker Adaptor

This anti-flicker adaptor is simple to install. The only thing that needs to be done is connecting the LED headlight on one end of the adaptor and the stock harness on the other end.

It doesn’t get any easier than this to solve an annoying issue like flickering headlights. Just make sure that you are purchasing the correct adaptor for your headlight model by confirming that the model number matches.

Summary

Flickering LED headlights can be caused by a number of things but can also easily be solved. Look online for equipment that will solve the failed communication between the headlights and the computer system to solve the problem once and for all.

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5 comments

Avatar
Bryan Greene March 15, 2019 at 6:16 pm

Both of my low beam headlights are out (not even flickering). I have attached a photo of one of the light that
isn’t working (it’s the outer bulb in the photo).

Before I check every fuse, I’m hoping someone can tell which if specific fuse(s) I should be
looking at. If you don’t think it’s a fuse, could you make some suggestions of what you
think might be the cause (besides the obvious: both headlight bulbs being burned out).

Thanks in advance!

Reply
David Willis
David Willis March 16, 2019 at 9:38 am

Hi Bryan,

Unfortunately, your image hasn’t come through, but I think you’d be best off speaking to a mechanic for this as every car is different.

David

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Avatar
Ed June 16, 2019 at 1:03 am

I have had LED lights on my truck now almost 2 years and both have started flickering one person told me that they only last 1-2 years and the flickering is saying they are slowly going out is this true?

Reply
Avatar
Bryce July 13, 2019 at 4:10 pm

I own a 2015 Ford Flex. Purchased some leds a few weeks back and the right headlight turns on and off intermittently. The company sent me a pair of gold resistors and they didn’t work. They then sent me some pwm modulators that didn’t work either. Any ideas?

Reply
David Willis
David Willis July 18, 2019 at 1:48 pm

Hi Bryce, impossible to know just with that limited info, unfortunately. I recommend taking it into a tuning shop as they’ll have more experience with LED headlights that your typical mechanic.

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