Hope This Tip Will Save You A $149 Electrician Visit—Still Can’t Believe It Worked!

Thanks so much for your helpful comments and suggestions yesterday. I am much, much better today and feeling right back to normal, thank goodness! No more wall paper stripping without a mask on!

So, I have to share this crazy “lighting” thing I just discovered in case you ever run into this issue. Hopefully, it will save you from having to call an electrician and pay a troubleshooting fee, as I just had to do a few days ago. A week or so ago, I noticed something—I discovered that whenever the chandelier in my bedroom is on…

New Drapes for the Bedroom, Dark Green Drapes, Worn Velvet

 

…and I flip the switch in the vanity area of the bathroom that’s nearby, the four recessed lights in the vanity area will not come on right away. If I do nothing and just wait, after a few seconds they will begin lighting up, one by one. Weird! If the chandelier in the bedroom is not on when I flip the switch to turn on the vanity lights, all four lights in the vanity area will come on immediately, as they should.

 

I could not figure out what was going on, but I remembered that a while back I had an outlet installed in the adjacent room where the toilet, tub, and linen closet are located. I wondered if that could have anything to do with this current issue, since that’s so close to the vanity area of the bathroom.

I called up the company that had installed the outlet and asked if they could take a look. It’s the same company that I used for all the new lighting I had done in my basement last year. They are also the company I used when I had all the upstairs hall lighting changed, too. They sent out an electrician to troubleshoot the issue. In the end, he could not find anything wrong with any of the outlets, the wiring or the switches in the bathroom or in my bedroom.

So you’ll never believe what he told me to do! Even though they were all still working just fine, he suggested I change out all four of the LED light bulbs in the recessed lights of the vanity area. He asked how old those bulbs were, and I told him they were probably around 3 years old. I don’t use the vanity area for anything other than brushing my teeth and putting on perfume, so the lights in that space are only on for a few short minutes each day.

 

The electrician said that LED bulbs can be very sensitive, and sometimes as they begin to age, they will start to react or have interference issues if there’s a dimmer switch nearby. The chandelier has a dimmer type switch for adjusting the light.

Classic Bedroom, 4-Poster Bed

 

This morning, I drove over to Home Depot and purchased the bulbs the electrician had suggested. He said the brand I already had in the recessed lighting was a good brand, but he preferred the EcoSmart brand that HD carries. When I got back home, I changed out all four bulbs, and truthfully, I did not think it would make a bit of difference. I was stunned when I turned on the chandelier in my bedroom and then flipped the switch for the recessed vanity lights, and they came on immediately! Everything now works just as it should. Who would have thought that just by changing out the older LED bulbs in my vanity area (that were still working just fine!) for new LED bulbs, it would completely fix the “interference” issue?!

 

So, if you ever run into a similar issue where you have LED lights (recessed or not) that are super slow to come one, or won’t come on at all, AND you have another light that’s on a dimmer switch nearby, try changing out the LED bulbs first before you call your electrician. Hopefully, it will save you a $149 “troubleshooting” trip charge.

Updating Bedroom with New Drapes, Tartan Bedding

 

Have you ever run into a weird electrical issue that was solved by just changing out the bulbs? Sometimes I wonder about LED bulbs, they never seem to last as long as they are supposed to last. These lights/bulbs were hardly ever on, but apparently they had started to deteriorate after just a few years. I’d rather they just go out completely the way bulbs used to do, rather than slowly start causing issues with the surrounding lighting. The new ones I purchased have a 5-year warranty, so we’ll see how they do.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Charlotte says

    Oh that is good to know! Who knew? Amazing what you can learn for $149!! Thanks for sharing…

  3. Hi Susan, What did those LED’s cost if you don’t mind me asking? I thought once a while back we were told that LED’s would last for many, many years and that is why they are so expensive. It seems that we can’t believe anything anymore and now we are forced to buy light bulbs that are not only ugly and often cause headaches and other issues but also don’t live up the the hype. I’m sure the ones that you only used very infrequently weren’t cheap either. Oh well, best of luck with the new ones.

    • They were $14.98 per box of three. Of course, I would have 4 lights, so had to buy 2 boxes.
      I know, every light I’ve ever purchased that claimed to last for many years, never does. They def don’t have all this light bulb technology figured out yet. Hopefully these will last longer than the last ones did.

      • Donna Nance says

        That multi year usage is based on 1-2 hours of usage a day. Our big can type LED lights located very high in my kitchen lasted 4 years…installer said 10-12 years…but they are in use more hours than listed….they got very noticeably dimmer in an area that needs lots of light…

  4. Virginia says

    I know a person who has a ‘home journal’ and a section of it is dedicated to lighting, bulbs, wiring, service calls, the date and what was done. When this person changes out anything, even like a light bulb, a notation is made on the room chart as to which lamp or recessed light had the bulb replaced, cost/name of product/where obtained, etc.
    Seems like a lot of ‘posting’ of information, but I suppose some folks take quite seriously the ‘history’ of what goes on in and around the home.

  5. SharonFromMichigan says

    Wow. That does sound strange, but I believe it. I’ve made mistakes with the chandelier bulbs I bought once – I didn’t buy the led dimmable, I bought led regular. Apparently there is a difference with those too. The “undimmable” were burning out faster & acting strange when I used them in the fixture I have a dimmer switch on. Even though I never used the dimmer feature. I’m glad they were able to figure it out for you & thank you so much for sharing the fix!

  6. So sorry to hear of you breathing in the wallpaper solution and glad you are feeling better. Thanks for the tip on the lights…glad you got it sorted and now you know. I have been itching to get our screen porch ready for summer…rain has hindered that and then I fell and broke my wrist in two places…surgery, plates,screws…ugh. Can’t do anything but look at our porch and wish…the today got notice our community will be power washing the porches next week. Yippee! Please be careful when doing your projects…a broken wrist is no fun!

  7. Kim Domingue says

    I wish incandescent bulbs were still sold. I dislike the led bulbs and the halogen bulbs as well. To aggravate me even more, I have yet to find a replacement for 75 watt bulbs. A 60 watt equivalent isn’t enough light and a 100 watt equivalent is too much light. In addition, none of the new led bulbs last for years as we’ve been told they would. And they’re not cheap either. I want my incandescent bulbs back! Grrrr.

  8. Thank you for enlightening us on a “who knew?” electrical problem. So good to know and I’ll hopefully remember this when it happens to us. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thanks for the tip. I write the date on a new bulb with a fine point marker.

  10. I stockpiled incandescent bulbs when I knew they would be switching to LED lights…..thankfully the light they put out now is better than in the beginning and I’m slowly adding some as I have to but I cringe at the cost of them! Good tip though Susan. Thanks.

  11. Thanks for the tip. So much to know about LED bulbs. I do know that if you leave lights on constantly, they last longer. I had an elderly friend who worked at Westinghouse decades ago, and it’s true. I did not like the curly bulbs. They smell and would smoke before burning out. Next on my whenever I get to it list is finding someone to rewire some lamps.

  12. Way before I heard about smart plugs, I purchased a plug and Christmas tree-shaped remote that you recommended for use with the Christmas tree. I now use it with a lamp in my sunroom. The lamp, which has a LED bulb, takes a second or two to come on after I press the button on the remote. I’m going to switch out the bulb to see if that’s the issue!

  13. Hmm, strange, but I have to ask you if it matters whether your chandelier is turned on to its full brightness or dimmed? Do the new bulbs work either way?
    Just curious because I thought LED bulbs are supposed to outlast us!

    • It doesn’t seem to matter. Now I can have the chandelier on and in any brightness setting and the lights in the vanity area come on immediately when I flip the switch with no delay. I know, they totally have lied us about these “new” bulbs. They don’t last like they should. I’ve also noticed that LEDS are not as bright after a while as they are when you first buy them. I have an LED light in my office lamp and a while back I noticed it was looking like a 40 watt bulb was in there instead of say a 75 watt…speaking in the old terms. I changed it out to a new LED bulb in the same wattage as the previous one and it was bright again. So they def don’t last like they should.

  14. Thank you, Susan, for giving us a quick trouble shooting tip to try before calling the electrician. I’ll file it in my brain next to where I stashed “remember to seek out dimmable LED lights. Remember when things were simple? Me neither!

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