LED Troubleshooting

Posted by Birddog Lighting on Nov 12th 2016

Wiring mistakes and polarity issues are some of the most common of all LED lighting issues. Typically if your LED lights simply “don’t work” it is not because the products are defective but due to a basic wiring mistake or an error in aligning the polarity. If you are having issues getting anything to work in your LED installation or your lighting is inconsistent go over this troubleshooting guide for some pointers on resolving your issue.

When troubleshooting the wiring and polarity of your LED installation it is important to double and even triple check every connection, even the most skilled electricians can and do make simple mistakes. Be certain that your power connectors are making contact and are aligned with the correct wires or ports on your LED Lighting products.

A very common wiring mistake that is easily overlooked is the possibility of loose or obstructed connections in your LED installation. Typically if your lights simply don’t work, flicker on and off, or you are missing a color on a RGB installation, this is the case. If your wires are not stripped back far enough or a connector is pushed too far into the LED product it will give the illusion of a secure connection when in reality there is no connection at all. This is why it is important to double and even triple check your wiring installations because even if a wire looks like it is connected it may not be.

Also check that you have your polarity correct when wiring. Polarity issues can be very frustrating as  LED lighting, power supplies, and other accessories can have different wiring causing the polarity to switch alignment. LEDs are polarity sensitive, which means that they need a positive voltage at the anode and negative or ground at the cathode for them to operate. If you are not certain the polarity of your wires use a multimeter to test. Turn the multimeter to the diode setting (usually indicated by a diode symbol), and touch each probe to one of the LED terminals or wires. If the LED lights up, the positive probe is touching the anode, and the negative probe is touching the cathode. If it doesn’t light up, try swapping the probes around.