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ACDC LED Lights > Blog > Uncategorized > Brown Outs and Blackouts and the Effects on LED Lighting

Brown Outs and Blackouts and the Effects on LED Lighting


A brownout is a temporary interruption of the power service where the power to your residence is reduced, rather than being cut as is the case with a blackout. One could consider a brownout the opposite of a power surge, an electrical event in which a sudden burst of power enters the system.

LED Lights may flicker and dim during a brownout, like any other light.  Both brownouts and blackouts can also cause LED Lights to blow as the circuit board and chip set inside them are fried. This is especially true for those 240v LED light bulbs that are designed to be swapped out with a conventional 240v socket.

There are a wide range of causes for brownouts. Just like blackouts, overloads on the electrical system can trigger a brownout, as the generating facility is unable to provide enough power. It can also occur when events such as storms disrupt the distribution grid, or when there are other problems in the system. Brownouts can last for a few seconds or a few hours, depending on the type of brownout and how quickly a power utility can get full power running again.

In some cases, a brownout is actually deliberate, in which case it is known as a voltage reduction. Voltage reductions are undertaken when utilities sense that a disruption in the grid may lead to serious problem. Rather than instituting rolling blackouts, the utility may temporarily cut voltage to some customers in an attempt to stabilize the grid and to allow reserves of power to accumulate again.

During a brownout, you should turn off any LED Lights you have on along with any other appliances like, LED TVs, home theater systems, computers, microwave ovens, etc as the irregular power supply can damage them.

In order to protect your LED Lights and other electrical appliances, you should install a surge arrester right into your household’s main electrical panel. This device will replace one of the existing double-pole circuit breakers in the electrical panel and is relatively easy to install. Although the surge arrester will be technically wired to one circuit, it will protect all of the circuits in the panel; thus protecting all the LED lights and other equipment in your home from the damages that can be caused by brownouts and blackouts.

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