Do LEDs produce vibration when used with AC?

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Do LEDs produce vibration when used with AC?

Postby Beegle » 2015-12-07 @ 01:16

Yesterday I went to a friend's house, and he had set up his christmas tree, complete with electric LED lights.

The lights were LEDs, connected to the AC 110v system.
When I touched one of the bulbs, I noticed a subtle humming/vibration with my fingertips. When he turned off the lights, the vibration stopped.
Other people touched the LED bulbs and didn't notice anything, they thought I was going crazy.


Question is : could the on-off-on cycle of AC current cause this vibration?
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Re: Do LEDs produce vibration when used with AC?

Postby Matth79 » 2015-12-08 @ 01:30

I'd be worried - can't see how a solid state LED would produce vibration, but electrical leakage can feel like vibration.
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Re: Do LEDs produce vibration when used with AC?

Postby gdjacobs » 2015-12-08 @ 03:05

Vibrations are usually caused by magnetics: chokes (inductors) and transformers. Hopefully it isn't an insulation problem as suggested by Matth.
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Re: Do LEDs produce vibration when used with AC?

Postby Beegle » 2015-12-16 @ 07:42

Thanks for taking the time to answer, both of you.

I did a similar test at home with a different set of Christmas LEDs on 110V, and the electrical leakage hypothesis seems a plausible idea.
Everytime I turned the lights on, I felt a barely noticeable sting, then a very light "hum" in my hand.
And when I turned the lights off, another very small sting, then nothing.

I also tried this with my eyes closed and someone else turning the lights on/off. Same result : I feel the difference when the lights are on/off.

So if the electrical leakage is really happening, any idea if it's dangerous? (fire hazard, etc.)
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Re: Do LEDs produce vibration when used with AC?

Postby gdjacobs » 2015-12-16 @ 09:34

It could be an indicator of bad things. Insufficient wiring insulation, incorrect isolation design if it's fed through a control or plug pack. If this happens on appliances or similar electrical apparatus, it's an indication of inadequate bonding to ground. Try plugging it into an RCD or GFCI outlet (in your bathroom or kitchen). I almost guarantee it trips.
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