Why Do LED Lights Flicker On Cameras?

After a night out taking pictures and videos, you go home and see that almost all the lights that come from light poles, cars and other LED lights are flickering on your videos. The lights look normal to the naked eye, but when you record them with a Mirrorless, DSLR or Phone camera, they flicker, why is that?

Well, the truth is that LED lights actually are always strobing, it’s just that the human eye can’t see them because it happens at a very fast rate of about 60+ times per second.

Phone cameras and Mirrorless cameras can pick those up and make them noticeable if the cameras frame rate doesn’t match to the frame rate of the LED’s, which happens pretty often.

This is mostly noticeable when shooting at high FPS or slow-motion.

Is Something Wrong With My Camera/LED’s?

Absolutely not! This is perfectly normal, because this is how cameras and LED lights work. The only time when you should be worried about something being wrong with your LED’s is when you can spot the flickering with your naked eye.

Is There Any Way To Stop Flickering On Video?

Now that you know how LED lights work with a camera and why the flickering happens, you should have some ideas popping up on your head about how to fix the issue. Even if you can’t completely stop it from happening, you can make it less noticeable:

  • Play with the brightness of the lights – If the brightness of your LED lights is too high or too low, try playing around with the brightness. Keep adjusting it until the flickering stops.
  • Shutter Speed – If you have a DSLR or Mirrorless camera, or even an advanced phone with a good camera, you should be able to change the shutter speed on it. Try adjusting the shutter speed and test it again.
  • Distance – Sometimes, the distance between the cameras lens and the LED light can make a huge difference on the outcome. If the two suggestions above did not work, try distancing or getting closer to the led light to capture a better video with no flicker or less flickering.
  • Video editing software – This is the last resort, but this is the easiest method. Advanced video editing software such as Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro or Adobe After Effects are made for dealing with situations like this. There are countless of plugins and features on these software that can get the flickering problem sorted out with a click of a button. Here is a great tutorial about eliminating flicker from Adobe.

Conclusion

Now that you know why the flickering happens and how you can fix it, you can go out in the wild and capture videos. Don’t get discouraged if the flickering is still there after your first try. It gets better with trial and error. Once you get used to the distance, shutter speed and different brightnesses, you will be able to do it easily.

If nothing works, you can just use one of the video editing softwares we mentioned above!