I am a strong supporter of Waveform in general because their CENTRIC HOME Flicker-Free A19 10W LED Bulbs and their SUPERWARM 1700K Flicker-Free A19 10W LED Bulbs actually are flicker-free and healthy for me. I strongly encourage everyone to buy those bulbs and to support Waveform since they are making efforts to manufacture flicker-free lighting products. So it is with great disappointment that I have to report that Waveform has missed the mark with the CENTRIC SERIES™ Flicker-Free Non-Dimmable Power Supply for LED Strip. While their flicker is low enough to not be obvious in a slow-motion smart phone video, the strip lights connected to this power supply are not flicker-free. Their flicker is evident in the attached photo, showing a flicker meter reading of 2.325% at 120 Hz, although the flicker within a subset of the graph is about 1.3%. We testing this power supply connected to a Waveform 4000K Centric Daylight strip in an attempt to find truly-flicker free LED lights for commercial use. I experience serious health effects from any light flicker. While these lights were only immediately vaguely spatially disorienting for me, I developed more serious symptoms when testing this light for multiple hours in a way that was not only reproducible, but started happening more quickly and with greater severity on subsequent days. Symptoms included headache, spatial disorientation, nausea, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue, extreme inability to concentrate, loss of short-term memory, hypersomnia, and inability to balance with my eyes closed. Symptoms lingered for multiple days after leaving the lights. Find my review of the existing scientific research into the health effects of light flicker by searching for FlickerSense Health. I have also shared more details of this and other testing. While I cannot speak for all individuals sensitive to flicker, I can report that this power supply does not produce light that is safe for me and our data show that it is not flicker-free. The inhibition of my short-term memory and loss of ability to concentrate prevents me from working in this light, even if I could manage to push through the other symptoms. While this power supply creates less flicker than those from other companies, it isn’t close to being flicker-free. Please, Waveform, create completely flicker-free power supplies and please do not use the “flicker-free” label for products that produce flicker. Please provide graphs of light output vs. time along with calculated flicker statistics for your products.
UPDATE- Response to Waveform's reply:
I agree that these lights fall under the IEEE 1789 "No Observable Effect" (NOEL) recommendation. While the phrase "No Observable Effect" gives the impression that the recommendation was based on studying the health effects of LED flicker and determining what level of flicker is safe for sensitive individuals, this is not at all the case. Instead, NOEL was based on an estimate of the point at which about half of the individuals in small groups of 10-14 normal observers in 3 studies are consciously aware that they can see light flicker, rather than being consciously unaware that the light flickered [Bullough et al. (2012), Roberts & Wilkins (2012), and Perz et al. (2015)]. People in potentially sensitive groups, like those with migraine, dry eye, or concussion were not included in these studies. The IEEE 1789 NOEL recommendation makes the assumption that if less than half of normal control people can see the flicker, then the flicker won't harm human health. There isn't any scientific basis for this assumption. The IEEE report emphasizes the need for further research, but no mechanism was created to define the parameters of such research, to fund the research, or to provide a way to collect reports of adverse health effects of LED lights from the public. I encourage the lighting community to remember that there are not yet any recommendations for flicker that are based on actual health data for LED flicker. I encourage government agencies to create a mechanism for collecting such health data so that meaningful regulations to protect the public may be created. In the meantime, I beg the lighting industry to voluntarily produce safe, flicker-free lighting. Currently, the lighting industry is benefitting from the fact that devices with flickering LEDs are not regulated like medical devices, requiring safety testing before release to the public, even though flickering light is known to have medical effects for at least a subset of people.
Jennifer, thank you for providing your feedback and sharing your concerns about the flicker performance of this product.
We sincerely regret that this product is not suitable for you, and completely understand the concerns regarding flicker. We are hopeful that through additional engineering efforts, we are able to further improve our products' flicker performance. You should be hearing from a team member shortly with instructions on processing a return and refund for your order.
The flicker measurements you provided (2.3% flicker, 0.004 flicker index) are well within the IEEE Std 1789-2015 recommendations at 120 Hz for 'no adverse biological effects' as well as our own internal standards. We certainly acknowledge the shortcomings and limitations of such generalized standards and of course recognize that each person's response to environmental stimuli is unique and should be respected as such, but do want to provide this important contextual information for our other customers.
We would also like to note that the provided flicker graph (right, in green) has a very zoomed-in y-axis which may give an exaggerated impression of the actual magnitude of flicker modulation. With a 0-100% y-axis scale, we would likely see that the flicker % values you have measured would result in a straight and stable line.
We again appreciate your feedback and apologize that the products did not meet your expectations. Please feel free to reach out to us with any further questions or concerns!
Waveform Lighting Support Team
I am impressed with the Waveform products I received. The lighting quality is great and that materials are clean and well-packaged with a high quality look and feel. I purchased two “CENTRIC SERIES™ Flicker-Free Non-Dimmable 24 volt Power Supply for LED Strips (3102)” along with two 5000K 95CRI 24 volt LED strips to illuminate my residential stairwell skylight light well.
Although the power supplies are capable of powering 16-1/2 linear feet of my Waveform LED strips, I have only installed ~12 linear feet of LEDs per power supply. For each power supply, I installed one 8 foot length and one 4 foot length of LED strip. The LED illumination is great with no observed flicker, audible buzzing, or end-of-line LED dimming.
The low profile power supply is relatively inconspicuous — I installed it in a visible space adjacent to a U-shaped aluminum extrusion with opaque lens / diffuser for mounting LED strips. The height and width of the power supply is comparable to the cross sectional dimensions of the aluminum extrusion and helps to ‘hide’ the power supply when mounted in a visible space. In my application I mounted the power supplies above the aluminum extrusions in an overhead lightwell -- from several (but not all) perspectives the power supplies are not noticeable. The position of the power supply mounting holes is convenient and the mounting tabs raise the power supply off the mounting substrate ever-so-slightly.
Suggestions for improvement would be to provide power supply housings in a lighter color (white or silver / aluminum) and provide the power supply wiring pigtails with white colored sheathing / jackets so that the assembly blends in better with installation locations on lighter colored walls within interior (visible) spaces. (The housing of the power supplies I received is darker than the housing of the power supplies currently shown on the Waveform Website. To make the assembly less noticeable in my application I wrapped my pigtails with white colored electrical tape.)
Additionally, my research indicates that, in general, low voltage wiring should not be installed in concealed spaces — I understand that there are some specific cabling products available in the market that are acceptable for low voltage use in concealed spaces - a Waveform power supply product improvement suggestion would be to provide power supplies with a concealed space rated low voltage cabling pigtail to provide greater installation options.
I would describe myself as a homeowner / lighting hobbiest / engineer and the product application as residential. My review is based upon, and limited to, my personal experience for my particular product application; I completed my installation three days prior to writing this review. My summary review is that the Waveform products look great, installed easily, and perform great with no issues.
Two of the attached images show my project; installation of LED lighting fixtures within a residential skylight light well. The first image shows the project in-progress w/ the original T-bar ceiling installed & fluorescent fixtures & lenses removed — drywall refinished and painted. Second image shows the (almost-finished) project w/ 24 linear feet of Waveform 5000K 95 CRI LED strip lighting — power supply and low voltage wiring visible. I intend to replace the wire nut electrical connectors with low profile insulated crimps and tuck the low voltage wiring onto & behind the aluminum extrusions. The pigtail on the line voltage side of the power supply is terminated within a junction box located and accessible in the attic space immediately on the other side of the skylight wall.
The other two images show the power supply image from the Waveform website and one of the power supplies I received -- illustrating a difference in appearance (coloring).
Silent power supply absolutely no flicker