Understanding A Blinking Red Light On Your TV

TV in a large living room

Is your TV blinking a red light, and it’s driving you up the wall?

You’re not alone! A blinking red light on a TV is very common, and while it’s not typically a bad sign, it’s important to talk about it.

I know that having a bright, red light blinking on your face while you’re trying to watch TV can be very annoying. But don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place for answers.

A blinking red light on your TV can indicate an error code or an ongoing update, or it might simply be a “standby light”. The red light can also mean that your TV is applying some changes or that there are power outlet issues.

Read on to understand why there’s a blinking red light on your TV!

Why trust us? This article was written by Craig Anderson and Austin Sharman.

Craig has helped thousands of other homeowners repair their appliances since 2016.

What Causes the Blinking Red Light on Your TV?

Unfortunately, there’s no cookie-cutter answer to that question – especially when it comes to modern TVs, which are packed with features and tons of self-updating capabilities. In my experience, the blinking red light on your TV rarely indicates something’s wrong. However, covering all bases is essential to prevent missing something important.

Here are some meanings of the blinking red light on your TV.

#1 Error Codes

Error codes are programmed into most modern TVs, as they’re great ways to help users determine when something’s not right. If there’s a blinking red light on your TV and you also notice that the appliance is not turning on, you’ll need to dig deeper; chances are, something is preventing it from working normally.

TV in a blue living room
Error Codes can tell you a lot about what could be wrong with your TV.

From what I’ve seen, error codes signaled by blinking lights typically have a specific pattern, so look closely and see if you can spot one.

Solution: Find your TV’s model number, as you’ll need it to search your manufacturer’s website for the meaning of specific error codes.

Sometimes, you can also find the meaning of different error codes in your User Manual. If you don’t have the Manual handy, that’s okay – please refer to our free resource below to find it.

Once you know what the error code means, please get in touch with a certified technician to fix the problem. Since TV components are usually expensive, in many cases, the cost of repairs will match or exceed the original price of the TV, so make sure to weigh the Pros and Cons before paying a technician to work on yours.

#2 Ongoing Updates

Ongoing updates can also explain the blinking red light on your TV – especially if the blinking doesn’t follow a specific pattern.

If your TV is working normally and you’re just annoyed by the sudden blinking, all you have to do is wait. I know the constant blinking can be distracting, but if it’s only related to an ongoing update, there’s a good chance it will stop as soon as the update’s installed.

Solution: Not much to do here. Grab a snack or take a walk to pass the time until the blinking stops.

#3 A Standby Light

If your TV seems to be working fine and the red light is not blinking but rather steady, there’s nothing to worry about.

Most modern TVs have a steady light that stays on when the TV is turned off. The light is designed to indicate to the user that the TV is in standby mode, ready to pick up where things were left off as soon as the power button on the remote is pressed.

Unfortunately, blinking lights are a standard now; there’s no way to disable them in many cases. But hey! At least there’s nothing wrong with your precious TV.

Solution: If you can’t stand the standby light or are having trouble sleeping with it in your room, I find that using some duct tape to cover the light works wonders.

The only disadvantage is that if there’s ever an error code, you won’t be able to see the blinking pattern on the light.

#4 User Communication

If there’s still a blinking red light on your TV and none of the solutions above have worked, chances are your TV is simply trying to communicate with you and tell you about a change that’s happening.

From what I’ve seen, blinking red lights related to user communication often happen randomly or at infrequent intervals, so look closely to see if you can spot a pattern.

I’ve found that the most common processes that cause a blinking red light on a TV are warming up and self-cleaning.

Solution: As with the updating process, there’s not much to do in this scenario. Patience is your friend here.

#5 Power Outlet Issues

Lastly, let’s consider power outlet issues as the reason there’s a blinking red light on your TV.

When your TV detects the outlet you’ve plugged it into failing or not providing enough power to work normally, it can take a while to turn on and blink a red light.

It’s important always to ensure your TV has a proper working power source to guarantee optimal performance and prevent short circuits, which can potentially damage it permanently.

Person unplugging appliance from wall outlet
Faulty wall outlets are dangerous. Please stop using any outlet you suspect is not working properly.

Solution: Carefully unplug the TV and plug it back into a different wall outlet. See how the TV responds to the new power source.

If the blinking stops and you notice your TV turns on quicker, there’s a good chance that the original outlet is faulty. You should stop using the previous outlet and keep your TV plugged into the new one moving forward.

Note: If you notice that your circuit breakers are often tripped when plugging anything into a specific outlet, you have further confirmation that it’s faulty. You must get an electrician to test the outlet and rule out a larger electrical issue.

Manufacturer Support

When there’s a blinking red light on your TV, relying on the information your manufacturer provides on their website and your User Manual can go a long way in getting things back to normal.

Ensure to refer to the resources available before reaching out to a technician, as sometimes you can address the issue yourself without having to pay a professional to look at your TV.

Addressing the Blinking Red Light on Your TV

That about covers it!

A blinking red light on your TV can mean many things. And while the light doesn’t indicate a problem in most cases, it’s important to get ahead of the situation and deal with any potential issues.

I hope this piece has helped you better understand the most common reasons behind a blinking red light on your TV and the options available when it appears.

Thanks for reading. If this article was useful and answered your most burning questions, please check out our other resources and free guides below and consider subscribing to our newsletter.

Have a great week!


I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more