I have seen this kind of thing when you do not have enough current or the voltage drops too low. If you are running the ESP with 5v LED's and without a voltage leveler, you really need to make sure the voltage is high enough to trigger your LED's correctly. What has happened to me is I tried to power the ESP and a lot of leds. Too much current was drawn and the voltage dropped. All kinds of things can happen then. Take a look at the voltage and make sure it is correct. Hope this helps.