An occasional light flicker in your home is normal, bit if you find that it’s starting to happen regularly, it’s a good idea to investigate what might be the cause. Several different factors can cause lights to flicker, so it’s important to gain an understanding of whether it’s a simple fix or if you need to call in professional electrical assistance.
There are several different causes of frequently flickering lights in your home, here are some of the common reasons and how they can be fixed.
Bulb coming loose from the socket
If just one of your lights is flickering, first try tightening the bulb. Bulbs can come loose over time and lose connection with the socket, causing flickering. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to replace the bulb.
Problems with the type of bulb
If your lightbulbs are fluorescent, it’s common for them to flicker a little bit, especially as they power up, or in cold temperatures. Unless they’re flickering constantly, then it’s probably nothing to worry about. If you’ve got LED bulbs, the flickering could be happening because of your dimmer switches. Most dimmer switches are made to handle higher loads of electricity and don’t work very well with lower-voltage LEDs. If it’s really bothering you, consider changing to dimmer switches that are compatible with LED bulbs.
Faulty light or fixture switch
Flickering can be caused by a poor connection between the light or fixture switch and the bulb. To test if this is the issue, try gently wobbling the switch to see if it causes a flicker. If so, there’s a good chance that this is your problem. Try and turn the switch on and to try and fix an already flickering light, if this fixes the problem, then you need to replace the switch.
Sensory overload on a circuit
If the flickering began shortly after starting a major electrical appliance, there’s a good chance that the appliance has pulled large amounts of energy on start-up, leading to a sensory overload on the circuit. If the flickering is brief or infrequent, then there’s usually no cause for concern, as many appliances draw more current to start up, leading to a momentary voltage drop. Usually this will fix itself on its own, but if it happens regularly or consistently then it’s very likely there’s a problem that needs to be looked at by an electrician.
Signs of fluctuating voltage include consistently flickering lights after turning on large appliances, flickering that continues after the appliance has been turned off, lights unexpectedly dimming on their own, and light bulbs burning out frequently. Slight fluctuations are normal, but if your home’s voltage is registering at an average above 125 volts, then this is the reason your lights have been flickering. You can check your home’s voltage using a voltmeter, and contact an electrician to find the best solution for your problem.
Loose or outdated wiring
Loose or outdated wiring can not only cause flickering lights, but they’re also leading causes of house fires. The issue may be systemic or found in only one location, but it is always dangerous. If you haven’t made any changes to your electrical system and are noticing an increase in flickering, there’s a chance loose or outdated wiring could be to blame. If you expect that loose or outdated wiring could be the cause of your flickering lights, and you haven’t found another cause, don’t hesitate to call your electrician as soon as possible. Wiring problems are not to be ignored.
Problems with the meter box or main service cable connection
If the lights are flickering throughout your home, there’s a good chance that this is because of a problem at the meter box connection or main service cable connection. This is a problem for your electrician, as these are high capacity wires and a potential fire hazard.
If you have any questions about flickering lights, or are looking for a quote for electrical installations, repairs, or general maintenance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with HunterCON today.
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