Flickering Lights | Reasons And How To Fix It?

Flickering light bulbs are seriously annoying and can be the cause for concern. There are different causes and reasons behind flickering lights.

Occasional light flickering in your house sounds normal. But if you observe regular flickering that didn’t happen before, you need an inspection.

Determine the reason your lights are acting in such a way as they should not and fix it.

Flickering lights may result from fluctuation or reduction in the total voltage of the house, loose connections, and so on. But before settling in with an appropriate solution, understand the common causes discussed in brief below.

What Are The Reasons/Causes Behind Flickering Lights?

Light flickering may be caused by some issues where the top four complications take place

  • The issue with the bulb such as the wrong type of bulb, loose connections, etc.
  • Faulty switches or fixtures
  • Loose plug or outlet

Additionally, if you see any appliances needing substantial current on the startup, voltage drops cause your lights to flicker. Examining your lights can reveal issues sometimes.

You can screw the bulb and tighten it to ensure if any connection is loose.

Type Of Bulb/Lights/LED

Speaking about lights, flickering can also be the result of the bulb type that you are utilizing. If this is the reason behind it, your flickering light is easy to solve and is harmless.

For example, fluorescent light or LED starts flickering when your room has cold temperatures or typically on a winter day. If you find it irritating, consider replacing your fluorescents with different bulb types.

Another instance is fluorescent or LED lights used with non-compatible dimmers. These bulbs tend to flicker if you utilize them with conventional dimmer switches designed for halogen or incandescent bulbs. You must be utilizing the correct type of lights.

Loose Connections

Loose connections are the common cause of light flickering and electric fires. You must make sure that electrical connections are as tight as needed to avoid the creation of resistance.

Resistance can overheat surrounding wires or connections where overheating can begin a fire if placed near the flammable materials.

Loose connections do not just include wires but also include loose terminals on a device or circuit breaker. If you are sure that there are loose connections, call the expert to overcome the problem.

Old breakers, connectors, wiring, and switches are the cause of concern. Outdated or old wiring can result in house fires. Loose wiring connections in the switch box, outlet, or light can result in arcing while electric current jumps on gaps in the system connection.

It can be the more significant cause of electric fires. If you notice an increase in flickering but have not changed the electrical system, loose wires can cause.

Many problems can occur, such as worn connectors in the breaker box, loose wires, loose conductors in the main electrical panel, or switch failure.

Contact the electrician to fix it as soon as possible if you suspect any loose wiring or have not found any other cause for the flickering lights. You must shut off the light at the circuit breaker before removing fixtures.

Loose Bulb

If you find lights flickering, the first thing you must check is the bulb. Is it secure and tight? Light bulbs are not entirely safe in their sockets that receive inconsistent power resulting in uneven lighting.

Tightening the loose bulbs is easy to solve the flickering lights and can be done without any assistance. Ensure to turn the light off and give time to cool down before tightening it.

Bulb At Fault

If the bulb is tight but flickers continuously, it must be faulty or burnt. Incandescent lights can stop you from working appropriately for all sorts of reasons.

Faulty wiring connections, bad filament, contact issues, or worn-out receptacles can cause the flicker of lights. Such cases happen due to improper voltage, wear, tear, or lousy wiring within the fixture.

Old lights would not turn on sometimes and can lead to flickering if they are dying. You may try to rotate the bulb in its fixture to create the proper connection, but they must be replaced.

Replacing lights is easy, and as long as you tighten the light properly, lights flickering can stop.

Overloading Circuit

As discussed, flickering that occurs right when the major appliance begins up is not usually critical. It can happen even in the best-designed electric systems where huge loads have their dedicated circuits. It is worth checking if light flickering is severe, consistent, and persistent.

In this case, the problem might be with the appliance, not your lights. If there is a failure, the motor will strain to pull more current while startup.

A given circuit will experience sensory overload. Try to examine the circuit yourself, but it is always best to hire an expert for the particular task if you do not know.

Incorrect Or Outdated Wiring

The lights at your home are dimming or flickering unexpectedly because the electrical wiring is either insufficient for handling the current that passes through it.

The voltage may drop whenever your current is high, leading your light bulb to flicker or dim. Most of the old houses observe these problems since they were built to handle modern-day electric loads.

Dimmer Switches

A familiar source of LED bulbs flickering is the use of dimmer switches. Most of the dimmers are made for handling higher electrical loads.

It indicates that low voltage lights may flicker or dim if they have a connection to the high power dimmer switches.

Also, you must check the compatibility of your bulb with the dimmer before making the purchase. You can opt for replacing the dimmer switch to work with LED.

Fluctuation In Voltage

Voltage Fluctuation is the cause of flickering lights where signs involve –

  • Flickering constantly goes on after the appliance has stopped running.
  • Lights flicker when you turn on the more significant appliance-unexpected and unpredictable dimming.
  • Lights burn frequently.

Slight fluctuations are casual, but your house must range in between 115 and 125 volts. You can check out home voltage by using the device known as a voltmeter.

If the reading is above 125 volts, you have found the underlying cause of the flickering lights.

Electric Utility Service Problem

If you reside in the neighborhood, your house shares the transformer with surrounding homes. It means that your power supply is tied to their respective loads.

If anyone is engaging in heavy electricity usage down the street, it can cause your lights to flicker. Suppose if it is not the case, the problem may lie with the utility service. The professional electrician can identify if it is the time to call for repairs.

How To Fix Flickering Lights?

Generally, lights flicker because of minor issues of lighting or electricity that you can fix with simple home repair tricks. Below are few things you can do –

Check Out Loose Lights

Ensure to check out if the cause of lights flickering in the home is loose bulb connections. If the bulb is not screwed completely, the socket will not make contact with the light.

It can cause light flickering or bulb flickering. If you have fluorescent light bulbs, they may flicker in cold conditions and power up.

Have A Check On Faulty Light Switches

Flickering bulb or light may result from faulty light switches that may not connect with the bulb. So for checking the reason, turn off the switch and again turn it On to see if the lights stop flickering.

If it does not work, let it stay off for some hours. And if it still does not work, you may have to change the switch. But changing switches without any electrical safety may lead to electrical faults or a severe shock. Make sure that you know the steps in brief before taking up any task. If you are not sure, call the expert’s help.

See If Voltage Fluctuation Takes Place

Light dimming or flickering can be the result of fluctuation in voltage because of inconsistent power supply. Whenever you plug in an appliance having high wattage where the voltage fluctuates, lights begin to flicker. Turn Off the device immediately to decrease some loads.

But if lights constantly flicker, turn On all the lights and electrical appliances Off until the voltage is normal back again. The issue of voltage fluctuation must not be overlooked. If lights dim or flicker, you must check the power supply box by an expert. If you do not take it seriously, it can harm your appliances.

Tight Your Loose Bulbs

It is the first fixing solution whenever you experience light flickering. If you see bulbs flickering, turn off the power supply using gloves and screw the bulb tightly.

Other Solutions

  • Update your old or non-compatible switches
  • Have a check on current
  • Beware of loose wiring connections and fix them if they occur.

Conclusion

Never ignore the electrical issues in your home because faults in the wiring system can lead to a fire. Never delay calling the expert if you are unable to find out the cause.