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Why Are My Lights Flickering?

Posted on March 20, 2015 at 12:10 AM

Flickering lights do not always signify a serious issue with your electrical system. What’s more important to note is which lights flicker and how. This is a relatively common issue that can have a variety of explanations. To get a better idea of how to address your flickering lights, tailor your solution to the specific situation.

 Causes of Flickering Lights

 1. One Flickering Light


If a single light bulb is flickering, then the issue likely begins and ends with that particular bulb. First, check to make sure that the light bulb is screwed in all the way (when bulbs get out of place, the connection with the socket is compromised). Sometimes it helps to unscrew the bulb completely and re-screw it back in to make sure it isn’t crooked or loose. For your safety, switch the light off before you do this. If the light is still flickering when turned back on, it could mean that this particular bulb is at the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced altogether.


If none of the above apply, try investigating the light switch itself next. Switch the light on and off a few times to see if the flickering dies down. If not, you may have a faulty switch that needs to be replaced by an electrician. Similarly, if you replace the bulb on a plug-in lamp and it still isn’t working, try plugging the lamp into a different outlet. It’s possible that the issue could be stemming from the socket. This type of issue should also be troubleshooted by a professional, as in-depth electrical work can be dangerous.


2. All Lights Flicker


When all the lights in your house are flickering, you may have a bigger problem on your hands. This can be caused by inclement weather, but if it is happening on a regular basis, your home’s voltage may be fluctuating. Take note of when the flickering happens and call an electrician to give them the details. You should have a professional take a look as soon as possible before further damage is caused.


3. Lights Flicker And Then Fully Light Up


A third scenario is that your lights flicker for a moment immediately after being switched on, and then reach (and maintain) full illumination moments later. If you have fluorescent bulbs, this is completely normal. This occurs naturally in these types of lights and as long as the flicker stops after completing lighting up, there should be no issue. Many energy-saving bulbs take a few minutes to fully brighten. If the light bulb is a typical incandescent bulb, follow the suggestions in scenario 1.


If you’re not sure what might be causing the problem, it’s wise to call NAE Automation and Electric to check it out. The tips above can help you narrow down what might be going on, but doing risky electrical work yourself isn’t recommended.

Categories: Residential New & Rewiring, Commercial New Install & Upgrades