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5 Must-Read Common Causes of Flickering Lights
by Dave Kinkade
Are you experiencing the annoyance of
flickering lights? If so, read this article! In it, you’ll learn the 5 most
common causes of flickering lights!
If you are or have been living with flickering
lights, you likely understand they are more than just a simple inconvenience.
Electricity is what keeps your home safe and comfortable. When issues arise,
this puts your home, family, and well-being in jeopardy.
In addition to be annoying, if you have flickering
lights, it may also be the sign of a much larger issue. In fact, according to
statistics, electrical fires in homes account for over $1.3 billion in property
damage and almost 500
If you are tired of the flickering lights in
your home, learn about some of the most common reasons they occur. Also, make
sure to contact the pros for any significant issues. They will ensure repairs
are made safely.
Causes of Flickering Lights
Generally speaking, flickering lights are the
result of a reduction or a fluctuation in total household voltage that results
in the lights dimming for a moment. Several issues can cause light flickering.
Understanding some of the most common issues will help you know what to do to
solve the problem.
Some of the most common causes of flickering
lights can be found here.
1. Large Current Draws
The larger appliances in your home may pull
100 (or more) amps from your wiring when they are cycling on. This sudden,
significant surge in power can result in your lights flickering and dimming
To ensure there isn’t a more serious issue,
you may want to call your electrician to inspect the wiring. There could be a
problem with how your appliances were wired to begin with. If they are overworking
the circuit, then this issue is only going to get worse.
2. Faulty Connections
Is there a bad connection on a light or lamp,
or in a fixture’s on/off switch? If so, this may cause flickering.
You can see if the issue is the connections by
wiggling the on/off switch. If the light starts to dim as you are wiggling it,
chances are the issue is a bad switch. Keep in mind, while it may be easy to
replace a switch located in the lamp cord, ones integrated into a socket are
more challenging. It’s best to leave this to the pros.
3. Loose Bulbs
An unseated bulb will rattle in its socket.
This can result in inconsistent connections, as well as regular flickering.
To fix this, just tighten or change the bulb. This will reestablish a solid connection and
help eliminate any possible dips in your electric current.
4. Dimmer Switches
One of the most common sources of flickering
for LED bulbs is the use of dimmer switches. The majority of dimmers are made
to handle higher electrical loads. This means that the low-voltage LEDs may dim
or flicker if they are connected to higher-power dimmer switches.
You also need to check the compatibility of
your bulb with your dimmer prior to making a purchase. Or, you can opt to
replace your dimmer switch with one designed to work with LED bulbs.
5. Bulb Type
Did you know that fluorescent lights are more
likely to flicker than LED and other types of bulbs? Warm-up cycles, the age of
the bulb and the temperature are all common causes of flickering in fluorescent
While minor flickering is no reason to be
worried, if you notice constant dimming or flickering, then you should replace
the fluorescent bulb to fix the issue. If this doesn’t work, then it’s best to
call a professional electrician for help.
Benign Causes of Flickering Lights
In some situations, appliances in your home
can have bearing failures. This results in the motor having to work harder when
it starts up. When this happens, the appliance will draw more current and
result in a noticeable light flicker.
Also, lights may flicker if a load is activated
suddenly or unexpectedly. One example of this is your sump pump. It may result
in a noticeable flicker or dimming even if it has been circuited properly.
Another issue could be your neighbor’s lights.
It’s extremely likely that you share a transformer with several of your
neighbors. Because you are sharing the same circuit, the loads are going to
impact your own electrical supply.
With benign flickering issues, there’s no real
cause for concern. However, there are other problems that are more serious and
dictate you take action right away.
For example, if you notice much more
flickering than normal with no significant changes in the electrical system, it
may be an early indication of more serious problems.
One example of this is if a connection has
become loose and it creates a higher resistance point. This is extremely
dangerous and could eventually lead to a fire.
Flickering Lights: Call the Pros to Be Sure
If you are having issues with flickering
lights, it’s a good idea to contact the pros if you can’t figure out what the
issue is. They can diagnose the problem and ensure the underlying issue is
fixed in a timely and efficient manner.
If you need help with flickering lights or any
other electrical issue, reach out to our team. We offer both residential and commercial services and provide many resources
on our regularly updated blog to help with electrical issues you may have.
Don’t ignore an electrical problem. It is only
going to get worse and more dangerous as time passes.