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How to fix flickering lights

If you’re frustrated by flickering lights, you’re not alone. Read the following response to a question posed by a reader with the same concern.

By Bob Vila | Updated Sep 22, 2020 4:52 PM

How to fix flickering lights

Q: Help! The lightbulbs in our fixtures keep flickering on and off. As far as I know, my house isn’t haunted, but I’m spooked that this could cause a fire. Am I being overly cautious, or do I need to call an electrician?

A: It appears you’re having a “lightbulb” moment. Unfortunately, it’s not the kind that sparks a brilliant idea, but rather, a problem that requires an immediate repair. Short of festive holiday lights or decorative faux candles, a flickering light in a standard fixture is not normal. Although electrical problems should always be taken seriously, you can discern the quick fixes from the causes for concern with these helpful tips.

How to fix flickering lights

Start at the source—of the bulb, that is.

  • Florescent bulbs have a propensity to flicker frequently, due to a variety of everyday factors, including cold temperatures, the bulb burning out while in the socket (tip: replace the tubes to stop this from happening), and the general way that phosphors power up their maximum level. If your florescents flicker every now and again, it’s probably not a huge concern.
  • For LED bulbs, the most common cause of flickering relates to dimmer switches. These dimmers are manufactured to handle higher electrical loads that don’t always coincide with the lower voltages of LEDs. Before swapping out your standard lightbulbs, take an inventory of your existing dimmer make and model, and then cross-check the compatibility to ensure everything will work seamlessly.

Sometimes the solution is as simple as a quick “righty-tighty.”

How many homeowners does it take to screw in a lightbulb? The answer is one, but that one person needs to screw it in correctly to avoid any flickering. The solution could be as simple as twisting the bulb so that it sits tightly enough into the socket to make the necessary connection.

A faulty fixture switch or a lose light plug can also cause difficulties.

It’s all about the connections: A loose one between the on/off switch on your lamp or light fixture and the lightbulb itself could be the culprit. Wiggle the switch gently to see if it evokes a flicker; if yes, simply replace it to stop the strobe light effect. The issue could also arise from a loose connection between the plug and the outlet. Unplug your lamp, adjust the metal prongs, and then plug it back in. If that does the trick, it may be that the two just needed a more secure fit.

Infrequent shakiness might mean your large appliances are to blame.

Pay attention to the patterns: If you notice your lights flicker consistently when large appliances such as your air conditioner are running, the problem could be that your overall voltage is fluctuating too often, or that you have too much sensory overload on the same circuit. Although slight fluctuations are normal, your home should register between 115 and 125 volts. Purchase a voltmeter online (view example on Amazon) or at your local hardware store to gauge your home’s output, or hire an electrician to take a look.

Old wiring, breakers, connectors, and switches are cause for concern.

Loose or outdated wiring is one of the leading causes of house fires. If you try the above troubleshooting techniques and your lights still flicker, this could be a sign of loose service conductors in your main electrical panel, an outdated breaker box with worn connectors, or a switch failure. In any event, whether it’s a system-wide problem or confined to one location, these problems can quickly turn into a fire hazard; call an electrician to pinpoint the problem.

And don’t forget about the neighbors.

Your home shares a transformer with surrounding homes, so a cause of flickering lights may be your neighbors’ heavy electrical usage, or damage caused by downed trees or power lines. An electrician (and a little patience to see if the problem resolves itself!) is your best bet for identifying, locating, and repairing the issue.

How to fix flickering lights

Larry Campbell is an electrical contractor with 36 years of experience in residential and light commercial electrical wiring. He worked as an electronic technician and later an engineer for the IBM Corp. is a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board.

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You depend on your lights to provide you with solid, uninterrupted illumination. So, a flickering light bulb can be annoying, distracting, and even unsafe. Once you trace the cause of the flickering bulb, many solutions are low-cost and simple to implement.

What Causes Light Bulbs to Flicker

Loose Bulb

With flickering light bulbs, the obvious first step is to retighten the bulb. Over time, even the best light bulbs can slowly unscrew or give way somehow, especially bulbs near areas of vibration. Ceiling light bulbs on first-floor ceilings can be shaken due to foot traffic on the floor above.

Often, the bulb itself does not unscrew—instead, the hot tab in the base of the socket has given way slightly and is not fully making contact, which causes the light to flicker.

Loose Outlet

Power outlets that service table or floor lamps can cause the bulb to flicker. While the bulb itself may be in good condition, the power source wavers. The cause of this is usually an outlet whose internal metal contact blades have become worn or a loose connection where the wire connects to the outlet.

Faulty Light Fixture

Because they have no moving parts, light fixtures can last for decades. But eventually, time can take a toll on light fixtures as the center hot tab loses tension. Ceiling leaks, foundation shifts, and constant temperature spikes in the attic, too, can affect light fixtures. Also, some light fixtures simply are faulty from the start.

Faulty Dimmer Switch

Dimmer switches are especially prone to causing flickering light bulbs because flickering is how dimmers work. Turning a dimmer up or down isn’t like gradually turning a water tap on or off. Instead, a dimmer changes the voltage waveform before it enters the light. It’s a flicker that passes so quickly that the eye cannot discern it. Applying more voltage to a dimmer switch than it was designed for is a major cause of dimmer switch failure. Dimmer switches can also fail when a user is trying to dim a CFL or LED bulb that is not intended to dim or when a dimmer made for use with incandescent bulbs is used on a non-incandescent bulb.

Mismatched Dimmer Switch

LED lights are a great advantage to homeowners over earlier incandescents and CFLs due to their bright light, long service life, and cool operation. But when an LED bulb is matched up with a dimmer switch originally designed for use with incandescents, flickering can occur.

Loose Wiring

Cables lead from the electric service panel (circuit breakers) to the light switch, and along the way anything can go wrong. Cables located in walls are generally not to blame. As long as they were installed with staples or routed through holes in the studs, these electric cables tend to stay in place.

The problem tends to center around connection points where individual wires within the cable sheathing branch out and are attached to devices or in junction boxes.

Power Demands

Lights often are on dedicated light circuits—electric circuits that have nothing besides lights on them. But when lights share circuits with other devices, lights can often bear the brunt of the larger devices' power demands.

Dishwashers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, bathroom exhaust fans, and televisions are just a few of the appliances that can interfere with the operation of a light that happens to share the circuit. When a very large draw—such as an A/C unit or a furnace—begins, any light on the circuit can flicker or lose brightness.

Troubleshooting a Flickering Light Bulb

  • Loose Bulb: Loose light bulbs are fixed by first turning the bulb slightly counter-clockwise, then turning it clockwise again until tight.
  • Loose Outlet: Outlets are solid-state devices and should not be repaired. Replace the outlet.
  • Faulty Light Fixture: With ceiling lights, the solution is usually not to repair the light fixture but to purchase and install a new fixture. Floor and table lamps can be rewired.
  • Faulty Dimmer: Faulty or damaged dimmer switches should be removed and discarded, then replaced with new dimmer switches.
  • Mismatched Dimmer: Remove the old dimmer switch. Purchase a dimmer switch that is rated for LED lights and install it.
  • Loose Wiring: Loose wiring can be fixed by methodically testing every connection point. If the connection is solid, it can stay. If it is loose, it can be re-connected.
  • Power Demands: Removing the light fixture from the overloaded circuit and creating a fresh circuit is often the cure to this problem.

How to Diagnose a Flickering Light Bulb

  1. Diagnose the cause of a flickering light bulb by starting with the easiest repairs and working toward the more difficult repairs. No matter what else you do, you’ll always want to start by tightening the light bulb.
  2. Check the connection for floor and table lamps. The plug should stay firmly in place with a gentle tug.
  3. With faulty light fixtures, remove the light cover and lightly tap the side of the fixture with your knuckles. The light should not flicker. If it does, the fixture needs to be replaced.
  4. Faulty dimmer switches can be tested by temporarily replacing the dimmer switch with a simple single-pole non-dimmable light switch. If the light works fine with this switch, then the problem lies with the dimmer switch.
  5. Mismatched dimmer switches are difficult to identify by looking at the switch or even the metal housing. Find your switch online and check its specs for compatibility. If in doubt, replace the switch with a compatible one.
  6. Loose wiring is hard to diagnose. Sometimes, wiring is so loose at switches that vibration from your hand can cause the lights to flicker. Otherwise, you’ll need to hunt through the electrical boxes or have an electrician do this for you.
  7. Flickering bulbs caused by power demands announce themselves when the other, larger device turns on. If your lights flicker after the air conditioner or dishwasher turn on, that’s probably the cause.

When a Flickering Light Bulb Signals a Serious Problem

The causes of flickering light bulbs can run the gamut from something as simple as a loose bulb on up to serious issues stemming from overloaded circuits or poor wiring connections along the circuit pathway. Flickering light bulbs can be signs of serious problems that can affect your home and your safety.

How to Install a New Light Fixture

When the underlying cause of the flickering light bulb is a faulty light fixture, replacement is a simple matter.

Have you noticed lights flickering in your house lately? If so, you’re definitely not alone—this common problem can originate from a variety of sources. However, that doesn’t mean you should write off your flickering lights, either, as they can be an early warning sign of some serious issues.

In this post, we’ll go through some of the reasons why you might have flickering lights , as well as how to fix those problems.

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Flickering Lights From an Overloaded Circuit

How to fix flickering lights

Every home is designed to handle a certain level of electrical voltage . However, many homes—especially older ones—cannot support the demands of every appliance in your home at the same time.

Because of this, you might notice flickering or blinking lights when you turn on your air conditioner, washing machine, or other large appliances.

Generally, when this happens, it’s not something to worry about . However, if you notice that the lights in your home continue to flicker or stay off when this happens, it may be a good idea to seek professional electrical services .

In the case of sensory overload, you may need a larger electrical supply or a dedicated circuit that can support the extra voltage.

Loose Connection to Light Bulb

How to fix flickering lights

Sometimes, isolated flickering light bulbs can stem from something as simple as a loose connection. Fortunately, when this happens, the fix is usually simple.

Before you attempt to reset the positioning of one of your light bulbs, always turn off the light. If the bulb is part of a light fixture or lamp, unplug it first. Regardless of whether you use LED bulbs, fluorescent bulbs, or dimmable bulbs, you should always wait for it to cool completely before resetting the loose bulb.

Keep in mind that lamps and other light fixtures with plugs can suffer from loose connections too. If removing and resetting the light bulb doesn’t fix the issue entirely, make sure you check for bent metal prongs and a loose light plug.

Fire Hazards From Loose Wiring

How to fix flickering lights

According to the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association), electrical fires were the second most common cause of house fires in the United States between 2012 and 2016. Home electrical fires also caused the most civilian deaths and the most property damage during that timeframe.

As such, outdated, damaged, and loose wiring can be an incredibly dangerous fire hazard in your home. However, it can be hard to identify since the electrical issue may be hidden within your walls.

Luckily, the warning signs of these issues can sometimes be easy to spot. If you’ve noticed your minor flickering from the lights in your home progressing and worsening over time, you may be at risk .

– Call an Expert to Prevent Fire

Unless you have some electrical experience yourself, hiring an expert remains the only effective and safe way to fix your flickering lights from outdated wiring.

A professional electrician will search your home for worn connectors, loose service conductors, loose wiring, outdated wiring (such as knob-and-tube), and other electrical system issues.

Unfortunately, you will find this neither an inexpensive nor a simple fix but a necessary one to prevent the possibility of a deadly electrical fire .

Wrong Bulb Type

How to fix flickering lights

The occasional light flicker can sometimes derive from a mismatched bulb and socket . You may see this often on lights with dimmer switches. After all, some light bulbs aren’t designed to work with a dimmer switch .

One of the most common causes of this problem lies with LED light bulbs not designed to work with a dimmer. And while usually not dangerous, the constant flickering can be annoying.

Fortunately, when you have flickering lights from the wrong bulb, it’s an easy fix. Just replace the bulb in question with one made for your fixture switch.

Faulty Switch, Breaker, or Socket

How to fix flickering lights

Sometimes, you can’t blame bulbs and wires when the lights start flickering. When light switch failure happens at the switch box , it can sometimes be obvious, especially if it happens when you turn the switch on or off yourself. However, these failures aren’t as noticeable at times.

If you think you have a faulty light switch, a bad wall socket, or an obsolete circuit breaker , call a professional electrician to handle the issue as soon as possible. You can check it yourself with a multimeter though it’s best to call the experts.

Lights flickering in your house from these electrical system problems often trace back to loose wires and may become a dangerous fire hazard. The sooner you take care of any loose wiring, the better.

Voltage Changes

How to fix flickering lights

We already mentioned that your air conditioning and other appliances can cause a temporary voltage drop , resulting in flickering lights. Often, you do not need to worry about this issue. Even a well-designed electrical system can experience this on occasion.

However, suppose the lights flicker in your house continuously, unexpectedly, or even after turning the appliances off. In that case, more significant issues with your electrical current may be to blame, such as an overloaded circuit .

Flickering lights from a circuit overload can be an early warning sign of danger .

Lights Still Flickering? Call an Expert

Still affected by flickering lights in your home? First, you need to call a professional to diagnose your electrical problem. However, what happens next can vary depending on the cause.

Sometimes, the problem might originate outside your home at the main service cable connection or meter box. However, it can also develop inside your home with your main electrical panel or your wiring.

If your home’s wiring is to blame, you may need to add a circuit or breaker box that can handle higher electrical loads . If the fluctuating electrical current comes from the high-capacity wires or service connection outside your home, though, it may be your electrical company’s responsibility. Again, an expert electrician can help you track down which area is to blame.

When you need advice about home contracting or home improvement, Phyxter can provide the advice you need. We have offices in the North and Central Okanagan region for your convenience. Don’t hesitate to call us at (778) 745-0041 with any questions about the lights flickering in your house.

When you hire Phyxter Electrical Services for your electrical needs, you can count on exceptional service and affordable prices .

How to fix flickering lights

When you start asking the question “Why are the lights flickering in my house?” you may feel like you’ve been watching too many horror movies. But concern about flickering lights in your home is not paranoia. Lights flickering often signal a problem with your electrical system, which can require urgent attention to avoid the danger of electrocution or electrical fires.

Use the following list to troubleshoot why your lights are flickering and what action you should take to fix them.

Loose Light Bulb

Light bulbs that are loose in their sockets will receive an inconsistent supply of power, which can cause a flickering effect. This problem has a simple fix: Turn off the light. If it is equipped with an incandescent or CFL light bulb, wait for the bulb to cool down before handling it. Then gently tighten the bulb in its socket before switching your light fixture or lamp back on.

Type Of Light Bulb

Speaking of light bulbs, the flickering may be a result of the type of bulb that you are using. Should this be the case, your flickering light syndrome is harmless and easy to solve.

For instance, fluorescent light bulbs tend to flicker when the room is cold (typical on a Calgary winter day), or while the lights are powering up. If you find this annoying, consider replacing your fluorescents with a different type of bulb.

Another example is fluorescent or LED light bulbs being used with non-compatible dimmers. These bulbs have a tendency to flicker if you use them with conventional dimmer switches, which are designed for incandescent or halogen bulbs. It’s important you’re using the right type of dimmers. To solve this problem dimmable LED bulbs and compatible LED dimmers must be installed.

Circuit Overload

Do your lights sometimes start flickering when you turn on an appliance, such as your dishwasher or microwave? If so, then you might have an overloaded circuit, due to the larger amounts of electrical current which these appliances draw as they startup.

Infrequent, brief flickering is usually not serious, but if you find that the problem occurs all the time or lasts more than a few seconds, you may need to upgrade or install new electrical circuits in these areas.

Voltage Change

Though your home’s electrical voltage can fluctuate slightly, it should always fall within the range of 115 to 125 volts. Voltage change outside this range is problematic and should be diagnosed by a professional electrician.

Signs of severe voltage fluctuation include:

  • lights flickering or dimming when you switch on large appliances
  • flickering continues even after you have turned the appliance off
  • light fixtures dim at unexpected times
  • light bulbs burn out more quickly than normal
  • appliances or electronics shutting off or malfunctioning

Loose Wiring

Is your light flicker problem getting steadily worse — for no apparent reason? Loose wiring could be at fault, whether it is due to wear and tear, outdated wiring, or incorrect installation. This is an electrical problem that you must take very seriously.

A loose connection anywhere within the system is a fire hazard, as it is liable to cause arcing or overheating. Don’t risk a devastating electrical fire or complete loss of power in your home – call for electrical service as quickly as possible.

Keep Your Home Safe From Electrical Hazards

If you are concerned about the lights flickering in your home, contact Sun Electrical. Our friendly, fully qualified team will answer all your questions and explain your options for expert electrical troubleshooting, repair, or upgrades. We’ll explain all the costs involved upfront so you will have no surprises when the work is done.

Contact us for a fast, no-obligation quote. Dial 403-214-8888 for 24/7 Calgary-area emergency service.

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How to fix flickering lights

When seen through a camera lens, sometimes it seems like an LED light bulb is flickering quickly at regular intervals like it is turning off and on rapidly. The light flickering in a video becomes more obvious and apparent because the frames per second (FPS) recording of the camera is not aligned with the frequency of electricity. This is known as the ‘strobe effect’. LED lights are of two types i.e. strobe and constant.

What are the reasons for LED light flickering in the video?

We may see the flickering of light because it actually happens but this flickering of LED light is imperceptible for the human eye as it happens too rapidly. To know why LED lights flicker in the video, let’s understand the reason behind it.

LEDs operate on alternating current (AC), where electrons in the current move in cycles (in and out of the circuit. A cycle of electrons in one second is known as Hertz or Hz. In 1 hertz or cycle, the bulb turns off two times since the electron moves in and out.

In the world except for the US, the electricity operates on 50Hz and for the US it runs on 60 Hz. It means that the light bulb is truly turning on and off between 100 and 120 times per second. Our eye is unable to see this flickering of light but a camera lens can make it easy for you to see that flicker. We can observe the flicker on the screen when we playback or record a video.

A camera mostly opens and closes its motion catching shutter a bit faster as compared to the speed of a flickering LED light. When the LED light on the screen flickers black instantly, that picture was taken by the camera while the light turned off in its cycle. The flickering of light becomes obvious on the camera screen when the frequency of frame rate per second of the camera and LED light don’t match.

How to Stop LED from Flickering in a video or camera screen?

For some people, seeing flickering of light is annoying. There are some ways that can help reduce, if not completely eliminate, this effect. Here are some ways to reduce flickering on camera:

Adjust the FPS

The fast FPS speed enables your camera to record more details, thus making the flickering effect even more apparent than really it is. When it takes more frames per second, the chances of the flickering effect to capture in the video becomes high which leads to the creation of that spooky effect. The occurrence of this effect can be reduced by decreasing the FPS on the camera setting. In case it doesn’t work, you can check the light bulb itself if it has any flickering issues.

Adjust the shutter speed

When it comes to capturing particulars in the frame, shutter speed plays an important role. You have to know the frequency of the power supply to adjust the shutter speed. The shutter speed can be adjusted manually and it is recommended to set it as a multiple of 50 or 60. The difference is based on the area you are capturing video. In the US, you need to use multiple of 60, and everywhere else, multiple of 50 will work. The reason behind the working of this trick is the difference in the frequency (Hertz) of the current.

For example, if you are capturing a video with the power source utilizing 60 Hertz, you may need to shoot at 30 fps with shutter speed adjusted to intervals divisible by 60 i.e. 1/60, 1/120, and so on. It will decrease the flickering effect. Some LED lights come with drivers with the ability to adjust their on and off-cycle. Setting their flickering speed more than the frame rate of your camera can effectively eliminate the strobe effect.

Adjust the brightness of the light source

Another way to reduce flickering is to adjust the brightness of light if possible. The dull light will have a less flickering effect. But there will be an issue of having a darker frame. So, you can adjust the settings of the camera to overcome the dullness of the light source.

Get away from the light source

It is the easiest way to lower the flickers to get caught in a video. When you move away from the light source, the light will lose brightness and the ability to reflect will be lower. It will enable ‘quieter’ capture. But there is a drawback of this method. When you move away from the light source, the frame will become darker and you will have to set the aperture and exposure accordingly. So, it is important to have the right balance between these two things, or else you will end up having dark or extremely bright footage.

The Sun doesn’t flicker

Keep in mind that the sun is a constant source of light, so you can make a video at any setting of your camera when outside, irrespective of which country you are residing in. Remember that the light flicker on the camera only if there is any artificial light in the video while you are outside and using the wrong camera setting.

Also, note that all artificial lights don’t flicker. More costly and special studio lights are created to pulse at an extremely high frequency, thus they really appear as they are constant light sources, eliminating the flickering problem altogether.

Other ways to stop LED light flickering on the camera screen

Given below are some of the useful tips to fix or avoid the flickering issue on the video.

If you light up the lamp with the help of a battery, the flicker will disappear from the screen.

Avoid using slow motion in indoor shooting, instead, use this feature only outdoors. Perhaps during the day and not at night. After the production, you can apply the slow-motion effect.

The problem of occasionally flickering lights is common and may not be dangerous. It often is the result of minor electrical problems that you can fix on your own. But if the problem continues, you may need to consult an expert and see if the cause of light flickering in your house is something more serious.

Below, we have discussed how to go about electrical repair when lights flicker. Read on.

How to fix flickering lights?

Usually, the lights may flicker due to small electrical or lighting issues that can be fixed with simple home repair tricks. Here are a few things you can do:

Check for Loose Bulbs

Check to see if the cause of lights flickering in the house is loose bulbs or loose connections. If a bulb is not screwed in completely, the socket isn’t able to make contact with the bulb properly. And this can result in electrical light flickering or a flickering light bulb.

Check for Faulty Light Switches

Flickering light or a flickering bulb can also be the result of faulty light switches that may not be connecting with the bulb. So, to check if that’s the reason, turn the wall switch off and back on to see if the lights stop flickering. If that doesn’t work, let it stay off for a couple of hours. If it doesn’t work either, you may probably have to change the switch.

Check for Voltage Fluctuation

Light dimming or light flickering can also be the result of fluctuation in voltage due to inconsistent power supply. When you plug in an appliance with high wattage while the voltage is fluctuating, lights may start to flicker. If that happens, turn the appliance off immediately to reduce some load. But if the lights continue flickering, turn all the lights and electrical appliances off till voltage is normal again.

Cause of flickering light – Complex Electrical Issues

Loose or Worn Out Electrical Wiring

Overextension

Electrical Arcing

It is advised not to deal with these complex electrical problems on your own because they can result in devastating electrical accidents such as electrical fires. Consult your electrician and get the issue fixed safely.

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How to fix flickering lights

“Why are my lights flickering?” is one of the most common electrical questions we hear from our customers. They can be a real nuisance, but in most cases it’s nothing serious. Sometimes, though, flickering lights can indicate a larger issue with your home’s electrical system. That’s when it’s time to call in a professional to investigate the issue before it causes serious damage, including a fire.

Top Reasons Lights Flicker

Unless they’re fairy lights or LED faux flame bulbs, the lights in your home shouldn’t be flickering. The top electrical reasons lights flicker include:

  • Loose or outdated wiring.
  • A faulty light or fixture switch.
  • Voltage fluctuations.
  • A faulty meter box or main service cable connection.
  • A sensory overload on a circuit.

Problems you can usually fix yourself include the bulb not being the right type or not put in tightly enough, a loose light plug, or an appliance that’s pulling a large amount of current on startup.

Simple Fixes to Try

There could be a simple culprit causing your lights to flicker.

  • If only one light consistently flickers, first check that the bulb is screwed in all the way. Keep in mind, LED bulbs on dimmers and fluorescent bulbs tend to flicker and aren’t something to worry about.
  • If a lamp constantly flickers, check for a loose connection between the plug and outlet.
  • If the flickering starts when a major appliance like a washing machine or air conditioner comes on, you could have an overloaded circuit. If the flickering only happens once in a while, it’s usually not a problem, but it’s still best to have a pro take a look.

You might also want to upgrade old or incompatible light switches or consider making the switch to smart bulbs.

How to Deal With Bigger Issues

If your DIY fixes don’t solve the flickering problem, you likely have a whole-house issue that needs the attention of an experienced, qualified electrician. To avoid damage to your lighting system or appliances, and to prevent an electrical fire, call in the pros to check:

  • Your electrical panel is up to snuff and equipped to safely handle powering everything in your home.
  • The wiring isn’t loose. Loose wiring is one of the major causes of house fires.
  • If the problem is at the meter box connection or main service cable connection. These high capacity wires could also be a fire hazard.

Learn More

Though flickering lights are often caused by something that’s easily fixed, never ignore the problem as it could be a sign of a bigger electrical issue. To learn more or to schedule a home electrical inspection, contact one of the qualified electricians at David Gray Electrical Services today. You can also call us at (904) 724-7211.

How to fix flickering lights

Are you dealing with irritating flickering lights in your home or business? An occasional light flicker in your home is normal and may seem harmless. But if you’ve noticed flickering occur more often or has started happening regularly, and/or is severe, then it is time to investigate.

Flickering lights are the result of a reduction or a fluctuation in total household voltage that results in the lights dimming for a moment. Abrupt changes in voltage from low to high can damage electronics and in rare cases cause an electrical fire. Understanding some of the most common issues will help you know what to do to solve the problem.

How to fix flickering lights

Flickering or blinking lights are usually caused by one of the following:

  • Problem with the bulb (not in tight enough, lightbulbs are incompatible with your dimmers)
  • Loose light plug
  • Faulty switch or dimmer
  • Appliances or HVAC units pulling large amounts of current on startup, causing a voltage drop

Or there may be a bigger electrical issue:

  • Sensory overload on a circuit
  • Fluctuating electrical voltage
  • Loose or outdated wiring connections
  • Electric utility service issue
  • Problem with the meter box or main service cable connection

Should you fix the flicker yourself or call an expert?

Some level of simple troubleshooting and repairing might be effective. For example if a dimmer switch is suspected, try replacing an LED bulb with a traditional incandescent bulb to see if that solves the problem. If you issue falls under the bigger electrical issue category then you may need a professional electrician to inspect it further.

Even if the flickering seems harmless, it could be a sign of a more serious underlying issue with your electrical wiring that could present a dangerous fire hazard to your home. It’s never a good idea to ignore a lighting or electrical problem. If simple troubleshooting doesn’t do the trick, don’t hesitate to call Zellner Electric, your electrician in New Braunfels at (830) 515.5953.

Are you wondering why your lights keeping flickering? You rely on electricity to keep your home safe and comfortable. When an electrical issue arises, it could put your family, home, and well-being in jeopardy. While flickering lights might seem like a minor problem, it could, in fact, be a sign of a much larger issue.

Flickering lights can be incredibly annoying, but electrical problems that cause this issue can actually be quite serious. An occasional light flicker may be normal, especially if you live in an older home. However, if you begin to notice flickering that hasn’t happened before, you need to investigate.

Flickering lights can be caused by a number of minor problems that you may be able to quickly address on your own without calling in a pro. If a bigger electrical issue is the culprit, though, it could be incredibly dangerous to try to fix the problem without professional help. The following are six common causes of flickering or blinking lights that you should watch for so you can get back to full brightness in no time.

1. Issues With the Light Bulb Itself

If the flickering only happens in one light, the cause might be as simple as a loose bulb or the use of the wrong bulb type. Over time, light bulbs can loosen and fail to maintain their connection with their sockets. To fix this issue, begin by trying to tighten the bulb. If that doesn’t work, you can try replacing it with a new one.

If you use fluorescent bulbs, keep in mind that they tend to flicker, especially when they’re powering up. Dimmer switches typically don’t work well with fluorescent and CFL bulbs, either. If you’re using a dimmer switch with an LED bulb, make sure the bulb is compatible with your switch. Or, consider upgrading your dimmer switch with one specifically made to work with LED bulbs.

2. Overloaded Circuits

Major appliances like the washing machine or the air conditioner can pull more electrical current than your circuits are able to handle. If you notice that your lights frequently flicker, blink, or dim when you run these appliances, overloaded circuits may be the problem.

3. Faulty Light Switches

Light flickering is often caused because of a poor connection between a light switch and a bulb. To determine whether this is the issue you’re dealing with, simply wiggle the light switch. You can also try turning the switch on and off to see if the problem is fixed. If it is, you should consider replacing the switch.

4. Loose Electrical Connections

Not only can loose electrical connections cause flickering lights, but they can also pose a risk of fires. Whether the issue is found in a single location or house-wide, loose wiring is always a dangerous issue. Loose electrical connections in light switches, outlets, and other areas can cause electrical currents to overheat and endanger your entire house. Old and outdated wires, circuit breakers, and connectors should be immediately fixed by a licensed professional.

5. A Fluctuation in Voltage

Although slight voltage fluctuation is normal, the voltage in your home should always be between 115 and 125 volts. If a fluctuation in voltage is the source of your flickering lights, signs could include:

  • Consistent flickering whenever you run a large appliance
  • Flickering that continues after you’ve stopped running appliances
  • Unexpected light dimming
  • Light bulbs that frequently burn out

You can measure your home’s voltage with an inexpensive tool called a voltmeter. If your voltage measures above 125, you’ve probably determined the cause of your flickering lights. Your electrician can find the best solution to take care of your voltage issues.

6. Electrical Consumption From Neighbors

If you and your neighbors are experiencing regular light flickering, the problem is most likely coming from the electrical company. In this instance, you should report the problem to the utility service itself.

Leave Flickering Lights to the Pros

If you’re dealing with flickering lights, your best course of action is to contact a professional electrician to make sure the issue isn’t serious. Ignoring what might seem to be a minor problem could lead to a bigger dilemma down the road that puts your home in unnecessary danger.

For any electrical problem big or small, don’t hesitate to turn to the experts at A-1 Heating Air Conditioning & Electric in Meridian. Dedicated to providing exceptional electrical repair, installation, maintenance, as well as ceiling fan repair and installation, we also specialize in performing residential and commercial heating and cooling services. Let us help you keep your lights on.