Why Do The Lights In My House Keep Flickering?
Occasionally, you’ll have a light that flickers inside your home. But if flickering lights has become your new normal, you need to investigate the cause.
Flickering lights are usually caused by:
A problem with the lightbulb
Your first step should be to check the lightbulb. Bulbs can loosen over time, which causes them to lose connection. Tightening them may do the trick. If that doesn’t work, it might be time to replace the bulb. Fluorescent bulbs tend to flicker as they power up or if they are cold. LEDs tend to have problems when connected to dimmer switches. Be sure you have the proper bulb in your fixtures to ensure they work correctly.
A problem with the plug
Is the problem always with one light or fixture? Then it’s probably a problem with that light or fixture. Check the connection between the plug and the outlet. Is it firmly in the wall? If you notice a problem with the plug itself, stop using it.
A faulty light fixture
Sometimes the problem is with the outlet or the switch. A poor connection may be a signal that something is wrong internally with the wiring of the outlet, or with the light itself. Try flipping the light switch on and off, can you fix the flickering? If so, it’s the wiring and should be replaced.
The problem with many homes is they were built during a time when we didn’t require as much to be plugged in. Do you notice flickering with more than one light, fixture, or appliance? Does it occur in the same room or on the same circuit? That’s a sure sign of an overloaded circuit.
Over time, you might experience different levels of incoming voltage. Most homes run between 115 and 125 volts; if it averages higher, it can cause problems with the way your lights and appliances operate.
Loose wiring isn’t just annoying, it can be dangerous too. It’s the leading cause of house fires. Like everything inside your home, your wiring wears out over time. That means connections start to fail, wiring wiggles loose, breakers can’t handle the load.
You might start noticing it in a variety of ways. Flickering is just the beginning. You’ll notice plugs fall out of the outlets because they are so loose. Light switches fail. Circuits shut down at an increasing rate. These are warning signs. Contact an electrician as soon as possible to assess the situation and ensure your safety.
Have questions about flickering lights in your home? We’re here to help.