Why Are My Lights Flickering? 5 Common Causes

Why Are My Lights Flickering? 5 Common Causes

Lights will flicker from time to time, but if they flicker too often, that may be a sign of a more serious issue (one that could cause a fire). Below are the common culprits of flickering lights and what you can do about them:

#1 Loose Lightbulb

Sometimes, the solution may be very simple (and yet homeowners still don’t think to do it) – all you’ve got to do is tighten your lightbulb. When lightbulbs aren’t correctly screwed onto the socket, they won’t get consistent power, which can lead to flickering. With that said, the straightforward solution would be to make sure the bulb sits tightly in its socket so that it can make a better connection. Be sure to turn off the light and let the bulb cool down before trying to twist it.

#2 Loose Connections?

When it comes to your home’s electrical systems, connections matter. In general, connections should be as tight as possible. Something as simple as a loose connection between the lightbulb and the on/off switch can cause lights to flicker. You can tell if the connections are faulty if the lights flicker when you wiggle the light switch. Have your property inspected by a professional electrician, like Beeson Mechanical Service, if you suspect the root cause of the issue involves loose connections.

#3 Type of Bulb

Fun fact: fluorescent lights are more likely to flicker than LED lights. If your fluorescent lights often flicker, the lightbulb itself may be to blame. This can be caused by a number of reasons, such as the temperature (they don’t do well in cold climates), the age of the lightbulb, and warm-up cycles. In this case, flickering lights aren’t a cause for concern, as it may simply be a sign that it’s time to switch your current lights for LED lights. However, if your lights continue to flicker after you’ve replaced them, it may be best to contact a licensed electrician, such as Beeson Mechanical Servic.

#4 Sudden Current Draws

Do the lights flicker when you plug in a large appliance such as a fridge? This may be a sign of a voltage change. When certain appliances are switched on, they draw around 100 amps, which can cause a change in the overall voltage (the average residence has a service capacity of 100 to 200 amps) and overload the circuit. As a result, the lights may flicker momentarily. If this is the case, call an electrical company to check if your appliances are wired correctly.

#5 Faulty Wiring

Wires can get damaged due to age (they will degrade over time), or when animals attempt to chew through the wiring. When this happens, your property will be in great danger. Damaged wiring is more prone to arcing, which can produce sparks that reach up to 35,000°F. This puts your property at serious risk of a fire. For that reason, it’s extremely important to contact the experts, like Beeson Mechanical Service, if you feel that faulty wiring is what’s causing your lights to flicker. You should also cut off all electricity to that wire by switching off the correct circuit breaker.

It’s Better to Be Safe Than Sorry

Data from the Electrical Safety Foundation International shows that electrical fires account for more than 51,000 fires each year. While the cause of flickering lights isn’t always a cause for concern, you shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a more serious issue. As they say, it’s still better to be safe than sorry, so consult a professional, such as Beeson Mechanical Service, to get to the bottom of the problem. That way, you can deal with it before it can worsen (and before it can develop into a fire) as well as avoid adding to the statistic. Reach out at 317-535-9338.