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Electrical Problems That Stop Ceiling Lights From Working

electrical problems
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Most of us don’t give our ceiling lights a passing thought until we flick the switch, and they don’t work. What many people don’t know is, apart from the frustration of having to fumble around in the dark, faulty electrical ceiling lights can be an indication of much larger electrical problems that may result in a fire or electrocution.

There are many reasons that ceiling lights don’t work. This is why an electrician must be contacted to assess the situation as soon as possible. By a process of elimination, an experienced electrician will be able to trace and repair the electrical problem.

Why Are The Ceiling Lights Not Working?

The answer to that question may not be as obvious as “Did you switch them on?” even though we have to agree that we have all been guilty of that at some point. There are various reasons for ceiling lights not working. 

Troubleshooting must begin by ascertaining whether the problem lies with:

  • The Light Bulb
  • The power supply
  • The electrical wiring
  • The switch
  • The light fixture

The Light Bulb

The most common reason for faulty ceiling lights is the light bulb. Light bulbs have a limited lifespan and can easily be replaced. Before calling an electrician, check that the light bulb:

  • Has not fused or blown
  • Is securely seated in the fitting

Often, changing a faulty light bulb or securing it tightly in the fixture, resolves the issue of faulty ceiling lights.

The Power Supply

If the electrical power supply to the ceiling lights is interrupted, they will not work. There are two main reasons that the power supply is interrupted:

  • The problem is with the main utility powerhouse. If that is the case, the whole building and possibly the neighborhood will be affected.
  • The problem is in your electrical panel and is most likely a tripped circuit breaker.

Reasons A Circuit Breaker Will Trip

A circuit breaker is designed to protect the electrical circuit by interrupting current flow when a fault is detected in the electrical system. The reasons a circuit breaker will trip include:

  • The circuit breaker is fault
  • There is a fault in the wiring
  • The electrical system is overloaded
  • A hot wire comes in contact with a neutral wire, causing a short circuit

The Electrical Wiring

The electrical circuit consists of a series of electrical wires; they need to be installed correctly for an uninterrupted power supply. Any fault in the wiring or installation, or any loose wires, will interrupt the electrical circuit, and the power will not reach the intended source.

The Light Switch

Light fixtures may vary in design, but all are controlled by an electrical switch.

The most common light fixtures are controlled by:

  • An Integral switch
  • A pull chain
  • A wall switch

If the switch is faulty or not wired correctly, the lights will not receive the power they need to work.

The Light Fixture

A light fixture that is faulty or not wired correctly, cannot supply the electricity the bulb requires to illuminate. If the steel pins that connect to the bulb are bent, over time, the connection may be severed. This can cause the light to appear faulty. Removing the bulb and straightening the pins in the fixture, often resolves the problem, but you need to ensure that the circuit breaker is off before touching the pins.

Why An Electrician Should Inspect Faulty Ceiling Lights?

Electricity is part of our everyday lives but can be very dangerous in the wrong hands. Attempting to “Do It Yourself” without the necessary experience or expertise, can have dire consequences like fire or electrocution. The main reasons you should contact an electrician to inspect faulty ceiling lights are:

  • Experienced, licensed, insured, and trained to find and repair the fault.
  • Familiar with all the latest electrical installation codes and legal electrical requirements.
  • Equipped with the necessary clothing, equipment, and safety tools required to safely conduct electrical inspections and work with electrical wiring.

Electrical Problems With Your Ceiling Lights? Call Art Plumbing, AC, & Electric

Art Plumbing AC & Electric has been the qualified, licensed, and insured electricians of choice in South Florida since 1983. For all your electrical problems and needs contact us at 1-800-475-1504 Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm, and on Sundays for any emergency. You can also find Art on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


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