Reading Time: 3 minutes
If you’re struggling with flickering lights calling out for professional electrical repair may seem excessive, however, minor underlying issues causing the lights to flash and flicker may lead to further electrical problems that could become costly issues if not sorted out early. For example, surges in power and faulty or loose wiring can lead to fires and therefore are a hazard.
Possible Causes Of Flickering Lights
Let’s start out by saying: Don’t ignore flashing or flickering lights. Aside from this being an annoyance, it can also become a dangerous situation. Naturally your first point of call would be to change your lightbulb. But if the flickering persists even with a new bulb, you probably need to take a deeper look into the problem. Here are some things to remember when deciding to change the bulb or call a professional:
- All bulbs have their lifespan. Fluorescent lights tend to flicker more than LED bulbs or other bulbs because of temperature, warm-up cycles and bulb age. LED bulbs with dimmer switches are known to flicker as well.
- Because dimmers usually work for higher electrical loads while LEDs are low-voltage, they too will flicker. In this case you need to consider the compatibility of the bulb before you perform installation.
- Loose lightbulbs can cause flickering because of a break in connection. All that is required here is to tighten the bulb to ensure a consistent current is flowing. But remember to switch off the light at the wall and wait for it to cool before touching the bulb.
- Bad light switches will cause flickering of the lights because of a lack of connection between the switch and the bulb. If you have already tried turning the light on and off, but the problem still occurs, you will need to replace the light switch. We suggest calling in a professional to avoid further problems.
- You and your neighbors share a circuit so heavy loads being drawn from their side could be affecting the flickering of your lights. Because your transformers are connected, this pull of electricity causes a drop in voltage being fed through your power lines, which will cause the lights to flicker. This is not something to worry about unless it starts to affect your power usage. If this is the case, you will need to contact your electrical utility as they will be able to increase the size of the transformer which will prevent the drop or they can put your neighbor on their own transformer.
When You’re In Need Of Electrical Repair
Voltage fluctuation is the random and repeated changes in the flow of electricity. If flickering occurs when switching on an appliance that draws a high amount of energy, voltage fluctuation is to blame. This is because the appliance or item being used requires more electricity than what is being delivered. However, if the flickering continues after the use of said appliance, this is an indication of a more serious concern and will require further investigation and possible electrical repair. Wiring that has been designed to handle lower voltages of electricity than what is needed can also be responsible for voltage fluctuations. Damage caused by insects and bugs can affect electrical flow and lead to failure of electricity. In order to diagnose the source of the voltage fluctuation, electricians use specific equipment that circumvents them from having to access to wiring directly.
Loose Electrical Wiring
Loose wiring is one of the main causes of home fires. If you’re unsure whether this is the cause of your flickering lights, turn the light off, remove the fixture and check the wiring. If things are looking out of place, you’re in need of an electrician. Do not try and figure this out on your own. You may cause further damage that you are not aware of and you run the risk of electrocution. If your lights continue to flicker even with everything intact, there is indeed an underlying problem that needs professional assessment.
Failing switches are dangerous but are fortunately confined to the switch itself. If you have no experience or background in replacing switches, your safest option would be to call an electrician. Attempting to do this on your own may lead to burning or shocking yourself which isn’t pleasant or necessary. Although it is a relatively simple fix, safety is big concern here.
If you’re experiencing flickering lights and can’t locate the origin, call an electrician. Ignoring an electrical problem could leave you regretting your decision and chances are, you might save yourself some money and trouble by catching it early.
The bottom line is, if persistent flickering continues, take action, especially if it is not resolved with changing the bulb – there must be an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Electrical work can be tricky if you are not familiar with what to look out for or how to navigate wiring. Don’t delay, call an electrician. After all, we at Art Plumbing, AC, and Electric are here to help you!