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Why Are My Lights Flickering?

One of the problems that comes up when lights start flickering in your house, aside from it being really annoying, is that the reasons for the flicker can range from the relatively harmless to pretty serious and a possible fire hazard.

A single flickering light isn’t usually a cause for panic, though it could be more than the bulb and it may be time to change the fixture or light switch. The flickering or dimming of all your lights, especially when you turn on an appliance, could indicate a more serious problem with voltage fluctuation or loose wiring. And anytime lights flicker and you can’t find the problem, it’s a wise move to call one of our electricians.

Here’s a look at some common reasons your lights can flicker.

Fluorescent and LED Flickering

These types of lighting are more prone to flickering than others. We’ve all seen fluorescent lights flicker when first turned until the phosphors in the bulb reach peak illumination. It’s also possible for LED lights to flicker when improperly connected to an electronic driver or dimmer switch. It’s usually not serious, but if it gets too annoying, you may want to replace the fixture or check its connection.

Loose Bulb

This has long been culprit No. 1 in the flickering light world. Check to see if the bulb is fully screwed in. If an incandescent bulb is involved, the filament may be loose and you’ll want to replace it. Most importantly, if tightening the bulb doesn’t stop the flicker, there’s a different problem.

Faulty Light Switch

A light can flicker if a light switch isn’t properly connecting with the bulb. Toggling the switch on and off can help, or just letting the light sit off for a while may do the trick, but if the problem continues, you should look into changing the switch.

When it comes to changing fixtures and switches, it’s always more practical to allow one of our professional electricians to handle the job. But in these next few causes for flickering lights, calling an electrician is much more important as these problems could lead to a fire hazard.

Voltage Fluctuation

If your lights flicker when you turn on an appliance with a high wattage, it’s possible that there is too much voltage fluctuation in the house. This becomes more serious if the flickering continues even after you shut off the appliance.

Some other signs that the voltage is fluctuating incorrectly in your house are lights that dim unexpectedly or that frequently burn out.

Most homes have 120 volts of electricity flowing through them. A little fluctuation is normal and your home should usually be between 115 and 125 volts. There are devices that can measure the voltage in a home, but even so, you should give us a call if you’re worried about voltage fluctuation.

And that’s because another cause for light flickering can be

Loose Electrical Wiring

This is the most serious reason for lights flickering and the most dangerous. Loose wiring is the main cause of house fires. If any wiring looks insecure or you can’t find the cause of lights flickering, then it’s time for a thorough inspection by an electrical contractor.

The one thing you should never do is ignore electrical problems. We can help you find out the cause of your flickering lights as well as inspect and check your entire electrical system. Flickering lights aren’t’ something to ignore. They’re a problem that should be solved.

Do you live in Gloucester County and have lights that won’t stop flickering? Give us a call at 856.769.3932.

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