8 Reasons Your Lights are Flickering and How to Fix Them

by | Apr 18, 2024

The worst thing that can happen when you’re focused on reading your favourite book before bed or completing urgent work at night is when the lights start acting up. You have to stop everything you’re doing and tend to this problem first, as it just doesn’t let you continue with your priority tasks unless it gets fixed.

We all would agree that flickering lights only look good when they are used for Halloween or Christmas decorations, not your study or bedroom. Sometimes they just mean that the bulbs have gone faulty and need a replacement, but if it’s more than two lights at once – there can be a deeper concern at play.

3 Possible Minor Causes that You Can Fix Yourself

A lot of times the problem is just what it looks like on the surface – A bad bulb or a loose plug. You can solve this yourself and don’t necessarily need to call an electrician. Let’s take a look:

1. Loose or defective bulb

When it’s a loose light, most of the time the flicker is inconsistent. Sometimes you see it getting stable but other times the problem starts again. Check whether the bulb hasn’t burnt out anywhere inside and if it’s the right kind of bulb for your fixture.

💡Bell electrical tip: Wait for the bulb to cool down once you switch it off. This will help you prevent potential burns and help you check the bulb and fixture thoroughly.

2. Connection with a dimmer switch

Often the problem is hidden in plain sight. Check whether your bulb is connected to a dimmer switch, which is only compatible with dimmer LED lights. If this is the case get a dimmer LED that would work well with the dimmer switch and fix the original bulb somewhere else.

3. Loose plug

See if the plug connecting the bulb to the switch has come loose. Even if it appears to be connected well, the metal prongs are bent and lead to a fluctuating connection. Open them up and plug them back.

5 Major Causes that Might Need Professional Help

The problem didn’t go away even after trying all 3 solutions above? It’s likely that the issue is deep and would need professional assistance.

1. Circuit is overloaded

If you see that the lights flicker whenever a heavy appliance is turned on, this might suggest that the circuit is overloaded and isn’t built to take high voltage demands. You’ll need to call a professional electrician who can check the internal wiring and make the right modifications.

2. Voltage is fluctuating

The voltage supply in your home should range between 115 to 125 volts. If your house is receiving more or less than this range, then it leads to unstable electricity. You can easily check this yourself with a voltmeter which will tell you the reading.

Another sign apart from flickering lights when it comes to voltage fluctuation is – if the bulbs tend to burn out faster than they should. Call a professional electrician like Bell Electrical immediately if there’s persistent voltage fluctuation. Leaving this unattended can even result in an electrical fire.

3. Arcing due to loose wiring

Arcing happens when electricity has to “jump” over a loose connection to keep on flowing. Each arc is often hotter than 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is around 5,500 degrees Celsius. This can lead to dangerous situations at home, including electric shocks or fires.

Call a professional electrician before things go out of hand. They will check all wires, fixtures, and switches and will fix the problem areas before they escalate into something big.

4. Main supply has issues

If the lights are flickering in multiple spaces of your house, then the problem might be with its main electricity supply. In that case, your area’s electricity supply must be checked. It’s also probable that the transformer sharing your house’s load is not able to sustain it.

5. Circuit breaker has gone bad

A faulty breaker can cause lights to flicker, especially when you turn on a big appliance. It doesn’t break off the current when the voltage is high, hence letting excessive voltage of current reach your lights and appliances. Call a professional electrician to help fix it and do not think of doing it yourself.

Wrapping up

If any lights in your house are flickering, even if it’s just one, don’t ignore it. First, try to understand what the root cause might be by taking the suggestions we made above. If the issue persists even after trying everything you can, don’t delay and seek professional help.

What might seem like a trivial concern at first can be a sign of a deep underlying issue that can lead to electric shocks, fires, or – we hate to say it, sometimes even death.

Need Help?

Do you need to have your electrical systems done? Bell Electrical Contractors is happy to help. Call us on 0411471922 or email us at info@bellelectrical.com.au.