When is it Time to Worry with Flickering Lights?

While some flickering lights can be decorative and fun, such as ones purchased just for that purpose, it is not something desirable in majority of cases. Most often flickering lights are not a cause for alarm, but it is always best to check if there is a larger issue to blame. Here are some common reasons for flickering lights and which ones you should be worried about:
LED and Fluorescent Flickering: Could Possibly be Normal

Some types of technology for lighting are more prone than others to flickering. An example being, when turning a fluorescent light on they sometimes flicker in the first few minutes. This is due to the phosphors reaching top illumination. Or they flicker when there is a failing ballast the bulb is connected to. LED lights may flicker with some dimming systems or joined to a driver improperly. While neither of these issues pose a serious electrical problem, you may want to consider changing lights if flickering becomes too bothersome.

Bulb Loose: Not a Problem

A light bulb that is loose is the simplest reason for flickering due to it not being screwed tight enough into the socket. This might seem like a no-brainer when it comes to checking this for most types of lights, but for light that are unexposed, like recessed lights, it may not come to mind as easily. Think safety first prior to checking and be sure the light is turned off and put a pair of heavy duty gloves on before you grasp and tighten any light bulb as they tend to be extremely hot, particularly if the light has been on for quite a while. If after you tighten your light bulb it continues to flicker when you turn it on, there is a problem somewhere else.

Light Switch is Faulty: Not an Emergency

Flickering lights can be caused from a light switch that is not connecting properly with the light bulb. You can try turning that light off for a bit then back on or toggle the light switch off and on. You have found your problem if the issue is resolved. If you find yourself doing this consistently to stop your lights from flickering, the best option would be to replace the light switch.

Fluctuating Voltage: You Need to Call a Rockwall Electrician

If you notice your lights flicker when turning on a high wattage appliance, this can be due to your homes voltage changing too much. A sign of an electrical issue that is more serious, is when the light flickers even after the appliance is no longer in use. If you notice lights in your home burn out frequently or unexpectedly dim, this can be another sign showing you there is something wrong with the voltage in your home. Typical electricity flow into homes is about 120 volts. Although a small amount of fluctuation is expected and normal, there should always be a supply going to your home between 115-125 volts. A voltmeter is a device that checks your homes voltage that you can purchase. If your voltmeter reading averages are above the range desired, your lighting problem or problems have been found. There are some cases in which purchasing 130-volt light bulbs may be able to handle a voltage that is higher, and can be an appropriate solution. Prior to doing this, always check with an electrician. They have the right tools and experience needed to handle these issues.

Electrical Wiring That is Loose: You Need to Call a Rockwall Electrician

Wiring which is loose is the main cause of fires in the home and reason that is most serious for flickering lights. Prior to removing the fixture, turn the light off at your circuit breaker to double check your homes wiring. If your fixture looks like it may be insecure or loose, you need to call an electrician. After you have double checked your wiring and you still have not found out why your lights are flickering, have an electrician come to your home to evaluate your electrical wiring just to stay on the safe side.

It is always a bad idea to ignore an electrical or lighting problem. When you notice lights in your home flickering, always examine what could be causing this issue, and if you are having difficulty finding the cause or the problem does not go away, you need to call an electrician for assistance.

Posted in Local Electrician Blog

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Morgan Crawford
Morgan Crawford

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 weeks ago

I used Barney's Electric to update old light fixtures / install new light fixtures at my house. Barney's Electric is hands down the best electric company to hire! The technicians are so unbelievable professional, knowledgeable and helpful!! I was very pleased with the electrical services they provided and how fast they were able to come out. They absolutely take care of every customer job, LARGE or SMALL. I will call them every time I need an electrical job done.

Cale Watts
Cale Watts

5 out of 5 stars

posted 5 months ago

I submitted an online request at 9pm one evening for some electrical work I needed on a newly constructed patio cover. Barney called me around 7:30am the following morning! Now that's a fast response time! The work needed to be completed asap and had to be coordinated with my builder. They coordinated perfectly with my builder's schedule. They got the work done fast. And this was all done with very short notice!  They were prompt, professional, courteous, and very informative. They even gave me free advice on a non-related issue that is going to save me hundreds of dollars. They did excellent work and cleaned up afterward! I will definitely be using them on other properties and upcoming projects in the near future.  I highly recommend Barney's Electric! 


Linda Brown
Linda Brown

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

Very happy with his business. Came on time and finished in a timely manner. Will certainly use him again.