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Electricians Tips

  • elizabeth3tx

What to Do About Flickering Lights?

Updated: Feb 5

A consistently flickering light often signals more than just an old or malfunctioning bulb. If you're facing this issue in your home, it's wise to contact an experienced electrician for assistance, as it could indicate an impending electrical emergency.

Common causes of flickering lights include:

  1. Problems with the Bulb: It might not be screwed in tightly or could be incompatible with your dimmer switches.

  2. Loose Light Plug: This can disrupt the electrical connection.

  3. Faulty Switches or Dimmers: These can lead to inconsistent lighting.

  4. Large Appliances or HVAC Units: When they start up, they might pull significant electricity, causing a voltage drop.

Flickering light bulbs are a warning sign of potential issues with the electrical wiring in those areas, and they need immediate attention to prevent potential fires and expensive repairs.

Potential Causes of Flickering Lights:

  • Unstable Electrical Voltage: Standard lighting requires a stable voltage of 120 volts. When the voltage is unstable, either too high or too low, due to issues like bad wiring, loose connections, or faults in your electrical system, your lights may flicker. This excess or insufficient voltage can harm electrical equipment and potentially cause a fire.

  • Faulty Light Switch: Problems with the light switch, such as a broken toggle, a bad connection, or corroded contacts, can also cause lights to flicker.

  • Loose Wire Connections: Electrical connections should be secure for uninterrupted electricity flow. Loose wiring in fixtures like circuit breakers, wire splices, receptacles, and switches can reduce current flow and cause flickering. Loose connections can also lead to arcing, where electricity jumps, potentially causing an electrical fire.

  • Bad Electric Panel: The electrical panel distributes power to various circuits. A malfunctioning panel, due to tripped breakers, corrosion, outdated equipment, or overcrowding, can disrupt power supply and cause lights to flicker.

  • Loose Bulbs: A bulb that is not properly secured in its socket may flicker due to inconsistent power supply. This can often be fixed by tightening the bulb. Note that CFL and fluorescent bulbs naturally flicker briefly when turned on, unlike LED bulbs that offer instant illumination and are more energy-efficient.

  • Overloaded Circuit: When multiple appliances are used simultaneously, or during peak demand, an electrical overload can occur. This can lead to reduced electricity flow to bulbs and cause flickering. Occasional flickering during high demand is not alarming, but if persistent, a qualified electrician should be consulted.

  • Brownouts and Blackouts: Especially during summer or peak hours, reduced power supply (brownout) can occur, leading to flickering lights.

  • Power Surges: Flickering lights can also indicate dangerous power surges, which can damage electronics and start fires.

If you are experiencing flickering lights in your home or business, don't wait until it becomes an emergency. Contact ENE LLC for professional assistance. Our experienced electricians are ready to address all your electrical needs and ensure your safety.

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