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Why Are My Lights Flickering?

Flickering lights might seem like the beginning of a bad horror movie, but it’s a very real occurrence for a lot of homeowners. Not only are flickering lights inconvenient and frustrating, but they’re sometimes dangerous, and a sure sign that something is wrong from an electrical perspective. Fortunately, a flickering light is a symptom — and there’s always a cure.

Let’s delve into the underlying reasons for why your lights are flickering.

  • Dimmer incompatibility. To the untrained eye, all dimmers look alike. But even identical dimmers can range significantly in price, brightness level, and type. Certain dimmers are compatible with certain light bulbs — such as LED, CFL, and incandescent bulbs — and when you don’t strike a perfect match, it becomes a problem. This is a common occurrence, especially as government-run programs offer free LEDs to help customers save money and energy. But the problem is, many of these free offers don’t include a proper assessment, and most people don’t have dimmers for LEDs. And when a dimmer is incompatible with a light bulb, it’s likely to blow out.
  • Loose wiring. Loose wiring is perhaps the most dangerous root cause, because it can be a fire hazard. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell whether this is the case without contacting an electrician to diagnose the problem.
  • Overloaded electrical service. An overloaded or unbalanced electrical service is another root cause of flickering lights. This is probably the issue if the flickering lights are often tied to an appliance starting up, like a dishwasher or microwave. If this is the problem, a licensed electrician can upgrade or repair your service.

Whatever the root cause of your flickering lights, it’s best to contact a licensed electrician that can properly diagnose and repair the issue. The root cause might be minor or major, but you never know until an electrician looks under the hood.

Here at HomeWiz, our staff of licensed electricians are experts at dealing with these types of issues. As a part of our ongoing series, we’ll tackle the most common electrical, HVAC, and drains problems that our customers face today.