Why are the Lights in My House Flickering?

Flickering lights in your home can be a sign of an issue with the lights themselves or with the electrical system as a whole. They could happen because of  changes in voltage, loose connections, the wrong type of lightbulb, and more.

Just because the lights are flickering in your home doesn’t mean you’re living in a horror movie. More often than not, the cause of and solution to flickering lights tends to be relatively simple. Unfortunately, however, this can also be a sign of a larger problem, so it’s crucial to figure out what’s causing them. We can help with that:

Why are the lights in my house flickering?

There are many things that can cause flickering lights in your home, but the most common causes are:

1. You don’t have the right type of bulb

Fluorescent lights frequently use an inductive ballast to control the amount of current flowing through the bulb. This can cause a flickering effect. However, it’s also possible for LED lights to flicker when they aren’t connected to a driver or a dimming system properly.

2. The bulb is loose

Sometimes, the bulb just isn’t screwed in all the way. If the lights all throughout your home are flickering, then it’s a bigger issue. But if it’s just one or two lights, you may just need to screw them in all the way.

3. The connections are loose

A loose wire, circuit breaker connection, or terminal can lead to problems like flickering lights. Loose connections  create resistance, which causes arcing, which can lead to overheating or even electrical fires.

4. There have been changes in the voltage

Do your lights flicker only when you turn on large appliances? That could be a sign of a voltage-based issue. If the flickering lasts longer than the use of the appliance, it could be a sign of a more serious electrical issue.

Electricity usually flows into homes at around 120 volts. Some fluctuation is normal, but  your home should always be between 115 and 125 volts. A professional electrician can check your home’s ampacity to ensure it’s properly set up to handle the lights and appliances simultaneously.

How do I fix flickering lights?

What you need to do to fix the flickering lights in your home depends on how serious the issue is. To stop the lights in your home from flickering, try:

  • Tightening the bulb. This is by far the simplest solution to a flickering light. Try screwing the bulb in tighter to see if that stops the flickering.
  • Switching the bulb. If your lights are flickering because you’re using a fluorescent bulb, simply switch the type of light you’re using. Try using an LED or incandescent bulb instead.
  • Checking the current. It is best to contact a professional to see if your circuit breaker is up to the task of powering the electronics in your home safely. However, if you want to find out which appliance is causing the flickering, you can begin by powering each load on at the circuit breaker.
  • Checking for loose wiring. This is another case where it’s crucial to have an electrician take a look at your home. If you get too far into a wiring or circuit issue, it’s always best to get an expert opinion on the electricity flowing in your home.

Can flickering lights be dangerous?

In some cases, yes. Loose wiring, for example, is one of the main causes of a house fire, so it’s very important to have an electrician evaluate your home’s electrical wiring.

If changing or tightening your lightbulbs don’t seem to make a difference, get in touch with EarlyBird Electric today. Not only can we stop your lights from flickering, but we can help you take preventative measures so it doesn’t happen again.