Why Are My Lights Buzzing?

When you install a light fixture or light bulb, you expect it to work without a hitch. However, these lights can produce a loud humming or annoying buzzing noise that can quickly become frustrating. If this problem is happening to you, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why do lights buzz?”

All in all, the answer to this question can vary depending on the type of light bulb you’ve installed. Fortunately, though, we’re here to help you understand the potential reasons why your lights are buzzing. Once you get to the bottom of this issue, you’ll be able to enjoy a quiet, peaceful home.

What Causes a Light to Buzz?

Why do lights buzz? This may seem like a simple question to answer — and in some cases, it is. Sometimes, replacing the light bulb is all it takes to stop the buzzing sound. You can purchase most types of lights at your local home improvement store, and switching out an old bulb takes only a few seconds.

However, if the buzzing continues after simply replacing the bulb, you’ll probably want to try a different solution.

Incandescent Lights

If you want to know why your lights are buzzing, stop and consider which type of bulb you’re dealing with. Do you have an incandescent bulb that’s working with a dimmer switch? Incandescent light bulbs don’t usually make noise — but when combined with dimmer switches, they can sometimes produce a buzzing sound if their filaments start to vibrate.

The best solution to this problem is to install rough service bulbs instead. These bulbs are a type of incandescent light that is specifically designed not to vibrate. Rough service lights are also known to last a long time, so you’ll be benefiting in more ways than one.

Fluorescent Lights

When learning why your lights are buzzing, you may be surprised to find out that the problem doesn’t always lie with the bulb. Instead, the ballast could be to blame.

If your fluorescent lights are flickering, you’ll first want to replace them to see if this fixes the issue. If the problem continues, it’s probably time to replace the ballast. The ballast is a small device that oversees how much voltage travels through a fluorescent bulb. When the ballast is old, worn, and can no longer regulate the voltage, it can start making a buzzing sound.

You’ll want to steer clear of installing magnetic ballasts. These devices have metal plates that produce a humming sound, which can make your noise problem worse!

LED Lights

Many homeowners are switching to LEDs — and for good reason. These lights have a long lifespan and waste less electricity than their counterparts. However, this doesn’t mean that LED bulbs are immune to buzzing.

Do you have LED light bulbs that are being used with a dimmer switch? An incompatible dimmer is most likely why your lights are buzzing. You will want to replace this dimmer with one that is compatible with LEDs.

Why do lights buzz with an incompatible dimmer? When it comes down to it, many dimmer switches — such as those that work with traditional bulbs — aren’t designed to handle the lower wattages of LED lights. As a result, the lights can start to buzz or even overheat. Fortunately, there are many LED dimmers to choose from, each of them having different features that may appeal to you. Dimmers are available in different styles and can sometimes be compatible with smart technology.

Are Buzzing Lights Dangerous?

Now that you know the potential reasons why your lights are buzzing, you might be wondering if buzzing lights are dangerous. When you encounter a buzzing light bulb or fixture, it’s understandable if you’re concerned for the safety of your household. Fortunately, this problem is typically not a cause for concern.

If you still don’t feel comfortable handling the issue yourself, however, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional electrician. Whether you need a new ballast or light installation, electricians can help you determine the best solution.

Upgrade Your Home’s Lighting With EarlyBird Electric

“Why do lights buzz?” This question can have various different answers, and it’s critical to know which lights you’re dealing with in order to get to the bottom of the problem. Do you need help with a lighting installation or replacement? EarlyBird Electric can help.

Our team of experts can assist with everything from lighting upgrades to circuit breaker repair. We offer various types of specialty lighting, including LED lights. Contact us today to see what our licensed electricians can do for your home!