When the lights flicker in a movie, we know it might mean a ghost is in the house. But lights flicker in real life, too, and when they do, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong and needs to be fixed.
Sometimes, flickering lights might signal a dangerous issue that will have to be repaired by a residential electrician as quickly as possible. In some situations, however, you might be able to solve the problem on your own.
Here are the different causes of flickering lights in a house:
1. Loose light bulbs could be responsible.
Suppose you are tired of asking yourself, “Why do the lights flicker in my house?” start by checking the flickering light bulbs. Have you replaced one of them recently?
When a light bulb is loose in its socket, it does not receive a consistent supply of power, which can result in flickering. Fortunately, this problem is easy to solve.
Simply turn off the light, wait for the loose light bulb to cool down, then tighten it in its socket. Turn the light back on to ensure the light bulb no longer flickers.
2. There could be an issue with your dimmer switch.
Is your flickering light a LED light bulb controlled by a dimmer switch? This could explain the problem. Most LED light bulbs are simply not compatible with dimmer switches. And when dimmer switches control these light bulbs, they often flicker.
Try replacing your flickering LED bulb with a halogen or incandescent one. That annoying flickering should stop.
If you insist on using an LED light bulb, consider getting your dimmer switch replaced with a regular light switch or one compatible with LED bulbs.
3. The plug of a lamp might have a loose connection.
Maybe the light that flickers in your house is a table or floor lamp. If that is the case, it could have a loose plug connection, which could explain the flickering.
Unplug your lamp and take a good look at its plug. Do the metal prongs of the plug seem bent? If they do, gently pry them open with a pair of pliers and plug the lamp back into its outlet.
This could be all you need to do to solve your flickering problem.
4. Some of your light switches could be faulty.
Your lights could flicker due to faulty light switches. Does one of your light switches seem loose? Is it hot to the touch, or does it produce strange noises? You should ask an electrician to check and replace your faulty switches.
And it’s important to get them replaced as soon as possible. A faulty light switch can easily overheat and start an electrical fire, a more serious problem than a flickering light.
Don’t try to replace the switch on your own, as it could be very dangerous.
5. It could be due to a circuit overload.
Are your lights flickering in your entire house? Does it happen every single time you start one of your main appliances? It could be a circuit overload.
A circuit overload happens when a circuit tries to draw more current than it can carry. To prevent electrical fires, circuit breakers will trip when they sense a dangerous overload.
Circuit overload is another type of problem you can’t fix on your own. Ask an electrician to upgrade your electrical panel. When this is done, your lights should no longer be flickering.
6. Your home’s wiring system could be loose or damaged.
Do you feel like your lights have been flickering increasingly with time? Perhaps at first, the problem was barely noticeable. But now, it has become extremely annoying.
If nothing else can explain the issue, it could mean that your house’s wiring system could be loose or damaged. You should worry about this, especially if you live in an old house, as wires can get corroded over time.
Damaged wiring is a dangerous fire hazard and has to be upgraded as soon as possible.
7. Your electrical system could be faulty.
If your light bulbs burn out much faster than they should on top of flickering, it could be caused by voltage fluctuations. Voltage fluctuations can also be responsible for problems with your appliances and electronics.
But this type of voltage issue is not simply annoying. It can also be extremely dangerous; again, you should call an electrician to the rescue.
Once a professional has repaired your faulty electrical system, your lights will stop flickering, and everything should return to normal.