Flickering lights are something you often see in horror movies and are not something you should see in your family’s home. While a flickering light can be annoying, it could also be a warning sign of a more serious problem which should be addressed as soon as possible. Choosing to ignore the problem could result in damaged appliances, or even worse, a deadly fire.
Common causes of flickering lights
While your flickering light issue could be the result of something as simple as a loose bulb, the problem could be more serious, such as a loose connection from your home’s wiring to the circuit breaker. Read on to find out more about the most common causes of flickering lights.
Loose light bulbs
If you’ve noticed that only one light is flickering in your home, check the bulb to be sure it isn’t loose. Turn the light off and wait a few minutes for it to cool down before trying to touch the bulb. Once it’s cooled, check to see if the bulb is securely in place. If not, tighten it and turn the light back on. If the flickering continues, change the bulbs. If it persists, the electrical problem could be something more serious and should be handled by a professional electrician.
Different types of light bulbs
For some types of light bulbs, such as fluorescent or LED, it isn’t uncommon for the bulb to flicker for a few seconds when you flip the switch to turn it on. This is usually not a cause for concern. However, if the flickering continues, or is associated with other issues such as the bulb burning out more quickly than usual, shut the light off and contact an electrician.
Changes in voltage
Do your lights flicker when your air conditioner, furnace, clothes washer or dryer are running? This isn’t too uncommon, and the cause is often the fact that these are appliances that use a lot of electricity. When they are on, there could be a voltage fluctuation in your home. If your lights flicker when using these appliances, contact an electrician to see if your appliances should be rerouted to a different circuit, and to be sure they are getting the energy they need to run safely.
A loose connection is the most common (and likely the most dangerous) cause of a flickering light. It’s important to note that it isn’t just wires that can be loose in your home; loose terminals and connections to a device or your circuit breaker could also cause problems. All electrical connections in your home should be tight. If there are any loose areas, there’s resistance, and resistance can lead to overheating and fires. These are issues that need to be handled as soon as possible before they result in a fire.
Contact a professional
As a homeowner, you should never attempt to inspect or repair electrical issues on your own. This is work that’s better left to the trained experts to handle. Trying to fix the problem yourself could result in more damage to your home’s electrical components, or it could result in fires, injury, or even death.