What Causes My Lights to Flicker?

Posted by: Donna Costigan

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Causes of Flickering Lights in Your Home

Flickering of the lights in your home is a sign that something is not right with your electrical system.  There are several reasons behind why your lights are flickering, so here are some tips on how to troubleshoot the problem.

If the lights in your home flicker, how long do they flicker for?

How long lights flicker for can indicate different types of electrical issues.  Having your lights flick off for three to four seconds is different than having your lights dim and then become brighter. Light fluctuation or having your lights dim and brighten, can be caused by a dip or spike in the electrical flow in your home.  Light flickering, on the other hand, focuses more on the connection between the wires.

Troubleshoot light flickering

If you have determined that your lights are flickering, you should check with your neighbors to see if they are experiencing the same electrical problems and call your electric provider to see if they are having issues with a company power line.  If neither your neighbors nor power company are reporting issues, here are some things you can check at home:

  • § It may be your light bulb connection. Change or tighten the light bulb in a lamp to rectify the problem. The connection between the light bulb and lamp may be loose which is causing the lights to flicker;
  • § It may be the type of light bulb. Some energy efficient light bulbs are not supposed to be used with dimming light units, so it can cause the lights to flicker;
  • § Check to see if there has been a Momentary Power Interruption (MPI). MPIs occur when there is a short circuit (look at your circuit breaker) or an object comes in contact with the power line;
  • § There might be a separation between wires. This means that the wires are touching but not fully connected.

Light flickering can be a sign of a more serious electrical problem in your home and a fire hazard, so it is important to call a residential electrician to get your home inspected.  For more information on home electrical problems and to schedule a home electrical service call, contact Hayden Electric today!