The Top Reasons Your Lights Are Flickering
Flickering lights are never a good sign for your electrical system. We’re not talking about holiday lighting that is designed to flicker a bit in order to enhance the mood—we’re talking about regular home lighting that flickers on and off even when you don’t want it to. If your lights have begun to flicker in an unprompted way, it is important you do something ASAP. Not only are flickering lights annoying, causing dizziness and disorientation if they persist for long periods of time, they can also be indicative of a larger problem with your electrical system. Keep reading to learn more about a few of the top reasons your lights are flickering, and remember that our expert electricians at Roby Services are always here 24/7 for your emergency electrical needs.
Loose lightbulbs are one of the more common causes of flickering lights, and fortunately one of the easier ones to take care of. There are many reasons your lightbulbs can loosen up over time, but make sure that when you first go to screw a bulb in, it does not start flickering on and off. If you have recently screwed a bulb in and you find this is happening, chances are you simply didn’t screw it in tight enough. Of course, you don’t want to go the opposite direction with this problem either, as lights that are screwed in too tightly can cause problems for the bulb and the socket. However, it is still not a bad idea to check your bulbs if you find that your lights are prone to flickering. Try to wear protective gloves while doing this, and wait for your bulbs to become cool before handling them. This issue is particularly common with recessed lighting connections, so you may want to start there.
There are also times where you may be using the wrong type of bulb for your light fixture. While it is best to use energy-efficient LED lightbulbs, some modern bulbs are not as compatible with older fixtures. Fortunately, Roby Services is here if you need to upgrade your home’s lighting scheme. If you have replaced a light due to flickering, turn the switch off and on a few times. If it continues to flicker, the issue probably lies elsewhere in your electrical system.
Worn Out Light Switches/Wiring
When the problem isn’t with your bulbs or your fixtures, the next issue you will want to check for is broken/worn down light switches. Again, certain older electrical components are not designed to work with modern lighting, so if, for instance, you use an aging dimmer switch with an incandescent bulb, your lights may begin to flicker as a result. This is why you should always check the ratings on bulbs before purchasing them, ensuring they are compatible with your existing dimmer. If you have done this and everything does seem to be compatible, then the problem with your light switch can usually be traced back to your wiring.
Wiring can experience problems for many reasons over time, from poor installation to biting from rats and mice. Luckily, our experts at Roby Services are capable of doing everything from installing new dimmers/switches to replacing old wiring. Remember, loose and worn out wiring can pose a serious risk to your household, even causing sparking and electrical fires, so do not hesitate to call us ASAP if you suspect this is what’s causing your lights to flicker.
Heavy-duty appliances such as your HVAC system or water heater are naturally going to put some strain on your electrical system. At peak times of operation, when these appliances are consuming a lot of power, you may notice that your lights begin to flicker slightly. However, if this happens all the time, then it is possible that your electrical panel and circuit breakers are no longer able to live up to your house’s electrical needs.
Like any other essential piece of equipment, your electrical panel is likely to experience wear and tear as it ages. However, in older homes particularly, panel-related issues can be concerning. This is because between the 1950s and 1980s, many houses were built with Federal Pacific Electric and Zinsco brand panels, which were later found to be prone to malfunctioning.
If you find that your lights tend to flicker while your appliances are in use, try finding the corresponding circuit breakers to those appliances and turning them off and on. If your breakers are buzzing as you do this and/or your lights continue to flicker even after the breakers have been reset, make sure to call an electrician immediately. A faulty electrical panel will put your whole system in danger, and can even cause fires and electrocutions in your house. While it is a good idea to try to conserve energy as much as possible for the sake of the planet and to increase the lifespan of your electrical panel, there comes a time when you may simply have to install a new electrical panel altogether. The good news is that our professionals at Roby Services are here for all your panel and breaker services, so your lights stop flickering, your household remains safe, and your electrical system keeps functioning as it should for years to come.