Why Are My Lights Flickering?

16 December, 2021
Flickering lights

It can be an eerie feeling when the lights start to flicker in your home. However, this is not a sign that you are in a horror movie. Instead, you need to book an electrical inspection.

Flickering lights can be a sign of a bigger, electrical problem. It’s one that you’ll want to address quickly to avoid further damage. If your lights are flickering, it also puts you and your loved ones at higher risk of power outages, electrocution, or electrical fires.

9 Reasons Your Lights Are Flickering

Your home’s electrical system is vital to your safety and comfort. When you start to notice problems like flickering lights, it may signal a deeper issue. Here are some of the reasons your lights may be flickering in your home.

1. Loose bulb

It’s not uncommon for light bulbs to become loose over time. When this happens, it cuts off the energy supply to the light. The result is a flickering effect as it connects and disconnects from the supply. To find out if this is the problem, you’ll need to turn the light out and let it cool down. Then, carefully screw the bulb tighter. Next, turn the lights back on and see if the flickering has stopped.

2. Wrong bulb

Some bulbs are more likely to flicker in different scenarios. For example, fluorescent bulbs will flicker if the room is cold or when they’ve just been turned on. Other bulbs are not compatible with some dimmers. Fluorescent or LED bulbs don’t work as well with conventional dimmer switches. These dimmers are best suited for incandescent or halogen bulbs. To fix the problem, you’ll need to install LED or fluorescent dimmers.

3. Loose light plug

If your lamp is flickering, the culprit could be a loose connection to the electrical socket. Look to see if the plug is inserted tightly into the wall. You can also try unplugging it and adjusting the metal prongs. Then, plug it back in and see if the problem has been fixed.

4. Light or fixture switch

A poor connection between the light switch and the bulb can also cause your lights to flicker on and off. Play with the switch a little to see if the flickering continues. If this is the cause, your electrician can make some adjustments and correct the problem.

5. Overloaded circuit

Sometimes when you have too many appliances running, it can overload your power supply. This happens even in robust electrical systems where your loads are given their own circuit. Consider whether the flickering lights occur when you are running the microwave, dishwasher, or another appliance. This is a sure sign that your circuit is overloaded.

If the flickering only lasts a few seconds, it may not be worth worrying about. However, if it is an ongoing annoyance, contact your professional electrician to get new circuits or update your system so it can handle your home’s demand.

6. Voltage

Your home’s voltage may change or fluctuate. Most of the time, this is nothing to worry about. Your voltage should stay between 115 and 125 volts. This is a safe range. However, if it gets outside of this range, you’ll want to book an electrical inspection. Higher voltage readings can signal a technical problem with your system. Here are the signs that you need to seek professional help for your home’s voltage supply:

  • Your lights flicker or dim when you turn on appliances.
  • Flickering continues even if the appliance is switched off.
  • Lights dim unexpectedly.
  • Your bulbs burn out faster.
  • You find that appliances and electronics are switching off or malfunctioning.

7.Wiring is loose

If you’ve noticed that your light flickering issues are getting worse over time, the cause may be loose wiring. This could be caused by a number of things, such as faulty installation, wear and tear, or outdated wiring. Loose wiring can be very serious, and you’ll need to contact a professional electrician to fix it. There is a higher risk for fire, as a loose wire in the system can easily overheat.

Arcing is another risk with loose wiring. It happens when the electrical current travels over spaces in the connection and jumps as it moves. This can spark an electrical fire. You are also at risk of losing power to your home. To avoid this, book an electrical inspection today.

8. Electrical utility issue

In municipalities, many homes share a transformer. This scenario means that your neighbour’s electrical loads impact your home’s supply. If someone in your area is using a lot of electricity, it can cause your lights to flicker. If the lights are flickering at your neighbours’ homes too, it may be a problem with your electrical utility. To determine if this is the cause, contact your electrician for an inspection. They’ll be able to find a likely cause.

9. Main connection problems

Consider whether your lights flickering happens only in specific areas of your home, or whether it is occurring in all your rooms. If there does not seem to be any explainable pattern to the flickering, it could be an issue with your main meter box connection. It may also be connected to your cable service box. This problem is best left to professionals, so contact your electrician in this scenario.

While flickering lights can seem like a small annoyance, they can actually signal bigger problems with your electrical system. Calling a professional for an electrical inspection can protect you and your loved ones against power outages, electrocution, or electrical fires. The cause may be loose wiring, an overloaded circuit, voltage issues, or main connection problems.

Your home’s electrical system is essential to your comfort and safety. Thus, it’s best to call a professional to help you determine the problem and how to fix it.

For more information about updating your electrical system, or if you want to speak with a licensed electrician for an electrical inspection in Toronto, call Hi-Lite Electric at 416-800-5523, or contact us here.

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