It may seem like a simple thing, but we truly do count on the fixtures in our homes to provide steady, dependable light at all times. It’s only when they start flickering, dimming and brightening, or otherwise going haywire that we really think about them. It’s natural to wonder if flickering lights are a sign of a larger problem in your electrical system, but there are a few other potential causes to consider as well.
At Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric, we’ve seen it all: from a simple case of incompatible bulbs to whole-home rewiring jobs. Here are some of the most common causes we see behind flickering lights, what they mean, and what you can do about them.
Incompatible Light Bulbs
Start with the absolute basics to cover all your bases. One of the more common causes of flickering lights is simply having an old bulb at the end of its lifespan. It could also be a loose bulb—try tightening it up. But let’s assume you’ve already put in a new bulb and screwed it in snugly. Is it the right type?
Certain fixtures require special types of bulbs, for example, 3-Way bulbs and ceiling fan bulbs. They may also require a specific wattage to operate correctly. And if you’re using LED bulbs, make sure that your fixture can actually handle them. We’ve found that ceiling fans and lights with dimmer switches sometimes have compatibility issues with LED bulbs.
Worn Out Fixtures
Sometimes, the root of the issue is the fixtures themselves. Inspect the light bulb sockets and fixtures for cracks, rust, loose switches, and frayed cords. If you find any of these issues, it may be time to do a little shopping. If replacing the fixture and the bulb within it doesn’t solve the problem, then you’ll know it’s time to call in an electrician.
Do you notice your lights flickering when you use a large appliance? You may notice that the lights dim when the AC turns on, or when you run the clothes dryer. Most of the time, this is nothing to worry about. Motor-operated appliances like HVAC units pull a lot of power when they kick on, which can cause a momentary voltage drop.
Most modern homes should be built with separate circuits for large appliances to avoid this problem. If lights in one room of your house flicker when these appliances come on, they could be sharing the same circuit.
The same is true if the lights flicker when you use a hairdryer or other smaller appliance. First, make sure you don’t have too many electronics plugged into the same area at one time. If the problem persists, you may want to call a licensed electrician to split certain areas of your home to avoid circuit overload.
Faulty Wiring & Loose Connections
Flickering lights due to faulty wiring can happen in homes both old and new. If your house is newly built or has just been renovated, lighting problems could be a sign that the work was poorly done. Simply put, inexperienced or rushed contractors make mistakes, and it’s best to call in an expert, licensed technician for an electric safety inspection right away to ensure you’re safe from any potential fire hazards.
If your home is old, dimming lights could mean that your electric system simply isn’t built to handle the amount of current that our modern lives demand. All of the devices and gadgets and high-powered appliances we use can overload the systems of older houses. If that’s the case, you’ll need an electrician who knows how to properly rewire old houses with a thorough eye for detail.
Should I Worry If My Lights Flicker?
Most causes of flickering lights aren’t an imminent threat to your home. That said, even small electrical problems can get worse over time, leading to bigger problems down the road. If you’ve tried replacing your bulbs and your fixtures and you’re still having issues, it’s time to turn to the pros. At Bacon, our team of licensed electricians is equipped to pinpoint the cause of any electrical problem, recommend the best solution, and get the job done right—the first time.
Everyone Loves Bacon! Licensed Electricians in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric is a family business, here to help with all your electric service needs, from repairs to installations to smart upgrades. With 24/7 emergency service and the ability to meet your tech virtually before they arrive, we’re here to make sure you can enjoy your home to the fullest: safely, securely, and at a great, upfront price. Schedule your service today by calling (972) 791-8332 or reaching out online.