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Why Are the Lights in My House Flickering?

Do your lights keep flickering? This could be the sign of a larger wiring issue. Mr. Electric breaks down the situation so you can solve the problem quickly.

A random flicker of the lights in your home is usually harmless, but if you find yourself asking “Why are my lights flickering?” frequently, you could have a big problem. Before calling the experts and getting an electrical inspection, let’s explore the possible reasons why.

Several different factors cause lights to flicker. The most common reason is that your electrical system is momentarily overwhelmed when an appliance or a piece of equipment is plugged in. This frequently happens in older homes and is usually nothing to worry about, but you may want to consider updating your electrical system if it happens regularly. If the flickering is accompanied by a burning smell, call Mr. Electric right away.

Faulty Light Switch

If there is one particular light bulb or series of light bulbs controlled by the same switch that tend to flicker frequently, this could be a sign of a faulty light switch. If it's not replaced, the switch can overheat and cause an electrical fire, so stop using a faulty switch immediately until it can be repaired or replaced.

Failing Equipment

A failing or faulty piece of equipment, like a TV or a vacuum, can cause surges in your electrical system, which dims your lights or makes them flicker. If this happens, stop using that piece of equipment until you can have it repaired or replaced.

Why Are My LED Lights Flickering?

LED lights flickering is usually a separate issue that doesn’t have anything to do with your electrical system, but with the dimmer switch on your lamps or lighting fixtures. A dimmer switch operates by powering the electricity on and off several times per second. Since traditional bulbs have a hot piece of metal that powers the light, the glowing metal cools down slowly as it shuts off and on, creating the dimming effect. LED bulbs work differently and do not have heated filaments, so when you use a dimmer switch, the LED bulb goes on and off as the power supply does, causing the flicker. Although the flickering may be annoying, it’s completely harmless. To fix the flicker, look for dimmer switches explicitly made for LED bulbs.

When in Doubt, Call the Experts

If your lights are still flickering and you can’t figure out the source, you could have a loose connection in your electrical system. Call Mr. Electric right away at (844) 866-1367. Electrical fires are preventable if you address the issue immediately. With 24/7 emergency electrical service, Mr. Electric has you covered.