The flickering of lights is not uncommon in many homes. Your lights may flicker at any time, maybe because of a faulty bulb or due to a lightning strike. However, in some cases, this may be a sign of a serious electrical problem; especially if it becomes a frequent occurrence. With this in mind, it is always advisable that you call an electrician or electrical installation expert for a thorough inspection of your wiring.
Here are some of the reasons why your lights may be flickering
A loose bulb is one of the most common causes of flickering lights. This may arise when the bulb is loosely screwed into the socket, hence limiting the amount of power received. This results in flickering and inconsistent lighting. To solve this problem, you just need to tighten the bulb into its socket. Make sure that you turn off the lights, preferably from the main switch or circuit breaker. In case of a faulty bulb, just replace it with a working bulb. Check on the filament to make sure that the bulb is functional.
Loose Wiring Connections
Loose wiring is another common cause of flickering lights. A loose connection is also a dangerous safety hazard as it is one of the main causes of electrical fires. Furthermore, it involves a lot more than just the wiring. A loose terminal to an electrical installation or device may also be deemed a loose connection. Dealing with faulty electrical wiring requires the services of a professional electrician.
Faulty Light Switch
Apart from a loose bulb, a faulty light switch may also cause flickering; especially if it is not connecting with the bulb properly. The switch may also be loose, subsequently changing between the ON and OFF modes, causing flickering. Solving this problem requires you to tighten the switch or find a working replacement. Consult an electrician in case you need professional electrical repair services.
The type of bulb you use will determine whether your lights will flicker or not. Specific types are more prone to flickering compared to others. A good example is a fluorescent bulb. This type of bulb uses inductive ballast for current control, leading to flickering in the first few minutes when you turn on the lights. In some instances, the ballast may fail and cause frequent flickering, which may become extremely annoying. The best solution for this is to replace the inductive ballast. You may also need to replace the fluorescent bulb if the flickering does not stop.
Voltage fluctuations normally occur when you turn on a large appliance such as an HVAC system, vacuum cleaner, microwave and washing machines. These appliances have a very high wattage, and using them might lead to flickering, but only for a few seconds. However, if the flickering lasts longer than normal, then it is probably time to call an electrician to evaluate the voltage in your home.
Flickering lights may be a normal incident. However, this does not mean that you should ignore this occurrence, especially if you notice more flickering than normal. It may be a symptom of a major electrical fault. Always call a professional electrician, or an electrical services company to investigate the root cause of the problem, and carry out relevant repairs. This will save you from various hazards such as electrical fires and electric shock.