Flickering lights are not just annoying but also a sign that you have a problem in your electric connection. Electrical issues should be taken so serious before leading to severe property damage or fire accidents. Let’s get down to the reasons why your outdoor or home lights keep flickering and how to fix it.
Flickering lights indicate a bulb problem, faulty wiring, circuit overload or fluctuating electric voltage. A certified electrician should help in diagnosing and fixing your flickering lights.
CAUTION: Fixing electrical issues without precaution or skill can result to electrocution or property damage. We recommend a professional service for solving any problem in your electrical system.
Why Do My Lights Flicker?
Your outdoor lights not working or flickering means that your evening events or activities will not continue as planned unless you come up with other ways of illuminating your home or landscape. Lights flickering can result from various issues which include the following:
1. A problem with a light bulb
A single bulb will flicker if it’s loosely connected in the socket, it’s not compatible with your circuit or it’s about to burn out. This is usually an isolated problem fixed by installing a new bulb or trying to screw the bulb tightly into the socket. Before doing this ensure you have switched off power to avoid burning or electrocution.
If you changed from incandescent to LED bulb, circuit incompatibility can be causing your lights to flicker. You can confirm this by reverting to the original light bulb. The solution to this problem is installing a compatible electric switch or dimmer controller for your new light bulb.
2. Faulty in wiring connections
Loose, worn out or outdated wiring connection can cause your lights to flicker. This problem can originate in a number of places including the outlet socket, switch boxes, service conductors or main electric panel. If this is the issue affecting your lights, then you need to have it fixed as soon as possible as it can easily lead to an electric fire.
According to The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report, about 67% of home fires caused by electrical problems are traced back to wiring issues. Therefore, we recommend an electric expert to handle this issue. If you are to investigate yourself, then ensure that power is switched off at the circuit breaker.
3. Electric circuit overload
Every electric circuit in a wiring system is usually protected against overloads. A circuit overload occurs when the amount of current flowing through an electric circuit exceeds the rating of the protective devices.
If your lights are flickering after switching on another electric appliance, then you are running into circuit overload. The amount of current being drawn exceeds one that is regulated to passing through that particular circuit. This is also linked to lights flickering on one circuit. An example is where you have lights working normal indoors and dimming outdoors or vice versa.
Circuit overload shows that nothing is wrong with your lighting connections or bulbs but the load of appliances connected. You can get a relief from this problem by switching off some of the appliances you are running and your lights will be back to normal when you flip the circuit breaker back.
A more permanent solution can be provided by a qualified electrician who may add a new outlet or circuit from the main panel. When this is done, then you will be able to run your other electric appliances without stressing up your lighting circuit.
4. Fluctuating electric voltage
Lower or higher electric voltage in your circuit can make your lights to flicker. This kind of electric problem usually points back to the main electrical system or a technical issue in your main panel. One easy way of learning about fluctuating voltage is by looking at how your neighbor’s lights behave.
Fluctuating electrical voltage resulting from your main panel can be inspected and fixed by a qualified electrician. Issue coming from the main transformer should be directed to your electricity supply company. Otherwise fluctuating electric voltage can lead to fire or property damage.
How Do I Fix Flickering Lights?
The first step in fixing flickering lights is to try and understand where the problem is coming from. If you made any repairs or change of electric fixtures, you should be able to call your technician and explain. You could also diagnose the problem if you have some electrical knowledge but with great care.
Electrical maintenance is also important. Once in a while, the electrical system has to be inspected for loose connections, breakages as a result of rusting. These are things that may interrupt the flow of current in the lighting circuit. Necessary replacements or repairs has to be done during the checkup.
We have seen that flickering lighting problem can be caused by various reasons. Every solution offered will depend on the exact cause of lights diming or going on and off. The following are helpful tips for fixing your flickering lights.
- Ensure your light bulb is firmly connected in the socket
- Change your old bulb to a new or more advanced one
- Use the right type of bulb for your circuit or dimmer system
- All loose or outdated connections should be checked and replaced
- Avoid overloading your electric circuit or have it calibrated for heavier use
- Call your electric supply company to report cases of voltage fluctuation
- Invite a certified electrician to conduct a regular maintenance of your electric system
Lights are important part of evening life whether indoors or outdoors. They help use carry out our normal activities safely when there is no sunlight. Flickering lights usually indicate a problem that need urgent intervention.
Electricians are the ideal people to inspect and provide a fix to your lighting problems. They have the skill and the right equipment to handle power issues. While you can handle lighter issues like changing your bulbs, you should be extra careful and work while you have switched off power in the main panel.