Lights Go On and Off? The Culprits and How to Troubleshoot Them

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Flickering lights can be a distraction and an annoyance, especially if you’re trying to finish a chore or read. Others don’t notice the inconsistencies with the lights, but the fluctuation can signal problems in the light fixtures or circuitry of your home.

If left unaddressed or if you do not call an electrical repair, this issue could lead to safety issues in your home.

Reasons Behind the Flickering Lights

All lights flicker to some extent, based on the power that enters into the electrical lines of your house. If your lights flicker or flash regularly, there may be a problem in your power connection. Situational flickering is a sign of a power supply issue.

For example, the lights flicker when you start the air conditioning unit because the unit is pulling electricity from the light. This is often temporary, but it could also be a sign that your outdoor AC cannot accommodate the maximum amperage.

If large appliances do not cause the flickering lights, you might have issues with your meter or electrical panel. If, on the other hand, one light in your room dims but the others don’t, there might be a problem with the bulb itself or the socket. If flickering of the lights is confirmed to one room, it might be a bad bulb.

Troubleshooting Flickering Lights

light bulb

Troubleshooting can be complex, depending on the type of light bulb you use. Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs can replace fluorescent light bulbs, but both types have a tendency to flicker. Since there are different types of lights, there are also different ways to fix them. For example, if a fluorescent light bulb flickers, it’s a sign that the fixture is worn out or your light bulb is dying.

To troubleshoot your flickering bulbs, test the pins in the tube to determine if the tube’s electrode is still intact. Put the bulb into a fixture that works. If this is not the problem, test the light bulb’s retainers by rotating the bulb into the clips until you see the electrodes engaging. If the bulb has a dark spot, it should be replaced.

LED lights that flicker might have faulty power supplies. This isn’t too problematic since they might flicker if the light bulb is not compatible with the switch.

Repairing Flickering Lights

You can’t eliminate the problem of flickering lights completely since there always be resistance in the power flows. But you can still reduce the instance of flickering lights by checking for problems in circuits or wiring. If you want to fix a flickering light bulb, replace the fixtures of the starter. If the starter doesn’t have a problem, you might have to replace the ballast.

A loose connection in the circuit or fixture can be fixed easily. Simply remove the dust from the fixture and tighten the wiring before you reassemble the fixture.

If you are concerned about the flickering, you can do a little troubleshooting to address the problem. But if you want peace of mind with your lights, work with an electrical company. Trust an electrician not only to address the flickering lights but also to improve your home’s electrical safety.

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