Most Common Causes of Flickering Lights

Have you noticed flickering lights in your home? This is a common occurrence many people ignore. But if flickering light problems are persistent, there may be a serious underlying electrical issue. Various sources can be in play, some which may require the immediate attention of a professional electrician. Below are some of the most common causes of flickering lights to help you determine the best steps to take.

Overloaded Circuit

An overloaded circuit may be the culprit if the lights flicker when you use large appliances, such as a washing machine, dishwasher, toaster oven, or air conditioner. A major appliance draws large amounts of current. A little flickering if it happens briefly upon startup and infrequently isn’t much of a concern. But if it persists, the best option is to have a certified electrician inspect the circuit, perform repairs and/or upgrades, or put a large appliance on its own dedicated circuit.

Loose and Outdated Wiring

Wiring problems can cause lights to flicker and can lead to fires. The majority of house fires (about 67%) can be traced to old, outdated wiring, according to the National Fire Protection Association. A wiring issue can be loose fixture wiring, a worn breaker box connection, a bad switch or outlet, or a loose service conductor connection at the main electrical panel. A bad wire can cause a dangerous electrical arc at any time, so call an electrician to inspect the wiring if lights are flickering.

Voltage Fluctuations

When you test a standard 120-volt circuit, the reading should be between 115 and 125 volts. Any higher and light flickering issues can result. High voltage can also cause light bulbs to dim at random or burn out. If the voltage is too high, it can mean there’s a major fault or technical problem with your electrical system, which can lead to an emergency if the issue isn’t addressed professionally.

Loose Light Bulbs

Sometimes, flickering originates from an issue with the bulb. Fluorescent bulbs are more prone to flickering as they power up, while LED lights may flicker when connected to dimmer switches. Flickering lights can also be caused by a faulty bulb or one that is not screwed tightly into its socket. Changing or tightening the bulb can usually resolve the problem.

Electrical Utility Issue

If your home shares a transformer with your neighbors’ homes, electrical usage in other apartments or houses can reduce your electrical supply, causing the lights to flicker. Check with a neighbor to see if their lights are flickering. If so, then the electrical utility company may be having a problem, which should be reported so the utility can isolate the cause and take steps to repair it.

Contact Express Electrical Services

Whether you have flickering lights or other electrical issues, Express Electrical Services is open for business and providing lighting repair, lighting installation, electrical repair, and other essential services during the coronavirus pandemic. Our technicians are using PPE and sanitizers while adhering to social distancing guidelines to protect our customers. Home and business owners can continue to depend on us for electrical services in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside County, and anywhere in Southern California. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.