Electrical Safety: Understanding the Causes of Flickering Lights

13 December 2017
 Categories: , Blog

If you have noticed constant flickering or intermittent dimming of your household lights, you should engage an electrician to examine and troubleshoot the fixture. In general, flickering lights are annoying, and they can cause significant eyestrain and distress. Also, they could indicate the presence of an underlying problem in your residential electric circuit. Here are the common causes of flickering and dimming lights that you should understand if you are experiencing this problem in your home.

Bad Bulb Connection

The cause of your flickering lights is probably a poor bulb connection if the problem is localised in a single fixture. In simple terms, if the bulb is not connected correctly to the lighting socket, you will notice inconsistencies in operation. This malfunction could mean that the lamp or the plug is damaged, or both components are in poor condition. If the bulb is the source of the problem, you can resolve through replacement of the unit. If the socket has a problem or the general link is failing, you should consult an electrician for a check-up. In most cases, rewiring the connection and replacing the socket will resolve the flickers.

High Current Draw

In some cases, lights might flicker or dim after a major appliance is turned on or its motor starts. This problem is common in homes with large devices or machines such as air conditioners. The flickering occurs because of the sudden draw of high current. Typically, the main electrical panel cannot smoothly support the high electrical energy required for the motor to start. So, the fixtures dim slightly during the initial moments. You should have your electrician check and rewire the appliance for better functionality. However, if everything is working correctly, you should think about installing a soft start kit to reduce the amount of power required for normal operation.

House Wiring Problems

Flickering lights in the whole house could indicate a problem with the wiring in the entire residential electrical system. If you have noticed the dimming of lights frequently even without the start of major appliances, you should have an electrician inspect the network. If you have old wiring which cannot support the current demands for electricity, you will notice the flickering problem. Also, if your home has aluminium wiring, the supply of power will not be consistent. In some cases, the issue might stem from problems in the main electrical service panel. Wiring problems should be resolved immediately by an experienced electrician to prevent hazards such as shock and electrical fires.