So you’ve had a hard week and finally sat down for a quiet Friday night movie … and that’s precisely the moment when those lights start flickering. So should you go back to your popcorn and put up with that flickering light, or start to worry that there may be a major electrical problem that could be dangerous not only to your home but also to you?
First, let’s answer the latter question: Yes, lights in the house light flickering when they shouldn’t – especially if accompanied by a burning electrical smell – are a problem. But now for the good news – just because you’re dealing with flickering lights in the house doesn’t necessarily mean you or your electrical system is in serious danger.
After all, it could just be a dodgy light bulb. On the other hand, power surges, damage to your electronic appliances and devices or your precious human body, or even lethal electrical fires might be in your future. To be safe, it’s always best to call your friendly local electrician.
What causes flickering lights?
In the meantime, let’s explore Why my lights are flickering? Well, quite a few things might be going on – and they may not be much of a big deal:
1. A loose bulb
If it’s just one light, a bulb might simply be on the way out or have worked loose in the socket. Turn the light off, wait for it to cool down, and check it’s screwed in right and not obviously damaged. If
2. The wrong bulb
Sometimes, the wrong sort of LED bulbs for the socket may work – but only intermittently, so it’s time for you to change that light bulb to the correct one.
3. The dimmer switch
Sometimes, there can be a fault in the dimmer switch mechanism. At other times, you might have installed non-dimmable LED bulbs in the dimmer socket, which can cause flickering – especially if you’re new to LED lighting technology.
The light switch overall can also be the culprit, with faults affecting the connection between the switch and the light. But at this point, it’s important to note that something more serious is going on here, so ask yourself:
- Is the flickering persistent?
- Is the flickering severe?
If so, you might want to consider that something more serious is afoot with your electrical system, such as:
4. An overloaded circuit
If the flickering coincides with using one specific or several other electrical appliances simultaneously, you might be experiencing an overloading or overheating circuit.
5. An overloaded transformer
Ask your neighbours if they’re experiencing the same sorts of problems. If so, get in touch with your electricity network supplier and ask them if it’s possible a shared transformer is getting overloaded.
6. Fluctuating voltage
In Australia, we work with 240-volt circuits as standard. With a voltmeter, you can check that the reading is at or about 240v – and if not, something serious is wrong.
- Does the flickering coincide with using other appliances?
- Are your light bulbs not lasting very long?
- Are other electrical systems at your place misbehaving?
How to fix flickering lights in a flash?
It’s quite possible that your home is suffering a more fundamental and serious wiring issue, a problem with dangerous arcing, or a fault with the service connection or your meter box or electrical connection switchboard. In these cases, there is no more time to hesitate – immediately contact Your Electrical Expert.
Serious electrical problems can start with a simple flickering light, but luckily the friendly, experienced and fully-licensed electrical specialists at Your Electrical Expert are just around the corner.
Lights keep flickering? We have you covered! Our team offers top-notch Brisbane electrical services for Eagle Farm, Boondall, Albany Creek, Everton Park, Annerley and beyond. We also have experienced Gold Coast electricians near you ready to assist.