Why Are My Lights Flickering?

Our phone rings, and it’s a call regarding a customer’s lights flickering in their home. We get a lot of these phone calls, so it is a common occurrence. Don’t fret! KB Electric LLC is here to explain why the lights flickering in your home or business could be a small thing, or a big thing. There are a few reasons why your lights flicker, so it’s important that a licensed electrician comes out to your home or business to troubleshoot the problem.

Even if you explain the scenario over the phone with us, we always recommend coming out to take a look so we can properly determine the cause. With that said, let’s explain why the lights flickering in your home or business need to be addressed, and describe some reasons your lights flicker in the first place.


Are My Flickering Lights a Big Deal?

Depending on why your lights flicker, the answer is yes. It isn’t a good idea to just ignore the lights flickering for a long period of time because it could be a serious electrical issue. So, if you’ve been noticing the occurrence happening for quite sometime and it hasn’t been resolved, it’s time to call an electrician to get to the bottom of it.


Reasons Why Your Lights Flicker

Lights flickering in your home or business can be due to the following:

  1. Loose or Faulty Bulb

Most commonly, the cause for your flickering light is due to the light bulb not being screwed into its socket tight enough. The first thing a homeowner or business owner can do on his or her own to test a flickering light is to make certain that the bulb isn’t loosely screwed in. If this isn’t the issue, the bulb could be defective. Try swapping out the light bulb for a new one to see if this is the answer.


Note: These reasons above are the only “do-it-yourself” fixes a customer should do on their own. KB Electric LLC recommends calling a licensed electrician to fix the next few items if the reason for your lights flickering is not a loose or faulty light bulb.


  1. Bad Light Switch

Another reason your lights could be flickering may be due to a faulty light switch. Whether it being defective at the time of purchase, or if it’s really old, it may be time to swap it out with a new one. If you aren’t handy and need assistance, call a licensed electrician to test the switch, and to replace it for you.


  1. Fluctuating Voltage

If you notice that your lights flicker when you turn on a large electrical appliance like a washer or dryer, or when your A/C unit kicks on, the problem may be due to the appliance itself or the wiring. A licensed electrician will be able to check to see if the appliance is hooked up to its max amperage, and can determine if the proper wire size and fuses are being used. If everything checks out, a soft start kit can be used so that the extra current needed to start the appliance reduces the flickering of lights in the home.


  1. Defective Wiring

Faulty wiring is another common reason for flickering lights in a home or business. If the wiring from your main electrical panel has the wrong sized breakers, loose connectors, or damaged wiring, this can cause lights to flicker. This is also the most dangerous reason for flickering lights, and should be identified and fixed immediately. Defective wiring can cause overheating to occur, among other things, and can lead to a fire hazard. If you suspect the above 3 things aren’t the cause for the lights flickering, a licensed electrician from KB Electric LLC can come out and inspect your wiring to find and fix the issue.


  1. Utility Company Problem

If you notice that the lights throughout the entire house are flickering, this could be a utility company issue (PECO). To find out of its a utility issue, call your utility company and ask them if there is a problem in your area. You can also call a neighbor to see if they are experiencing the same problem. This would also indicate a problem with the utility company.


In Conclusion…

Flickering lights are a common occurrence, and can be due to a handful of things. Its best to have a licensed electrician come out and troubleshoot the issue if the reason isn’t a loose or bad light bulb, or if it isn’t a utility company issue. Lights flickering can be a small deal, or a big deal that should be addressed to prevent electrical hazards that can occur with bad wiring.