What Causes Lights to Flicker and Dim?

What Causes Lights to Flicker and Dim?

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The lighting fixtures throughout your Atlanta area home should produce a steady stream of light when in use. Anytime you notice flickering and dimming lighting, this is a sign of electrical troubles that waste energy and could pose a safety risk to your family. Estes Services explains what causes lights to flicker and dim, and which issues warrant a call to our electricians for inspection and service.

Causes Behind Lights Flickering and Dimming

Flickering and dimming lights in the home can be linked to various causes. In some situations, the solution is simple, while others warrant a call to an electrician for service.

Bulb Issues

If a bulb is loose within its fixture, this can cause dimming or flickering lights. Whenever you notice lights flickering or dimming, it’s smart to check the bulb first – make sure it is screwed snugly into the socket. The issue could also be caused by a bad bulb, so replace it with a fresh one and see if the issue continues. 

Remember, fluorescent light bulbs are known to flicker on occasion, which is common when you first turn them on or if the temperature is cold. If you notice an occasional light flicker from this type of bulb, it’s likely nothing you need to worry about.

If you experience flickering and dimming lighting with a dimmer switch, make sure you are using the correct type of bulb. Most dimmer switches don’t function well when you use fluorescent, LED, or certain CFL light bulbs. Check the bulb and make sure you are using one that is compatible with your dimmer switch.

Plug Issues

If you experience flickering and dimming lighting from just one fixture, such as a single lamp in the home, it’s possible the fixture’s plug isn’t fitting securely within the electrical outlet. The loose connection can be responsible for the flicker or dimming you see. Carefully grasp the plug and see if it fits securely into the wall outlet. If not, unplug it, adjust the prongs, and plug the fixture back in to see if the issue is eliminated.

Switch Issues

A bad connection in the switch can cause flickering and dimming lighting. Wiggle the switch – if this causes a flicker, you’ll know the switch is to blame. When a light is flickering, wiggle the switch to see if it stops the flicker – if it does, the issue is with the switch. You’ll need to have an electrician replace the switch to stop the flickering and dimming.

Circuit Issues

Do you experience flickering and dimming lighting whenever a major appliance turns on elsewhere in the home? If this lighting issue is isolated to this occurrence, there’s likely an overloaded circuit. The appliance turning on draws more current than the circuit is capable of handling, resulting in flickering and dimming of your lights. 

If this happens only every once in a while, it’s probably not a major cause for concern. Minor light flickering can occur occasionally even with electrical systems that are designed well. If flickering and dimming lighting happens every time another appliance turns on, or it continues while the appliance is in use, you need to call an electrician to pinpoint the cause and implement a solution.

Wiring Issues

If flickering and dimming lighting occur on a regular basis or the issue increases and you haven’t made adjustments to your home’s electrical system, such as adding a new appliance, there could be loose wiring connections causing the problem. Loose wires can exist in switches, the electrical panel, or elsewhere in the house. Loose wiring can create arcing, where electrical current jumps to bridge a gap in a connection – this is a serious fire risk. If you suspect a wiring issue, it’s best to call an electrician immediately to find and fix the problem.

Contact Estes for Electrical Repairs in Atlanta

If you experience flickering and dimming lighting in your Atlanta home that cannot be traced back to a bad bulb or loose plug, you need the help of a licensed electrician to solve the problem safely. Call Estes Services today to schedule electrical service in the Atlanta area.