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What causes light flickering?

We find this to be a very common question with many homeowners. While a flickering light may not be a sign of a potential serious electrical problem, flickering lights throughout the home may be a sign there is a major problem brewing.
Let’s look at a couple of scenarios and what actions may be required to correct the problem.

  • One fixture flickering could be a sign that you have one or more of these problems, loose light bulb – turn the light off, wait to cool and simply tighten the bulb. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you may have a type of bulb that is not compatible with a dimmer – if this is the case you may have to have a compatible dimmer installed. If these items don’t correct the problem the socket in the fixture may be damaged and, in most cases, the best repair is to install a new fixture.
  • In many homes today you may notice a brief infrequent flickering of lights throughout the home when large appliances such as HVAC systems start up. This is typically not a problem unless it lasts for more than a few seconds.
    Now, let’s look at a problem that can become a very serious problem if it is not checked out and repaired.
  • Severe voltage fluctuation which can have many causes. A severe voltage fluctuation is when the voltage in your home gets outside of normal operating range. Here are some signs that you may have this problem: lights dim or get very bright for no apparent reason, light bulbs burn out quickly, appliances or electronics fail prematurely. If you are experiencing any of these problems, you need to have a professional electrician check out the problem right away.
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