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5 problems that might be causing flickering lights

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Flicker. Flicker. Flicker.

“Huh, the kitchen light just flickered… that’s weird…” you think to yourself absentmindedly, as you turn your attention back to whatever it is that you were doing before.

For most people, a flickering light is annoying, and that’s about it.

It’s something you might comment on once or twice, before it quickly just becomes a part of your routine – just another thing you dismiss as ultimately harmless.

Make no mistake however, this is something you should be worried about!

So, what do you need to do when your lights flicker? Don’t delay: call a lighting electrician in Melbourne right away!

Should I worry about flickering lights?

Are flickering lights dangerous?

Flickering lights aren’t just harmless – in fact, they’re usually a symptom of another electrical fault in your home.

You may think that it is harmless at first, but as a matter of fact it can often indicate an underlying issue regarding your electrical system.

And as with any electrical problem, each of these can be potentially dangerous, posing a tangible danger and indicating a range of different issues, especially if it happens frequently:

  • Electrical overloads
  • Unexpected power surges
  • Switches frequently tripping
  • Risk of electrical fires
  • Increased electrocution risk

Which is why you need to get them checked out by a pro sooner rather than later.

If you’re unsure what’s causing it to flicker in the first place, you need the help of a local reliable electrician!

What are flickering lights a sign of?

What causes lights to flicker and dim in a home

1) Overloaded circuit

If you happen to see your lights blinking when some of your other appliances are running like a washing machine or air conditioning system, the problem might be an overloaded electrical circuit.

Electrical circuits are only designed to handle a certain amount of electricity at once – push your circuit beyond its limits, and you might see the power supply being affected, with flickering lights being the most visible symptom.

Large appliances consume more power once turned on.

This then affects how much is left for your other appliances, affecting their performance and in the case of your lights, causing them to flicker and dim. 

The only solution to this (other than spacing out appliance usage – something that isn’t always feasible) is by expanding your electrical circuits and increasing their capacity.

2) Loose and outdated electrical wirings

The thing about electricity is that it always seeks the fastest route towards the ground (incidentally, this is what the phrase “path of least resistance” originally referred to).

Oftentimes, this involves “jumping” from the intended circuit. This is why it’s so important that your circuitry and wiring are properly insulated to protect against this.

Unfortunately, old, worn-out, outdated and loose electrical wiring can make it possible for the electrical current to “jump” out of its intended pathway.

This can cause your lights to flicker – more alarming however is the fact that this can also dramatically increase your risk of electrocution, and of a home electrical fire as well!

Loose electrical connections create heat – electricity is hot, after all. Over time, it can reach a dangerous heating point and can cause harm to your electrical system as a whole including the aforementioned fire risk.

The best way to avoid this is to allow an electrician in Bentleigh to inspect your electrical wiring connections, especially if you suspect that your outdated and loose wirings are to blame.

3) Voltage fluctuations

In addition to overloads, voltage fluctuations can also cause lights to start flickering.

Just like your electrical circuits, your lights are designed with a certain voltage in mind, and voltage fluctuations and power surges can cause your lights to flicker.

Some telltale signs that cause flickering lights would involve:

  • Unexpected dimming
  • Appliances stopped working, and flickering continues
  • Consistent flicker once you turn on your appliance

It isn’t just dips that can affect your lights, either – unexpected power surges can result in more power than your lights are designed to handle flowing through them.

Normally, in this case your lights are protected by circuit breakers and other measures.

If it’s still happening however, it can be a sign that these all-important measures aren’t working as they should!

If you’re noticing fluctuations in your power, it’s best to call a professional to check it out for you.

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4) Loose light bulb

If you happen to observe that it’s a single bulb that’s flickering most of the time, the issue might be isolated to just that particular light.

In addition to checking the light itself to see if it’s working properly, you can also check to see if you have a loose bulb or a loose connection on the bulb socket.

As we’ve established, lights will flicker due to the inconsistent electrical power received from the main electrical source. In many cases, this can arise due to issues with your electrical socket or connection itself.

For cases such as these, simply screwing and tightening the bulb socket will do the trick. And if it still doesn’t work, replacing the socket immediately may also work.

Please turn off the main light switch for safety, wait for it to cool down, and check for any loose connections and tighten as possible.

If you ask us however, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and entrust this duty to an electrician – who knows, they might also be able to determine whether or not it’s actually another issue that’s causing your problem!

5) Faulty light switches

A worn and defective light switch should be immediately replaced or repaired, especially if there is a poor connection between the switch and the bulb 

Yes, it’s true that this can often cause flickering – a more alarming issue with these however is the risk of electrocution!

Faulty light switches can cause electricity to “leak”, shocking anyone who tries using them.

Faulty light switches are caused by loose electrical wiring, and are accompanied by buzzing, popping and even sizzling sounds in addition to the aforementioned flickering.

What would cause LED lights to flicker?

What about LED lights? Since these types of bulbs operate on a different principle compared to traditional light bulbs, are the causes of flickering with these lights different?

Since most of the causes of flickering have nothing to do with the lights themselves and more to do with the circuits, sockets and switches that supply electricity to them, in the vast majority of cases, LED lights flicker for the exact same reason as regular lights.

When you see your lights flicker, your immediate reaction shouldn’t be to ignore it and dismiss it as normal – take it from us, it’s not normal for lights to blink before they reach full brightness.

No, what you need to do is call a 24 hour electrician right away!

Do you have issues with flickering lights?

Call Briggs today!

Poor quality lighting and flickering lights are a major area of concern – not only does it affect your comfort, but it can also indicate electrical hazards in the home.

Make sure that everything is working properly as it should by calling a certified and experienced local reliable electrician for your home or commercial electrical requirements.

The team at Briggs Electrical offer a broad range of residential and commercial electrical services in Melbourne, and are capable of handling even the most intricate and demanding home and commercial projects – we can certainly tackle your lighting!

We provide you with commercial electrical services such as:

Make your lighting as safe and effective as possible with Briggs Electrical – call us on 1300 300 222 or fill in the form to book a job with us today.