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Is It Normal For the Lights to Flicker?

“Oh no! What was that?“

“Did the lights just flicker?“

“Is there someone else in the house?“

“Is a ghost trying to give me a sign?“

How many times have you said the above to yourself when the lights flicker and you’re home alone?

Unless you believe in that type of thing — there are a few more likely reasons for your lights to flicker.

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What Causes Lights to Flicker?

In the simplest of terms, lights flicker because of a drop in voltage. This dip in voltage will result in the light dimming or cutting out completely for a very short moment(s).

1. Depends on the Type of Bulb

If you haven’t switched over to LED light bulbs, you could be experiencing more flickering than you should have to deal with.

As fluorescent bulbs age, get too hot, and as soon as they’re turned on, they have a chance of flickering. Replace them with LED bulbs if the flickering becomes too much.

2. Leaving a Loose Bulb

This one is plain and simple — a loose bulb won’t have the proper connection to keep a steady current going toward the bulb. If a bulb is flickering, see if you can tighten it a bit.

3. Poor Cords and Sockets

You have a new bulb and it’s tightened all the way in, so why is the light still flickering?

Check the cord being plugged into the receptacle. Make sure there is no visible damage. If the cord seems fine, there could be something wrong with the socket and its connection.

4. No Bulb Compatibility

Is the flickering bulb in question connected to a dimmer switch? If so, the bulb could have too low of a voltage for the dimmer switch.

Dimmer switches are typically high-voltage and will need a bulb that will match. Make sure your new LED bulbs match up with the voltage of your current dimmer switch.

5. The Electrical System in Total

Older homes can have electrical systems that should not be in use anymore. Not only will they cause you to experience constant flickering, but they’ll also cause you to experience frequent power surges.

Old electrical systems are considered a fire hazard and should be rewired by a professional electrician. Luckily, our professional electricians at Lancaster Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical can do just that for you!