Why are My Lights Flickering?

Why are My Lights Flickering?

Why are My Lights Flickering?

Feb 13, 2024

If you have dimming or flickering lights in your home, be sure to take it seriously. Sometimes the fix will be a simple one, but other times this could be a symptom of an underlying problem. 

Simple Solutions

Sometimes the flickering or dimming could be a simple fix. Here are four common issues that can be easily addressed.

Loose Bulb

If you have an occasional flicker with one light in your home, it may be as simple as tightening the bulb. Be sure to turn the light off and let the bulb cool down before touching it. Ensure the bulb is tightened properly. 

Type of Bulb

A flickering light could just be because of the type of bulb you're using. Fluorescent lights, for example, tend to flicker when warming up.

Dimmer Switch Bulbs

If your lights are connected to a dimmer switch, you will need to make sure your light bulb is dimmer compliant. LED bulbs, for example, often will flicker when connected to a dimmer switch, as they are incompatible. 

Loose Plug Connection

Finally, check to ensure your plug has not come loose from the outlet. If the prongs on the plug are slightly bent, this can cause the light to flicker. Simply unplug and reposition the prongs before plugging it back in. 

When to Call an Electrician

If you have run through these simple solutions with your light issue and still have yet to fix the issue, it's time to call a professional. Flickering can be a sign of serious issues that could lead to safety concerns. 

Major Causes

An Overloaded Circuit

If the flickering occurs when you are turning on a large appliance, the issue may be due to overloading the circuit. Essentially, this just means that you are attempting to pull too much power through one wire. Call a professional to assess the situation. It's likely that you will need to pull a dedicated circuit for your appliance. 

Utility Service

Sometimes flickering lights can be an indicator that there are issues with your utility company. If you have a neighbor who shares a transformer with you, for example, their power usage can affect yours. If they're pulling a lot of power, they may cause your lights to flicker. 

Voltage Fluctuation

Most homes are on a 120-volt circuit. If your usage exceeds 125 volts, there may be a serious fault in the system. One common sign of a voltage fluctuation issue is if your light bulbs are burning out faster than they should or if your lights are dimming without an apparent reason. 

Call an electrician immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Lights flickering or dimming when you turn on large appliances

  • Flickering is happening after appliance is turned off

  • Lights dim at inconsistent times

  • Light bulbs burn out more quickly than they should

  • Appliances are malfunctioning

Old or Loose Wiring

If you have older wiring in your home, it may be time for an upgrade. Loose or old wiring can lead to fire hazards. Call an electrician to get an assessment of your home. Deaver Electric offers free home inspections to determine where your wiring needs to be brought up to code. 


Loose wires can cause arcing. Arcing is when the electrical current has to jump a bad connection to keep flowing. Every time this happens, there is a huge fire risk, as it will produce temperatures in excess of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Main Service Connection

If lights are flickering in many areas of your home, there may be an issue with the main connection. Call an electrician to check your main meter box. 

Flickering lights are not to be ignored. While it may seem like a minor inconvenience, there could be underlying issues that could lead to serious safety hazards. If you are still having the same issues after you have run through the few items you can check yourself, call Deaver Electric to come assess the situation. We offer free assessments and estimates for any project.