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flickering lights - Tim Kyle

Flickering Lights: Troubleshooting

Have you noticed that your lights flicker when you turn on a particular appliance? Maybe they flicker all the time? Flickering of lights can seem minor to a homeowner; however, it may be an indication that there is a problem with your fixture or the entire electrical system.

Causes of Flickering Lights

Depending on what situation is causing the flickering, this type of problem can have some dire consequences. Below are some reasons why you may have this lighting issue:

Loose Bulb. If one of your lights keep flickering, then it could be because the bulb’s screws are loose, or because the bulb holder in the fixture has been stripped. If it is the former, then you can easily fix it by screwing in the bulb more tightly. If the bulb holder has been stripped, then the entire fixture needs to be replaced.

Faulty Wiring. If there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the bulb holder, then there may be a faulty wire within the fixture itself. You should remove the fixture immediately. If you wish to continue using the fixture, then you should take it to an electrician to see if it can be fixed. A new fixture flickering in the same socket means there is a problem with your internal wiring; thus, you should shut down power to that outlet until you have an electrician fix it.

Changes in Voltage. If you are using a low-voltage fluorescent tube on a higher voltage, or vice versa, flickering will often occur. Also, lights that consistently flicker or go dim when you turn on a large appliance means that there could be some voltage fluctuation. To correct this, make sure that your home always registers a voltage of between 115 and 125.

Type of Bulb. Fluorescent bulbs don’t die like incandescent or LED bulbs. Incandescent bulbs work fine until they burn out on their own. On the other hand, fluorescent bulbs tend to flicker all through their life span, especially when there is a power disruption.

Troubleshooting and Diagnostics

It is important to get a flicker looked at quickly by a professional electrical contractor. If left too long, small problems can escalate quickly. Contact Tim Kyle Electric, a residential electrical company for Howard County, Maryland, to troubleshoot the cause of flickering lights.

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