How to Fix a Flickering Light Bulb

Flickering light bulbs can be an easy-to-fix and rather niggling problem, or they can be one that flashes an alarm signal of bigger electrical problems in your house.  To find out whether it fits the first or second scenario might involve trial and error, plus a few simple tests. One thing is certain, as some of the causes could threaten your home, you should never ignore that flickering globe.

Causes of Flickering Bulbs and How to Fix Them

It could be something simple like a light bulb that hasn’t been screwed in properly, and that’s easy enough to fix. Just tighten it so that it makes a better connection with the fitting. If it’s the switch on a lamp that’s messing with the connection, you should find out if it’s the culprit by wiggling it a little to see if the bulb starts flickering. If it does, replace that switch and your problems should be over. Take similar action if the problem lies with the connection between the plug and the outlet. Replace the plug, or straighten the prongs on it if they have become bent.

Fluorescent Bulbs: Older fluorescent fixtures which predated the more modern self-starters, used a small round starter to get the gas going in the tube and the light shining. If the starter has come loose in its seating, or is starting to fail, the light flickers without coming on completely.  Remove the tube and check whether that starter is properly in its place. If it is, replace the old starter with a new one with the same amp rating. Then plug it into the housing for the bulb. If these moves don’t solve the flickering issue, you may need to replace the tubes.

LED Bulbs: Are they powered by a dimmer switch? That could be your problem, as the dimmer may be set to handle far higher voltages than the LEDs use. This means when the dimmer performs its function of switching the power on and off at short intervals to lower the glare, the LED bulb might flicker. The solution would be to change the light bulb for a stronger one, or change the dimmer switch to one’s that compatible with LEDs.

When the Problem Requires More than a Quick Fix

There could be graver reasons for flickering lights. They could be associated with problems at the heart of the electrical wiring in your home. One situation that indicates it could be related to fluctuating voltage in your system, is if you find a correlation between the flickering and when large appliances are running constantly, or kick in to service sporadically like fridges and freezers.  Use a voltmeter to check the output, or ask an electrician to do so for you.

If none of the above seem to be the problem you may need to start thinking out of the box – the circuit breaker box – and the wiring that comes from it. It could indicate that the wiring, connectors, breakers and switches could be succumbing to wear and tear. This is not a pretty picture as this sort of problem leads to a large number of the electrical fires which break out in homes.

It is advisable to call in a Colorado Springs electrician if the problem lies with the wiring. He will have the expertise to identify where the trouble lies. And make that an urgent call, as repairing faulty electrical wiring system is something that must be done immediately when problems start to show up.

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