Houston Electrician: Stop Flickering Lights

Houston Electrician: Are flickering lights in your home trying to tell you something?

Light will flicker for a variety of reasons and the implications can be trifling or significant. But how can you tell the difference? What do you need to know to gauge a safe response to your experience? Here are some clues.

First, determine whether the problem is with light or lights throughout your home or business. The likely causes for an individual light are different than a whole house flicker. Let’s look at problems with a particular light in your home.

  1. Inspect the light bulb(s). It might simply need to be screwed in tightly. A loose bulb makes a loose connection.
    1. Fluorescent bulbs may flicker when first switched on or in a cold room, but the flickering should not persist. They also begin to flicker prior to failure, so be prepared.
    2. Some LED bulbs do not function well on a dimmer switch. Consider using LEDs only on full power.
  2. Inspect the light plug for lamps. The plugin the outlet may be misshaped. If so, unplug and gently bend the plug to fit the outlet, usually bend outward a little. Inspect for damage to the wiring and replace, even if you only suspect damage. This can be a serious fire or electrocution hazard.
  3. Inspect the switch or dimmer on the wall. Gently wiggle the switch sideways. If it gives at all, replaces it. Don’t delay.

If the flickering is noticed throughout the house, this indicates different issues. If it is an isolated event, it might be weather-related, but you should be aware of wind or lightning in the area. Let’s explore some reasons flickering lights might occur frequently.

  1. Your lights may flicker, indicating an increase in load on your electrical system. You might notice the lights flicker briefly when the HVAC system engages or the washing machine is turned on. This is not usually a problem, but how are you to know? If flickering occurs consistently, severely or persistently, the appliance pulling large amounts of power may need to be on a separate circuit. Call your electrical contractor for help.
  2. If flickering lights are not related to power use inside your home, it might be related to power use nearby. Your home shares a transformer with other homes in the area. The decrease in power at your home might be related to your neighbor’s sudden increase in power use across the street. Check with neighbors to see if they experience the same flickering issue. If so, call your electric utility provider to check on the issue.
  3. Inspect the meter box and power main attached to the outside of your house. DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING—JUST LOOK. Call your electrical contractor if anything looks amiss.
  4. If flickering lights are not related to sudden power use but are unexpected and unpredictable, you may be experiencing voltage fluctuations. The electric power coming into your home has a narrow voltage range and this keeps bulbs and appliances from getting burned out. If your power dims, lights flicker without explanation and bulbs frequently burn out, call your electrical contractor.
  5. Flickering lights might also be an indication of loose or outdated wiring throughout the home. This is a serious issue. About 67% of house fires with electricity as a power source result from a faulty electrical distribution system—yep, the big one. If you suspect faulty wiring, don’t delay. Call your electrical contractor now.

Have Questions for a Houston Electrician

Our four decades of experience as a Houston Electrician and contractor AirPro Houston provides you with the skill and expertise to inspect flickering lights and inspect your electric circuits.

We have financing options available with great options with up to 72-month terms with approved credit. Call us today at  281-880-8805 and let us partner with you for all of your electrical repair and installation needs.



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