Lighting installations

Why Do My Lights Flicker and How To Fix It

Ever walked into a room, flipped the switch, and your lights started to flicker on an off? It’s pretty common and can be really frustrating, especially when you’re not sure why it’s happening. A lot of people have this issue, and there are relatively straightforward reasons and solutions to fix this problem. We’ll walk you through the usual suspects of why your lights are flickering and how to fix them.

Understanding Why Your Lights Flicker

Common Causes of Flickering Lights

If you have lights that flicker, you’ve probably noticed that it isn’t constant—it comes and goes or happens only at certain times. That’s your first clue. It could be something as simple as a lightbulb that’s not screwed in all the way, or it might be something more serious. Let’s break down the usual culprits:

Loose Bulbs: A bulb that’s not screwed in tightly can lose its electrical connection, causing it to flicker. This is a typical problem that can be fixed easily.

  • Solution: Turn off the light, let the bulb cool down, and then tighten it. If the flickering stops, you’ve found the problem first try.

Voltage Fluctuations: When high-power electrical devices turn on, they can draw a lot of power, causing a dip in the voltage that makes other lights flicker.

  • Solution: If it happens frequently, you might need an electrician to check your home’s voltage levels.

Faulty Light Switches: Sometimes the switch you hit to turn on the lights is the problem. Whether it’s a lose connection or something otherwise, this can be a common reason for flickering lights as well

  • Solution: If wiggling the switch causes flickering, you’ll likely need to replace the switch.

Outdated Wiring: Old or worn-out wiring can also lead to flickering lights and is a fire hazard. If the first 3 solutions haven’t worked for you, this may be a good next step to take in figuring out why your lights are flickering on and off.

  • Solution: This is a job for a professional electrician who can upgrade your home’s wiring safely.

Circuit Overload: Overloading a circuit with too many appliances can cause lights to flicker on and off as well..

  • Solution: Try redistributing your electrical devices to different circuits or consider adding more circuits to your home. A well-trusted electrician in your community can do this fairly easily.

Each of these issues has a fix, but the key is identifying which one is causing the problem in your home or business. Sometimes, it’s a quick DIY fix; other times, it’s best to call in a professional electrician. Either way, understanding what’s behind that flickering is the first step to getting your lights back to normal.

Diagnosing Your Flickering Light Problem Further

If none of the solutions above worked, you’ll need to investigate further. Before you can fix a problem, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Here’s how to figure out the cause of your flickering lights:

Check if it’s a Localized or House-wide Issue: If the flickering is in one lamp or room, the problem is likely with that particular fixture or circuit. If your whole house flickers, it could be a larger issue with the service feed or meter box.

Inspect the Light Bulbs: Different types of bulbs have different quirks. LEDs, for example, may flicker if they’re non-dimmable or if there’s a compatibility issue with the dimming switch.

Monitor for Patterns: Does the flickering happen at a specific time of day or when a particular appliance is in use? Keeping track of this can help pinpoint the cause.

Safety First: If you’re not sure, or if there’s any sign of burning smells or discolored outlets, it’s time to call an electrician. Don’t take risks with electrical issues.

By narrowing down the issue, you can either take the steps to fix it yourself or be well-informed when you bring in a professional to take a look.

Long-Term Solutions for Flickering Lights

Once you’ve pinpointed the cause of the flickering, the next step is to sort out the issue for good. Here’s some long-term solutions that typically, can help you keep your lights from flickering:

Upgrade Your Lighting: If you’re using old incandescent bulbs, consider switching to LED bulbs which are more energy-efficient and less prone to flickering.

Invest in Quality Fixtures: Sometimes, the fixture itself can be the problem. Upgrading to better quality fixtures can improve your home’s lighting and reduce flickering.

Install a Dedicated Circuit: For high-power appliances that cause voltage fluctuations, installing a dedicated circuit can prevent them from affecting your lights.

Regular Maintenance: Have an electrician inspect your home’s electrical system regularly to catch any potential issues early.

Implementing these solutions can not only solve your flickering light problem but also improve the overall electrical system in your home.

Preventive Measures to Maintain Steady Lighting

Once You’ve found the root issue and you’ve taken time to fix it. Taking steps to prevent flickering lights before they start can save you time and hassle. Here’s how you can keep your lights from flickering in the first place:

Ensure Proper Installation: When installing new lights or fixtures, make sure everything is done correctly. Poor installation can lead to loose connections that cause flickering.

  • Action: Follow manufacturer instructions carefully or hire a professional for installation.

Regular Bulb Replacement: Bulbs nearing the end of their life can start to flicker.

  • Action: Keep track of when you installed your bulbs and replace them proactively.

Update Dimmer Switches: Older dimmer switches may not be compatible with newer LED bulbs, leading to flickering.

  • Action: If you’re upgrading to LEDs, replace old dimmers with new models designed for LED use.

Quality Over Price: Choosing the cheapest electrical products can often lead to issues down the line.

  • Action: Invest in reputable brands and high-quality equipment to ensure reliability.

Circuit Breaker Check: A tripping circuit breaker can cause flickering.

  • Action: Check your breakers regularly to ensure they are functioning correctly and not overloaded.

By incorporating these preventive strategies, you can help in maintaining a well-functioning electrical system and reduce the likelihood of flickering lights.


Diagnosing why your lights are flickering doesn’t have to be a major ordeal most of the time. By understanding the common causes, diagnosing the issue, and ultimately applying the right solutions, you can help keep your lights on and steady with no more flickering. Remember to prioritize safety, and when in doubt, be sure to call a professional, trusted electrician to help you.