How To Fix Flickering Lights in Your Home or Business

Have you ever had a moment where you’re sitting comfortably at your kitchen table or your desk at work, when all of a sudden, the lights above you begin to flicker like no tomorrow? The feeling is stressful on your eyes, maybe so much so that you have to bury your face in the palms of your hands. 

When a lightbulb starts acting up, it could be a sign that the source emitting light is no longer serviceable. It could also be a signal of a larger problem occurring within your building’s electrical system. 

Either way, it’s time for a solution!

Here are some ways to help understand and fix the irritating flickering lights in your home or business.

Common Causes of Flickering Lights

Loose or Faulty Bulbs

There are a number of reasons why lights start to blink or flicker. It could be that the bulb itself is not screwed in tight enough, thereby not connecting to the electricity properly. Perhaps the bulb isn’t even a proper fit. And of course, the bulb could potentially be no good; it’s functioning could be faulty. 

While it isn’t always overly dangerous to have flickering lights in your building, the experience is definitely annoying. Sometimes, the easiest explanation (depending on the situation) is that the light bulbs are simply too old and worn out. A simple solution would be to run down to the store and buy a new set of bulbs that match the proper attachment outlet in your building. LED bulbs are a popular, long-lasting option for bulbs.

Voltage Fluctuations

Your building may also be experiencing fluctuations of voltage. Lights can flicker, glow brighter, or dim in this situation. The varying loads of power being generated and distributed causes abnormal cycles of voltage and light transmission. Electrical connections could be loose or corroded if voltage fluctuations are occurring. This problem can greatly affect the performance of other electrical appliances in your building, like computers and televisions.

Wiring Issues

Flickering lights could also signal issues with the electrical wiring within your building. The connection with the bulbs may be loose or the wiring itself is simply older and out-of-date. This is a rather serious problem compared to others as the risk of fire hazards increases with loose electrical connections in your building. If you think this may be the issue, be sure to shut off the circuit breaker before completing any inspection on your own. This is the type of issue that requires immediate attention from one of our residential electricians at Polar Electric Contracting

Bad Electrical Panel Connection

There may be a bad connection in a circuit breaker that’s causing lights to flicker in a building. The breaker switch may not be working properly and could need replacing. Service conductors within the breaker might also be loose from usage and wear over time as the system experiences different levels of heating and cooling patterns. It’s a wise idea to check the status of the wiring system within the breaker, but only if safe to do so or with the help of an experienced electrician. 

How to Test for Diagnosis 

Something to beware of when assessing your light flickering situation, whether residential or commercial, is if your neighbours are experiencing the same problem with their lights as you are. 

Are lights in their building or home flickering too?

If so, that could indicate a problem beyond the vicinity of your own building. It could mean that something is wrong with the electrical network. Or, the local wiring and power transformer is experiencing problems. If that’s the case, electrical technicians are needed at that point. 

Usually, you can tell right away when a light is flickering chaotically, but for those who have LED lighting in their buildings, it might be harder to spot. There is a simple test that can determine if your lights are experiencing flickering: Using your smartphone camera imaging, point it at the suspected flickering light. If there are light or dark bands that go across the screen of your phone, then that could very well be an indication that you have a flickering light.  

When to Call an Electrician 

Flickering lights will sometimes occur simply because of bad weather. A rainy night full of ferocious winds and powerful lightning strikes will most certainly mess with your electricity. If that’s the case, don’t worry; let the storm pass on by and test the lights after. 

However, should the flickering persist when turning the light switch back on, even after a storm, then that’s a sign of a bigger issue. Are there multiple lights flickering at once? You could very well have a circuit problem if the flickering is not limited to only one light in the building. 

Should loose electrical wiring be pre-identified, call an electrician right away. This is a serious problem that could result in fires being started. An electrician will be able to troubleshoot and identify the problem at hand more precisely for you. They can analyze the wiring situation in your building, test the voltage levels, and inspect the electrical panel to make sure everything is running accordingly. Find an electrician in Edmonton with residential and commercial experience!

Wake the Bear! 

Our team at Polar Electric Contracting will be able to assist you with any of your electrical needs and requirements. We specialize in quality service and efficient maintenance procedures for electrical systems of all types and sizes. Check out the services we offer on our website and get in touch with one of our highly qualified electricians today!

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