Flickering and dimming lights are usually harmless. They can be caused by faulty light bulbs, a mismatch between the bulbs and fittings, or a loose connection between plugs and sockets. However, they can also be the result of serious issues like faulty wiring or an overloaded circuit board. If you’re not sure what’s causing your flickering or dimming lights, ask a professional to diagnose the problem and perform the necessary electrical repairs.
What Should You Do If Your Building Has Flickering or Dimming Lights?
When the lights in your building start to flicker or become dimmer, there’s no need to panic. There could be a simple explanation. At Legacy Electric, we always recommend that our customers first check that all the light bulbs are working and that they are suitable for the fittings. We also advise people to speak to their neighbors to find out whether the problem is unique to their building or whether it is affecting the whole neighborhood.
If the problem persists, we visit the home or business and run some diagnostic tests to determine which electrical issue is causing disruption. Flickering or dimming lights are sometimes related to faulty wiring, a problem with the switches or dimmers, or overloaded circuit boards. In such cases, we have to repair the customers’ electrical systems.
Try Replacing the Light Bulbs
Light bulbs aren’t meant to last forever. Traditional incandescent bulbs provide light for approximately 1,000 hours, and fluorescent bulbs last for around 15,000 to 20,000 hours. Sometimes, light bulbs fail prematurely because there is a problem with the way they were manufactured, and at other times, they are simply not screwed in properly. That’s why checking your light bulbs is the best first step.
Start by removing them and then screwing or clipping them back in to make sure they are installed properly. If this doesn’t solve the problem, replace the bulbs with new ones. It’s important to remember that incandescent bulbs often flicker before they die, but the same isn’t true for fluorescent lights. If a fluorescent light flickers, there is likely an issue with the electrical system.
Check that Your Bulbs Are Right for the Fitting
Not all bulbs are suitable for all fittings. If you’ve installed a bulb that doesn’t fit correctly, it might not work well, even if it is a high-quality product from the best manufacturers. Check your fixture to find out what kinds of bulbs are a good fit. If there is a mismatch, replace the current bulb with a more suitable one. This should solve your lighting problem.
Check the Plugs
Always check your building’s sockets if the issue is related to a standalone light source. If there is a loose connection between the plug and socket, this could explain your flickering or dimming lights. Remove the plug and inspect the socket to check whether it is causing the problem.
Faulty sockets are often cracked or discolored. There might be blackening around the pin entry points. Never use sockets that look damaged. Instead, call us at Legacy Electric and ask us for electrical repairs.
Check with Your Neighbors
Sometimes, dimming and flickering lights aren’t related to your own system but to your electric utility service. These two issues often occur ahead of a major power outage or during a storm. Speak to your neighbors to find out if they have been experiencing flickering and dimming lights, too. If so, it’s likely that your electrical system is fine and that there is an area-wide issue. Call your energy provider to find out whether they’re working on a solution.
Sometimes, flickering and dimming lights are a persistent problem in a neighborhood. This can be the case if homes and businesses are getting fluctuating amounts of voltage. Measure the voltage in your building with an analog or digital voltmeter if you think you aren’t receiving adequate amounts of power. You can then share the results with your local electric utility service provider and ask them to fix the issue.
Call an Electrical Company
Don’t hesitate to call an electrician if none of these actions have solved your problem. There could be a serious issue with your electrical system, so it’s important not to ignore flickering and dimming lights. When you reach out to us at Legacy Electric, we’ll visit your home or business and diagnose the problem. Then, we’ll let you know how much the repairs cost.
Sometimes, repairs are very simple. If your switches or dimmers aren’t working properly, we’ll start by checking whether you’ve paired them with the wrong kind of light bulb. Not all LED dimmers work with all LED bulbs, so figuring out which components are compatible can be challenging. If this doesn’t solve the problem, we’ll check your entire electrical system to figure out where the issue is located.
How Do Electricians Solve Serious Problems?
Professional electricians have the tools and knowledge to properly diagnose and fix dangerous electrical issues. They start by inspecting each aspect of your system to figure out where the problem lies. They might also ask you about your use of electricity and how it has changed in recent months. If you’ve bought several new appliances or devices, your circuit boards might be overloaded.
If not, flickering and dimming lights could be caused by a faulty circuit board that needs to be replaced. Faulty wiring can also cause flickering and dim lights, especially in old buildings. When the electrical wiring is loose or outdated, the current can ‘jump’ between gaps. This phenomenon, called arcing, creates a potential fire hazard, so it needs to be addressed. Electricians can replace faulty wires and make sure all the connections are secure.
Can You Perform Electrical Repairs Yourself?
You can deal with simple electrical issues like damaged light bulbs or loose connections between plugs and sockets on your own. However, more complex repairs need to be addressed by a professional. Unless you have in-depth knowledge of electrical systems, performing repairs on your own is not safe.
Give us a call if you believe that there is a problem with your system. We’ll ask you some questions on the phone to check whether the issue requires professional assistance. If we believe that there is a serious problem, we’ll book an appointment.
Should You Maintain Your Electrical System Regularly?
Many common electrical problems can be avoided with proper maintenance. Regular appointments are almost always cheaper because they allow us to address issues before they spiral out of control. We offer reasonably priced maintenance plans to all our regular customers.
We typically ask homeowners and businesses to book an appointment once a year or once every six months. That way, we can check that the wiring is still intact and that there aren’t any faulty outlets. Companies that require electricity to run their equipment or perform their services often book more frequent appointments because they want to prevent expensive system failures.
When you first notice flickering or dimming lights, you can try to resolve the problem by changing the light bulbs and checking that the connection between the plugs and sockets is good. If these actions don’t solve the issue, reach out to an electrical company. Call us at Legacy Electric and tell us about your problem. We will diagnose it and perform electrical repairs.