The light bulbs in your home could give you a warning when electrical repairs are needed. The bulbs should burn steadily when you flip them on, and the bulbs should last their expected lifetime. If the bulbs in your home get brighter, flicker, get dim, blow out, or have short lifespans, then consider calling an electrician to uncover the cause of the problem and make needed repairs. Here are some things that might be wrong.
Loose Wiring Can Cause Flickering And Dimming
Problems with light bulbs can originate in different areas such as the bulb, the light fixture, the wiring, and the electrical panel. Loose wiring is one of the more serious problems because that is a situation that can cause a fire. If your lights flicker frequently, you can probably rule out the power company as the source of the problem. If the lights flicker even when you don't turn on an additional appliance, then that could be a sign of loose wiring, and you should call an electrician so that your home isn't in danger of an electrical fire.
Light Fixture May Need To Be Replaced
If the flickering is in a lamp, you can narrow down the problem fairly easily by plugging a different lamp into the outlet to see what happens. If the flickering is in an overhead light or overhead fan light, then it's difficult to know what's going on since you can't switch out the light or see the wiring. One thing to try is putting in a new bulb in case the old bulb isn't making good contact. If that doesn't work, the problem could be in the fixture that's keeping it from making solid contact with the bulb. Vibration can cause problems with tight connections too. If the light is in a fan, the vibration from the fan can cause parts to wobble loose and cause flickering. An electrician can test the light to track down the problem and replace the light or fan as needed to stop the flickering.
The Circuit May Be Overloaded
A common cause of light flickering is when a circuit is overloaded. The lights in the kitchen may flicker when you turn the microwave on. This happens because appliances use more power when they first turn on than they do when they operate. While this is common, especially in older homes, it's annoying and could lead to safety issues. An electrician can measure the electricity in your home to determine if there are power surges or drops. Usually, the measurement should stay fairly steady. A surge can cause bulbs to pop or have short lifespans and drops will cause dimming and flickering. It may be necessary to add additional circuits to your panel so it can handle the power demands of your home.
For more information, contact your local electrical repair service for an appointment.