Flickering Lights? Here’s What Might Be Wrong

Flickering Lights? Here’s What Might Be WrongHave you ever been in one room where the lights appear to have a mind of their own and just flicker and get dim randomly? This common household problem might not only be a bother but maybe a warning sign of hidden electrical issues that could threaten your safety and comfort. Let’s discuss why your lights might be flickering, some things you can do on your own to troubleshoot, and when and why to call in a professional. All of which can benefit a homeowner or renter from a safe and well-lighted place.

Possible Reasons for Flickering Lights

Bulb Type and Compatibility

Some features of the different light bulbs, though, may be the cause of flickering. Incandescent light bulbs have less likelihood of flickering but are still an inefficient use of energy. Compact Fluorescent Lamps may flicker while starting or at the end of their life. LED light bulbs flicker when there is an incompatibility with the fixtures and dimmer switches one might have. The simple step you can take to cut back or altogether eliminate the flickering of your lights is by ensuring compatibility between your bulbs and the fixtures.

Electrical Connection Issues

This is one of the most common reasons for flickering lights: loose or faulty electrical connections. Trouble of this sort can be in any part of your lighting setup, starting from the fixture itself up to the wall switch and even the main electrical panel. They might have loosely connected themselves with the passage of time because of temperature changes or just plain usage, where electrical current takes place intermittently. Most of these problems can be minimized with the regular inspection and tightening of connections.

Voltage fluctuations

Since large appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, or washing machines draw quite a bit of power when they cycle on, the voltage to your house could therefore go down just a bit. Such an abrupt correction may cause the lights to flicker or dim very briefly throughout your house. If this happens with any kind of regularity, you probably have overloaded your electrical system or have a defective old one. This means that you need to do an upgrade, or the system should be checked to establish more stability.

DIY Troubleshooting

You could do a few basic checks by yourself before you call in the pro. These might even be able to help solve the flickering.

  • Check and Tighten Bulbs: At times, flickering lights can be caused by a light that has slightly unscrewed itself. Just check and make sure every bulb is firmly screwed in.
  • Check Fixture Connections: Look for any loose wires or connections in the fixtures and switches. If you feel it is comfortable to tighten them up, be sure to turn off the power source before touching the wires.
  • Test the Bulb with another: If it flickers still, substitute the bulb with another that you know is working fine at another location. It might show whether the issue is with the bulb or with the fixture.

If these do not cure the flickering, or you find there is a burning smell or sparking, then it is time to call in the professional.

When to Call a Pro

There are situations where the flickering of the light becomes too much 

  • If a lot of lights or rooms are having similar behavior, then that may indicate a system-wide issue for your home.
  • Paired with Other Electrical Issues: Flickering combined with losses of power, strange noises, or burning smells is a very serious issue and needs to be addressed straight away. 
  • After Major Electrical Work or Appliance Installation: Should your home start flickering after major changes to your electrical setup, consider getting a professional in for an inspection.

How a Professional Can Assist

  • Professional electricians could use more advanced diagnostic equipment to exactly pinpoint the cause of flickering lights, like: 
  • Inspect and Upgrade the Wiring: The wiring in old houses is a necessity to change to make it support the modern needs of electricity.
  • Fixtures and Dimmers: Ensure compatibility and make sure all is working at 100%.
  • Advise on Electrical System Upgrades: A professional can design and implement solutions that will best help ensure system stability and safety overall if the present system is overloaded. 

Hiring a licensed electrician brings the benefit of fast and efficient repair in an excellent and safe manner, protecting your house and family. 


From a small irritation to a major signal of a possible electrical problem, many things can result in flickering lights. Knowing common causes and when to try a DIY fix versus when to call in the pros will ensure that your home stays safe and well-lit. Do not let flickering lights become something you learn to live with, as an electrician may be able to do something as simple as tightening a few connections or conducting an inspection. Promptly dealing with them now will prevent further difficulties in the future.

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Deena D.
Very nice, knowledgeable, and helpful technician. Provided the options and associated costs. Would use this company again.
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We chose Fuse to do the HVAC portion of our home remodel and we're very happy with their work! They installed a full Mitsubishi Mini-split heat pump system all throughout our house in 6 rooms. It was a massive job and they did the work relatively quickly and efficiently. The supervisor, Maxim, was very friendly and knowledgeable. Out of several bids that we got, theirs was the only one that gave us everything we wanted at a competitive cost. We'd be happy to recommend Fuse! We also had Fuse Electric work on the electrical portion of our home remodel, for which I wrote up a separate review.
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We got our duct work completely replaced in our 50 yr old home. They recommended the work, other companies didn't do this much due diligence and mentioned about asbestos but FUSE technicians went step ahead and climbed into attic and our crawl space to ensure there were no asbestos to begin with. Honest people and very competitive if not best quote I got. Moreover the installer, David and Jeremy worked 2 long days non stop to get work done at our home with 100% satisfaction. David explained everything to me and provided other recommendations for future. He is the most honest technician I have encountered in so long. Because of David I wouldn't hesitate to work with FUSE again. Thank you for such a great work. Very happy and highly recommend FUSE!!
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K R.
The technical crews were excellent; very knowledgeable and capable. They were able to do our HVAC, water heater and ductwork replacement even when faced with several unexpected and very challenging situations. David in particular worked some very long hours to get everything installed correctly. The administration side had a few glitches, but everything worked out OK. I would recommend them, but if you are eligible for the Penninsula Clean Energy interest free loan, be sure to apply for it before the work is completed.
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Exceptional service from FUSE HVAC! They installed a Mitsubishi HVAC system in our home, and we couldn't be happier. The team was professional, knowledgeable, and efficient throughout the process. Our home is now perfectly comfortable year-round, thanks to their expertise. From consultation to installation, everything was seamless and hassle-free. Highly recommend FUSE HVAC for anyone looking for top-notch HVAC solutions!
Amitabha C.
Amitabha C.
Fuse HVAC installed Mitsubishi Heat pump in my house and completed the project on 31st March 2024. David and Jeremy started the project and David finished the installation. David worked Saturday and Sunday until 11 PM to complete the work. It took 4 1/2 days. I am very happy with the work that David performed. I was watching the process of installation of the pump and was very satisfied to see that after finishing each step David will spend 10-15 min inspecting the work that he did to make sure that there was no mistake. The result was that during pressure testing to check for gas leakage or when the heat pump was run there was no unanticipated issue. The new ductwork that was installed by FUSE passed the HERS test. FUSE is also installing the attic fan to keep the air circulation going and keep the attic cooler. FUSE was referred to by my friend who used them for installing a similar heat pump and although they were a little more expensive than a few quotes I got from other vendors, I decided to go with them based on my friend's recommendation. I had made a right choice! My only criticism for FUSE is they are not able to estimate the time that it will take to finish the project. They told me it will be done in 3 days but it took 4 1/2 days. My project needed the air handler to be moved to the attic but because the space which had the gas heater was too narrow for the air handler. On the whole it was a good experience working with FUSE. They kept us warm for two days with heater fans and David worked Easter Sunday until 11 PM to install and start up the system without hurrying up at any step to get the installation completed earlier. A big thanks to him and to his assistant Jeremy!

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