What Causes Lights to Flicker and Dim?
Flickering lights can be a huge pain in your home or office. Whether you’re trying to light up your home or keep your office bright during work hours, flickering lights can be distracting, waste electricity, cause headaches, and a number of other issues. If you have flickering and dimming lights in your house or office, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you need to know about this common issue, and what to do if your lights start to flicker.
Single Flickering Light Bulb
Light Bulbs that aren’t screwed in tightly or those that are reaching the end of their lifespan can tend to flicker. Some types of bulbs, including LEDs and fluorescents, are more prone to flickering that others, so if you have these types of bulbs this can be normal. If you have a single, flickering, light simply screwing in the bulb tighter or changing out the old flickering bulb with a new one should do the trick.
Lights Flickering On One Circuit
If your lights start to flicker when you plug in your hair dryer or turn on your microwave, you may have an overloaded circuit. When a circuit is overloaded, this can either mean a circuit is outdated or simply has too many electronics running on the same line. This problem can be particularly common in older homes or office buildings because older breakers often have less capacity.
While flickering lights while using multiple appliances is annoying, it is not typically a hazard. If this problem goes beyond the occasional flicker, however, and either trips your circuit breaker or stops working completely, you may have a bigger issue. If that sounds like your situation, give us a call.
Lights Flickering in Whole House or Office Building
If you are experiencing flickering lights beyond an isolated room or circuit, you likely have a bigger problem on your hands. If lights are flickering in the whole house, your problem may be cable connections to a larger power source. If your home or office is experiencing this problem, contact an electrician as soon as possible, as flickering lights on a large scale can be a fire hazard.
Flickering Lights Throughout the Neighborhood
Severe weather, fallen trees, and a number of other circumstances can cause issues with power in specific geographic areas. If there are multiple power outages throughout a neighborhood, the localized power source to your area is most likely the cause. In Seattle, you can call 206.684.3000 or 206.684.7400 to report power outages, and consult the Seattle City Light Outage Map for updates on outages by geographic location.
Flickering Lights With No Clear Pattern
Many flickering and dimmed lights have quick fixes and are isolated to a particular area. If your home or office has sporadic flickering lights with no clear pattern or isolated location, however, you should call an electrician as soon as possible. These types of issues can be caused for a number of issues, so it is important to consult a professional to avoid hazard and keep yourself and those around you safe.
Are Flickering Lights a Fire Hazard?
Not all flickering lights are a fire hazard, but if you have flickering lights in your home or office, they should not be ignored. Lighting issues caused by voltage problems and loose electrical wiring are cause for concern. Keeping an eye out for signs of dangerous wiring can keep you and your family safe. If in doubt, contact an electrician to evaluate your wiring and ensure it’s up to code.
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