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Why Do My Lights Keep Flickering

You would have often seen an overall plot in horror movies that goes like the protagonist cooking in the kitchen, and suddenly lights begin flickering and calm winds fill up the place. Then boom, the ghost makes the dramatic entrance, so whenever there’s a flickering in your house, your first intuition says,” Help me, God”.

Fortunately, there are some other reasons responsible for lights flickering. So if you are curious to know more, read along.

What Causes Lights Flickering?

There are some reasons listed below that will help you deduce what causes light flickering in your house and how you can overcome it.

1. An Overloaded Circuit

Basic electronics has taught us that there are various circuits, and each circuit has its capacity for input and output of current. If we try to draw more current from it, then it is called an overloaded circuit.

This overloading might sometimes result in the burning of the circuit and can cause electrical fires.

So if you experience flickering of lights while heavy appliances like mixers, geysers, ovens, etc., are used, the cause behind the flickering of lights might be an overloaded circuit.

2. Electric Utility Service Issue

When people apply for an electricity connection, they are supposed to fill a form to mention the kWh required, which moves their connection into personal or commercial use. In some cases, people fill up for personal reasons. They then use the machinery which has commercial level consumption. So in such cases, the other people connected with the same connection face disadvantage.

So you can file a complaint about such issues or ask an electrician inspection to find the root cause of this issue.

3. Fluctuating Electrical Voltage

There are two types of connections between electrical appliances. The first is the series combination, and the second is a parallel combination. In parallel circuits, the voltage is supplied equally across all connections, whereas in a series combination, the voltage drop occurs, which can result in device failure.

So you might have seen MCB’s or Fuse in your house, which works against these fluctuations and cuts the connection as the current falls over a limit or surpasses the upper limit.

4. Loose, Old Wiring Connections

Though very few think of it as a problem, wires are sometimes the cause of flickering. Because when used for a long time, there is a process known as electromigration that thickens the wires at some point. And thus there is a weak connection.

So outdated wires can ruin connections and result in flickering lights at your house.

5. Main Connection Issues

You might get upset when you notice that most of the bulbs in your house are flickering, so you might think there is a ghost, which isn’t true. If most of the bulbs are displaying flickering, then it does mean that you bought the defective ones. But if you notice that there’s the same issue with the neighbor’s bulb too. Then definitely there is some issue with the transformer.

6. Loose Bulb

The bulbs are placed in the holders, and conduction works via two small tubes on the bulb’s lower end, which is struck on holders. But sometimes, when the bulb is placed loosely, conduction is not uniform, and light flickering occurs.

When you place a bulb in the holder, make sure that you put it with a tight hold.

7. Type of Light

There are various types of bulbs used for different perspectives, including filament or fluorescent bulbs, or LEDs. LEDs have a significant advantage because they have a complex circuit and can emit more light and handle larger ratios of current falls.

So the circuits in filament bulbs are pretty simple, and they require a ballast that can control the amount of current which flows through them. And if the amount of current increases, then the filament melts down, and thus the bulb does not emit. So it would be best if you switch to LEDs because they are designed explicitly to manage current outbreaks and fluctuations and still work at their best.

No wonder LED invention got the Nobel Prize.

8. Old Dimmer Switches

Earlier, the bulbs came up with a dimmer switch, so one does not need to install both light and dim bulbs at their house. With the help of these dimmer switches, we can manage the intensity of the lights quickly.

But over time now dimmer switch technology has changed, and now it has been automated. So the reason for the flickering light of your home can be the outdated dimmer switches used in them.

9. Faulty Lamp Switch / Cord Plug

It doesn’t always need to be your connection that has the issues. Sometimes the device is a defect itself. So if you are facing flickering lights issue with your lamp, then maybe there is some wiring issue with your lamp.

There is also a possibility that your lamp might be working abnormally because of some issue with the cord plug. The cord plug is sometimes wrongly wired or does have some leakage, which results in flickered lights.


We have discussed thoroughly all the possible causes which can be responsible for the flickering of lights in your house and luckily none of them are ghosts. So if you come around someone who says that the lights of my house are flickering, I suspect it’s a ghost, then you need to explain to them that it’s just an issue with the circuit or the bulb.

One Response

  1. There are more fundamental reasons LED lamps flicker: Basically, inadequate design. LED lamps use a switch – mode regulator to convert AC power to DC LED current. It is mandated by the utilities that this should take a smooth sinusoidal current from the grid, using a technique called ‘power factor correction’. The problem is twofold: This technique gives the LED a negative input impedance which can create instability. and also multiple LEDs on the same branch circuit, e.g. a chandelier, can interfere with eachother.
    I am about to ditch all LEDs from our chandeliers for this reason and go back to incandescent filament lamps.

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