Why do light bulbs flicker?

Flickering light bulbs are one of the most common household electrical problems. So, what causes our light bulbs to flicker? There are numerous reasons for this and it will determine how you go about fixing that pestering flicker. Here are some of the most common reasons light bulbs flicker and how to fix them.   

Bulb type

Certain bulb types are just more prone to flick than others. Fluorescent bulbs or tubes are some of the bulb types that just tend to flicker more compared to LED bulbs and other ones. Low or high temperatures and aging bulbs will cause fluorescent bulbs to flicker more often. Small amount of flickering should not be concerning. You should start worrying when your light bulb is constantly flickering. This is a sign that it is time to replace that bulb. If the new bulb continues to flicker, there may be bigger problems with your light fixture. 

Loose Light bulb

Light bulbs that are not screwed in all the way or attached incorrectly may cause a weak electrical connection with the light fixture which causes flickering.  Just tighten the bulb and that should fix it. For fluorescent tubes, just rotate the tube in the fixture mounts and make sure the metal pins at the end make good contact with the fixture. If that does not work, your light fixture or lamp sockets may have worn out and cannot make good contact with the light bulb. You would have to replace the socket or light fixture completely. 

Faulty Lamp switch or cord plug 

A bad connection in your lamp or fixture switch can result in flicking. To test this, wiggle the on- off switch and if the light dims as you do this, your switch is probably faulty. Cord plugs can also be a source of bad electrical connections. Check the conditions of your cord plugs and electrical outlet. You may need to replace the plug or cord entirely if it is not in good shape. 

A flickering light may be a small inconvenience but if not fixed can be dangerous and will lead to bigger issues. Sometimes a simple light bulb change will fix the problem. If not, there may be a bigger underlying issue that needs professional help. Get in touch with one of our professional electricians to help find the root of the problem and fix that flickering light.