Why Do Lights Flicker In House? [10 Reasons You Might Not Know] [Sep 2023]

why do lights flicker in house

Are lights regularly flickering in your house? Well, this can be due to a minor defect or because of a serious electrical problem that needs immediate assistance.

To help you combat the flickering light problem in your home, we introduce to you the possible reasons behind this and whom you should call for aid. 

Why Do Lights Flicker In House? [5 Minor Issues]

It is not necessary that the flickering light problem occurs because of a serious problem. There can be minor issues behind it, which are easy to fix. 

If you are a lucky person, the flickering light may occur because of the following small reasons:

1. Loose Bulb Connection

Occasional flickering or flickering of only one light occurs when the light bulb is loose. These bulbs are loose in the socket and they receive an irregular power supply that leads to flickering. 

Hence, switch off the light and let the bulb cool down. Screw the light bulb tightly. If the fix is proper, it is the right bulb for the fixture. 

2. Faulty Switch Or Socket

Sometimes the light may break at the switch box. This happens when you switch off the light. Such failures are unnoticeable initially. For a faulty light switch, a circuit breaker, or a bad socket, you require an investigation using a multimeter. 

Such flickering occurs because of loose wires and is a major fire hazard. It is better to take care of the loose wires. 

3. Wrong Type Of Bulb

The flickering may occur depending on the kind of bulb you use. For example, green or fluorescent bulbs flicker in a cold room. In this case, you may replace a fluorescent bulb with another kind of bulb.

Consider using LED or fluorescent bulbs with non-compatible dimmers. Such bulbs have a flickering tendency if you use them with traditional dimmer switches that are meant for halogen or incandescent bulbs. You must use the right kind of dimmer for solving this problem. 

4. Loose Wiring

Outdated and loose wiring can result in the flickering of lights. However, it is extremely hazardous. If there is a loose connection in an outlet, switch box, or light, it can result in arcing. It happens when the electric current travels over the gap in connection.

Each gap can result in an electrical fire. Hence, it is important to upgrade the electrical system if there is a flicker or loose wire. The problem can occur at various places such as:

  • Switch Failure
  • Loose wiring in the fixture
  • Loose service conductors in the electrical panel
  • Overused box connectors

Consult an electrician if the lights keep flickering in house. If only single light flickers and you consider the wiring loose, you must turn off the light at the circuit breaker and investigate the problem. 

5. Dim Switch Bulbs

The light bulb you use must be compliant with the dimmer switch. This is important when you are using LED bulbs as LED bulbs are not compatible with non-LED switches. 

An easy alternative is to use a smart bulb that does not require a physical dim switch. 

5 Serious Causes Of Light Flickering In House

Even if you have a well-planned electrical system in your house, there are chances that loose and problematic connections may appear. 

There can be some major reasons behind this. The possible severe causes of light flickering in the house and ones that need immediate assistance are as follows:

1. Voltage Fluctuation

Slight voltage fluctuations are fine, but if your house witnesses major voltage fluctuations then this is problematic. This issue needs professional assistance and the factors that indicate this are:

  • Frequent burning out of the light bulbs
  • Dimming or flickering of light when you turn on a large appliance
  • Continuous flickering even after the appliance is turned off
  • Light flickering dims at inadequate times
  • Malfunctioning of electronics or shutting of appliances

2. Overloaded Circuit

Every house is designed to manage a certain level of electric voltage. But many houses, particularly older ones are unable to support the demand of every electronic in your house simultaneously. 

This issue results in blinking or flickering lights when you switch on the geyser, air conditioner, refrigerator, etc.

When this occurs, it means there is a serious problem in your house, which needs to be fixed. When the lights in your house regularly flicker, it is best to seek professional services. 

If there is sensory overload, you would need a bigger electrical supply or a fixed circuit that supports additional voltage. 

3. Arcing

Arcing happens because of loose wiring. It is the result of an electrical current jumping over the bad connection to continue flowing. Whenever an arc jumps, it releases hot temperatures, which lead to sparking and causes an electrical hazard. 

One arc is more than 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit or 5,500 Degrees Celsius. 

Arcing must be prevented before it becomes a severe issue. Go for a professional checkup for loose wiring in the switches, fixtures, connectors, breaker box, and the central electrical panel. 

4. Electricity Supply Troubles

If your home shares the transformer with surrounding houses, it can lead to electrical utility issues in terms of load-bearing capacity.

Might be other people are using heavy electrical using appliances, which is causing electrical imbalance and flickering of lights in your home. In this situation, you need a repair. Your electrician can help you in this context. 

5. Main Connection Issues

The lights may be flickering in only a few parts of your home. But if this is not the case and the lights are flickering in your entire house, you need to call an electrician. 

If there is no minor reason behind this activity, it means there is a big cause underlying, which can be related to your meter box. Even, the issue can be with your service cable. Only an expert electrician can handle such high-capacity issues. 

When Lights Flickering In House Become A Concern?

Whether flickering lights in your house are a concern or not depends on the reason behind it. Only an expert can analyze the situation and help you handle it. 

Electricity is hazardous, so you must avoid doing it yourself.

Still, if you wish to give it a try, you must take into consideration some important parameters such as:

  • Electrical hazards can lead to serious injury, accidental shocks, death and burn.
  • Inadequately installed wires can result in severe fire hazards.
  • The cost of electrical damage is not covered by insurance.
  • Trying to rectify the problem yourself can create a bigger problem.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Q1. How can I Stop the lights in my house from flickering?

A1. The first step to stopping lights in your house from flickering is determining its root cause. If it’s a bulb issue, replace the bulb.
When flickering occurs because of multiple things running at the same time, you must plug-in electrical appliances into different outlets for balancing the power output. While some appliances in your house consume more power, others utilize little units. A misbalance in power consumption can result in a dim or flickering light problem. 
If there is a serious reason behind this, it’s better to ask for professional assistance. A skilled electrician can investigate the issue and rectify it. 

Q2. Is flickering lights a big problem?

Q2. The problem of flickering light is big or not depends on the reason behind it. If the issue is because of a bulb or loose wiring, it is not a major issue. However, if it is because of voltage fluctuations or an overloaded circuit, the problem is big. 
If your entire house is experiencing this trouble, it is a serious issue and you need to consult a professional immediately. It is because this can be due to a problem with main connections or electrical panels. 

Q3. Why LED lights are flickering?

A3. When it comes to voltage fluctuations, LEDs are more sensitive than other lights. Hence, the flickering of LEDs happens when there are voltage changes. Also, it could be because of a compatibility issue between the dimmer light and LEDs. If both these are not a problem, it would be because of loose wiring or bulb problems. 

Q4. Why do lights flicker when I turn on an appliance?

A4. If the lights flicker while using a high-wattage appliance like an air-conditioner or washing machine, it is because of an overloaded circuit. It means your appliance demands more current than the circuit is providing.
However, if the flickering occurs only at the time of starting an appliance, it is not an issue, big appliances draw more current. Little flickering can happen in a well-designed electrical unit as well. 
The flickering may also occur because of a circuit overload as this results in burnout of appliance parts and overheating. 
A recent study proves that a major cause of fire hazards is loose or defective wires. 
Loose switches produce arcing when electrical units jump over gaps in connection. It is a major reason behind electrical fires. A faulty connection can disturb the complete electrical unit. 
Sometimes low resistance may result in overheating of connections and nearby wires. It can spark a fire if it occurs close to flammable material. 
If the light in your house is flickering between bright and dim light, you could have corroded or lose wire in the circuit breaker. This problem is serious and needs immediate professional assistance.


Do you suffer from flickering lights in your house regularly? You must contact a professional to investigate the problem. 

But it is possible that the problem has occurred because of an issue outside your house at the meter box or main service connection. The electrician will offer aid depending on the core reason and you can also ask suggestions for home improvement. This will help you to avoid meet such issues again.  

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