|Certain types of lighting technology are naturally more prone to flickering than others. For example, flickering sometimes occurs in fluorescent lights as the phosphors reach peak illumination or when the bulbs are connected to a failing ballast. LED lights flicker when improperly connected to a driver ( base) or with a dimming system .|
All infrastructural factors being equal, bulb design quality and the overall care used in the manufacturing process are the prime drivers of issues with CFL and LED flickering in dimming applications. Follow this simple rule:
“It is not advisable to mix different types, or even brands, of light bulbs in the same light fixture. This may affect dimming consistency and performance.”
The simplest reason the light bulb is flickering is because it was screwed too loosely into the socket. Over time the expansion and contraction of the bulb base due to heating and cooling can cause the bulbs to loosen in the socket.
Before you check for bulb tightness , make sure you turn off the light and allow the bulb cool. If the bulb is loose, use caution not to over torque the light bulb in the socket. Bulbs should be tightened to the point of light resistance to the rotation (clockwise). Over tightening will damage the contact in the bottom of the socket or cause a material failure in the bulb base. If the light bulb continues to flicker after this check, the problem lies elsewhere.
Bad or Failing Bulb
Replace the flickering bulb with a known good bulb from another light fixture and test the flickering bulb in the known good light fixture. This will isolate the problem to the bulb or the fixture.
Yes, bulbs can be bad right out of the package. Before you assume the fixture or switch wiring has an issue, try the new bulb in a different, known good, light fixture.
If the lights flicker or dim when you turn on turn on an appliance with a high wattage draw, like a vacuum cleaner or space heater, the reason could be because of low voltage of the current supplied to that circuit. Intermittent flickering or dimming for no apparent reason can be a symptom of a more serious electrical issues. Contact an electrician for assistance.
Other signs that the voltage in the home isn't correct include lights that dim unexpectedly or that frequently burn out. Electricity typically flows into homes at around 120 volts. Although a little fluctuation is normal, your home should always be supplied ( US ) with between 115 and 125 volts.
You can check the voltage in your home by purchasing a simple voltmeter or if you have a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) that has a voltmeter function. If the readings average above the normal range of current , 115-125 volts ,that indicates a problem with your home electrical supply, check with an electrician and contact your power provider.
Loose Electrical Wiring, Deteriorating Wiring
Loose wiring is the most serious reason for flickering lights and a main cause of house fires. Shut off the light at the circuit breaker before removing the fixture to double check the wiring. If the fixture looks normal with no obvious signs of failure , it’s time to call an electrician to evaluate your home's electrical wiring.
It’s never a good idea to ignore or delay resolving a lighting or electrical problem. If the you notice the lights flickering, always investigate. If you can’t find the culprit or the problem persists, call an electrician.