While lights flickering or blinking in your home are not always a cause for concern, it is always best to be sure the flickering lights are not in fact part of a larger issue. Some common reasons for bulbs flickering are completely normal and (while annoying) may not be anything serious. Here are some indications the flickering of your lights is nothing to worry about:
LED or Fluorescent Light Flickering: Individual types of lighting technology are, by nature, more prone to flickering than other types. The flickering of fluorescent lighting within the first couple minutes or so of switching them on is due to the phosphors reaching peak illumination, or because the ballast they are connected to is failing. Neither of these issues imply a serious electrical problem, but can quickly become annoying, and you may want to replace these lights to solve the issue.
Loose Light Bulbs: The most simple explanation for a light bulb flickering is that it was not properly screwed into the socket. It may seem like a no-brainer to immediately check to see if this is the issue in light bulbs that are easily accessed, but in recessed lighting or other lighting fixtures where the light bulb isn't always exposed, it may take a little closer investigation to determine if this is where your issue lies.
The Light Switch is Faulty: When the light switch isn't properly making a connection with the bulb, this could be yet another minor reason for flickering lights. You could try toggling the switch off and on or turn off the switch for a little while then turn it back on. If the issue solves itself, you've discovered the problem - the light switch needs to be replaced.
For the above issues, you have the choice to contact an electrician or attempt to solve the problems yourself, but for more serious problems, contacting an electrician is vital:
Alabama Power Meter Issues: many times the Alabama Power meter socket is bad, or there are loose connections or clips at the power meter's outlet. The trouble may also be a bad connection at the breaker panel or a bad contact in the main breaker. All of these issues can be repaired.
Fluctuation in Voltage: If your flickering lights occur when a major appliance is turned on, this is an indication that there is a variation in voltage and an electrician needs to be contacted. Other signs of voltage fluctuation include lights that dim unexpectedly or the frequent burning out of bulbs. When in doubt, always contact an electrician.
Loose Wiring: Loose electrical wiring is the absolute most serious cause of flickering lights and is the leading cause of electrical fires and electrocution. Never check to see if this is the issue yourself before shutting off the electricity at the home's main breaker and again, when in doubt contact an electrician immediately. If loose wiring is the culprit, you will need the assistance of a professional electrician to remedy the problem right away and to determine if other issues have arisen from the loose wiring.
If you have mysterious blinking or other electrical problems in your home, don't hesitate to contact John's Electric.