8 Common Causes of Flashing Light Bulbs and their Solutions


Your light bulb can be flickering for many reasons. It may be due to simple faults that can be easily fixed or caused by bigger electrical faults.

What Are the Reasons Why Your Light Bulb May Be Flickering?

  1. Loose Light Bulb: This reason is one of the most typical and most straightforward to detect. If you notice your light flickering continuously, especially if it's a single light bulb, it could result from a loose bulb. Bulbs get loose with time, especially when fixed in an area prone to vibration. This can result in an inconsistent power supply, causing the light to flicker.
  2. Circuit Overload: Another common reason for light flickering is when there is an overload on a circuit. Different light bulbs are connected to different circuits in the home, so when there is an overload on a particular circuit, it would most likely cause the light to dim or flicker. You must have noticed this when using an appliance like an air conditioner that draws a lot of electrical currents. The amount of electrical current drawn by these heavy-duty appliances when they are initially turned on will weigh on the circuit, causing the light to flicker. It is normal for this to happen, but the flickering shouldn't last longer than a few seconds.
  3. Incompatible or Faulty Dimmer: Some light bulbs have dimmer switches that reduce the light's intensity. These switches could be either faulty or incompatible with your new light bulb. For example, if you use an LED bulb with a dimmer meant for an incandescent bulb, the incompatibility could cause the light to flicker.
  4. Bulb Type: this is another reason to consider when your light bulb is flickering. Fluorescent bulbs, particularly, flicker when warming up as they don't immediately come up but take some time. They are also susceptible to cold, making them flicker. Light flickerings of this nature are not problematic.
  5. Voltage Fluctuations: The voltage in the home should normally fall within the range of 115 to 125 volts. Anything above or below falls outside this range indicates a problem. When the voltage drops or rises, light bulbs in the home could flicker or even burn out, you can use a voltmeter to check if this is the case.
  6. Faulty Light Fixtures: If your light fixture is faulty, it could cause the light bulb to flicker. If this is the case, remove the light bulb and try it in a different fixture; if it works, this is likely the problem. Another possible problem with your light fixture could be a bad connection. Sockets wear out with time, and when they do, they may no longer be able to make proper connections. If there is an irregular flickering, try wiggling the switch; if the light flickers, this might be the problem.
  7. Loose Wiring: If you are to consider possible serious reasons why your light bulb is flickering, loose wiring will fall under your list. If your light flickers steadily, it could be because of loose or old wiring. The wiring could be loose as a result of wear and tear, incorrect installation, or it could be outdated. This can pose serious electrical problems and could be hazardous. Loose wiring will most likely affect multiple light bulbs.
  8. External Causes: Sometimes, light flickering might not result from any internal reasons. Since you share the same transformer as your neighbors, too much load on the transformer might result in light flickering, so you just have to wait it out.

How Do I Fix a Flickering Light Bulb?


Typically, when you are trying to figure out why your light bulb is flickering, start from the simpler possible causes to the more serious ones. Here are ways to fix some peculiar causes of light flickers.


  1. Loose Light Bulb: If your light bulb is flickering, the first step to take is to tighten the light bulb. To do this, you need to turn it off. You would have to wait a while for a traditional bulb to cool down. When it does, tighten it in its socket before switching it back on.
  2. Circuit Overload: If you notice that your light flickers when you turn on an appliance that takes up a lot of electric currents, this should not be an issue if the flickering only lasts for some seconds after you turn the appliance on. However, you might have to upgrade your circuit to accommodate such appliances if it surpasses.
  3. Incompatible or Faulty Dimmer: To fix a faulty dimmer, you will need to change it completely. If the dimmer is incompatible, which is commonly the issue when you fix an LED bulb with an incandescent or halogen bulb dimmer switch, you would need to replace it. Get an LED-compatible dimmer switch. LED lights like the Sylvania smart bulb don't require a dimmer switch. You can dim them directly.
  4. Voltage Fluctuation: If it turns out that your voltage is regularly fluctuating, you should call a professional electrician to fix the problem.
  5. Faulty Light Fixtures: If your light fixture is faulty, the best remedy is to change it so your light bulb can stop flickering.​
  6. Loose Wiring: This can lead to problems as big as a fire outbreak if this is not fixed. If you find out that your wiring is loose, call a professional electrician to fix this problem.



Light bulbs can flicker for many reasons. While it may be normal for your bulb to flicker sometimes due to voltage changes, it could also indicate several issues like a loose bulb, loose wiring, circuit overload, etc. If you are unable to figure out why your bulb is flickering, you could employ the services of a professional. 


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