electrican,J.M. Mullen Electric
Written by John Mullen

Flickering Lights

Probably most homeowners, especially those with older homes, have experienced the phenomenon of flickering lights. If you do not need new light bulbs – and that would be the first question you would want to answer – then there are other issues you can look into yourself before calling a specialist with an electrical services company. Here are several reasons why the lights might flicker.


  • A flicker of the lights might be caused by a momentary overload of your home’s electric systems. In the summer when the air conditioning is running along with the kitchen appliances it’s easy to overload the system. This is more common in older homes and could be an indication that you need to talk to an electrical expert to get an opinion on what electrical updates need to be made to the home.
  • If the same lights flicker over and over then the cause might be limited to the outlet in which the lights are plugged in. If lights are tied to the home’s main electric system, such as overhead lights in the kitchen, then the problem may be more serious and you would need an inspection by residential electric experts.
  • Sometimes it is the appliance itself that has outlived its life expectancy and is ready to be replaced. An old washer/dryer, vacuum cleaner, toaster, television or device that struggles to work should be replaced. In this case it is the appliance and not the electrical system that is the problem.


Flickering LED lights are a different problem. This usually has nothing to do with your home’s electrical system. Instead it could be an indication that there are problems with the dimmer switch on the light or lamps. LED lights do not have heated filaments as you would find in a traditional light bulb. So when you use a dimmer switch on the LED lamp the flicker is common because the bulb is reacting to having power directed to it or turned off. Flickering on an LED light is harmless although it may be annoying and you may want to replace the dimmer switch with one that is designed specifically for this type of bulb.


More questions about electricity? Contact the professionals at J.M. Mullen Electrical Services.