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All Reasons for Flickering Lights in House


Wondering “why are all the lights in my house flickering?”. No, it’s not a supernatural force, and it likely has a pretty reasonable solution to stop this nuisance.  

While many are quick to ignore the house lights flickering and assume it’s simply an annoyance, this is a factor that you want to address sooner rather than later. In some situations, lights flickering in the house can have a simple fix, but can also signal a more serious electrical issue that needs immediate attention.

To help you understand why do my lights flicker in my house, we are sharing some of the key reasons, and why they are important to address.

house lights flickering

What Causes Light Flicker?

There are several factors that can cause flickering lights in house electrical systems. The severity of this issue depends on if there is a problem with a small bulb, or a large one, with the latter signaling an issue with the wiring in the house.

No matter where you live, a reliable electrical network is essential for the stable and safe operation of appliances. In the case an electrical problem begins, this must be identified and solved with urgency.

If a flickering light is found in one of the rooms, it is necessary to check the operation of the other house lamps and appliances. If the rest of the appliances are working erratically and the power goes out intermittently, the electrical system will need an inspection.

When you notice electrical flickering in house systems, this may be caused by a few different factors, including:

  • substation accidents;
  • damage to an electrical appliance;
  • light bulb breakage;
  • faulty socket/socket group;
  • loose contact in the electrical box (electrical receptacles)
  • improperly selected operating mode of the appliance;
  • damage to the equipment in the switchboard;
  • wearing of cables;
  • connection of powerful appliances to a network not designed for such a load.

Flickering Light Signs that Will Not Cause Serious Electrical Problems

While some situations where lights flicker in house electrical systems can be a significant cause for concern, there are some reasons for that flicker that aren’t too serious. From a simple fix like a loose bulb to an issue with the dimmer, here are a few reasons that lights are quick to fix and not a major safety concern.

Loose Bulb

lights flickering in the house

If you begin to notice an occasional flicker in one single light, there is a more obvious solution.

The cause of these singular flickers can sometimes be as simple as a loose bulb. This flickering is caused when the bulb is loose in the socket, causing it to receive an inconsistent power supply which results in that pesky flicker.

To solve this problem, turn off the light and wait for the bulb to cool down. Then screen it in tightly and ensure it’s the right bulb for your fixture.

Loose Plug Connection

Another cause of flickering lights is a loose plug connection. This occurs when a plug becomes loose from the outlet, or when the prongs get bent. 

To fix this flickering cause, unplug the appliance and prey the metal prongs back to a straight position, then plug it in securely. 

Light Bulb Breakage

Light bulb breakage can be another reason for flickering lights. This can occur when a lightbulb is old or isn’t the right size or wattage for your appliance. This is an issue that is quite easy to prevent. All you need to do is ensure you use the right bulbs for your appliances, taking the extra time to purchase the correct lights to avoid that unwanted flickering. 

Check Your Dimmer

Before panicking about house lights flickering, make sure that the light bulbs you’re using are compliant with our dimmer switch. The wrong bulb type for your dimmer can lead to this flickering. Most commonly LED bulbs flicker when they are used with dimmer switches since they aren’t typically compatible. For this reason, you’ll want to swap them out for the right bulb type to stop the flickering lights.

Wrong Light Bulb Type

No matter what appliance it is, make sure you are using the right type of lightbulb. This is a frequently overlooked consideration that can often be the reason for flickering lights. And although it is harmless, it’s very preventable. 

For instance, in cold rooms, fluorescent light bulbs are likely to flicker. If this is your situation, opt for a different bulb type to avoid flickering. 

Additionally, as mentioned before, using an LED light bulb in a dimmer can cause similar flickering. A simple swap to incandescent or halogen bulbs will do the trick.

Flickering Light Signs that May Cause Serious Electrical Problems

all lights in house flickering

While there are a few scenarios in which lights flickering in the house are of minimal concern, there are some situations in which all lights flickering in house electrical systems can point to a more serious problem.

Whether you’re dealing with old or loose wires or an overloaded circuit, figuring out why all the lights in my house are flickering is essential for both a well-running electrical system and for your safety.

To help you understand the importance, here are a few of the more serious electrical problems causing all lights in the house to flicker.

Old or Loose Wires

Loose wiring may not seem like a major issue at first glance, but it can actually be incredibly dangerous for you and your electrical system. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association reports that almost 70% of home fires are caused by a wiring issue. 

Two of the most prevalent wiring issues are loose or old wiring. Specifically with older wiring, it has been found that these systems have been installed incorrectly or have corroded through the years, leading to the flickering lights. 

An Overloaded Circuit

If lights flicker when you use a larger appliance, it’s likely that you’re overloading your circuit, with one or more circuits experiencing an overload. 

In the case that the flickering is short and infrequent, there’s not too much of a cause for concern. However, if this happens often and lasts for more than a few seconds, it’s time to look into solving your circuit overload. 

Keep in mind, this is not an issue you can address on your own. To solve a circuit overload, contact a professional electrician.

Utility Service / Substation Issue

In some cases of flickering lights in house environments, the cause is where the electricity is being serviced. This is often the problem for homes that share a transformer where the electrical supply is shared by the electrical loads.

If you live in a home next door to someone that uses a great deal of electricity, this can be the cause of your flickering lights. If you suspect this to be the issue, contact an electrician to assist with any repairs that may be needed.

Voltage Fluctuating

While small voltage fluctuations are normal, your home should remain between 115 and 125 volts. If your home is fluctuating beyond this range, this can be the cause of a few issues in your home.

Signs of voltage changes that are of significant concern include:

  • Consistent flickering with the use of large appliances;
  • Flickering that continues even after appliances are no longer running;
  • Unexpected light dimming;
  • Light bulbs that burnt out often.

If you’re suspicious that the voltage is the cause of all lights in house flickering, you can actually check it yourself with a voltmeter - an inexpensive tool you can purchase for yourself. When using this, check if your voltage goes above 125. If so, contact an electrician to advise on a solution. This is an issue that needs urgent attention, as a high voltage leads to a dangerous situation.  

Main Connection 

lights flicker in house

If you notice house lights flickering in multiple areas in your home, this can point to an issue with the main connection or service cable connection. In the case that your lights flicker for no reason and inconsistently, contact an electrician immediately to check your main meter box connection.

Precautionary Measures

No matter what you suspect is the reason for your flickering lights, it is always important to be aware that there is a danger with the current and the potential for electrocution. For this reason, electricity flicker in house systems is always best left to the professionals.

Work on an electrical system requires a few protective resources, including:

  • Dielectric mats and gloves
  • Tools with insulated handles
  • Voltage indicators
  • Protective glasses

Furthermore, if you are planning to tackle the electrical system yourself, there are additional safety precautions to take to avoid harm. Before diving into this project, keep in mind that the current is not visible to the human eye, and taking precautions is essential to avoid issues. 

Safety precautions when looking at your electrical system include:

  • Make sure your body is dry
  • Never using broken equipment
  • Always turn off the main systems first
  • Using rubber gloves
  • Never using steel ladders


Whether you simply have a loose lightbulb on your hands or think there’s a more serious issue with your electrical wiring, all lights in house flickering is a telltale sign that it’s time to call an electrician.

For assistance with your electrical issue in Palm Beach County, High Voltage Electric is here to help. To solve why are all the lights in my house flickering, contact our team today for an expert’s advice.

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