Flickering Lights Could Be Signs of a Bigger Problem

Flickering Lights Could Be Signs of a Bigger Problem

Taryn Williford
Nov 22, 2010

A flickering light in the house tells us one thing: It's time to buy a new bulb. But if you're finding that your kitchen light is nearly always on strobe mode—or that it sporadically flickers in a light show with the living room lights—it could be a sign of a bigger problem.

If a new bulb—or tightening the one you have—fixes the problem, you probably have nothing to worry about.

But if groups of lights flicker in your home, you could have a fire hazard on your hands: Connections at the electrical panel might be loose, causing electrical arcs. If the flickering or dimming happens only when the dishwasher or another appliance turns on, the problem could be an overloaded circuit.

The "easy" fix? Well, nobody said it was easy. Call an electrician to inspect and repair any faults in your home's wiring. You should expect to shell out $500 to $700 for a new electrical panel or around $200 to replace each overloaded circuit.

(Images: Flickr user Steve Kay under license from Creative Commons, Flickr user mamboman1 under license from Creative Commons)

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