Can A Dimmer Switch Cause Lights To Flicker?

Lights flickering can be annoying, especially if you don’t know what is causing the problem. Many people are switching to energy-saving LEDs, expecting their standard dimmers to work with their new bulbs.

Homeowners can even purchase LED lamps that look like the incandescent lamps they are replacing. However, when connected to dimmers, these LED bulbs may not function the way they should with traditional dimmers.

One of the leading causes of light flickering is using older dimmers intended to use with the standard incandescent bulbs with LEDs. So, to answer your question: Yes, a traditional dimmer, may cause your LEDs to flicker but, this is only one issue.

For instance, if you own the modern dimmers that work with incandescent halogen, CFL and LEDs then, your dimmers may not be the problem. Other problems to look for when experiencing light flicking are bulb problems, loose wire connections, faulty lights, overload circuits, loose light plugs, and types of bulbs.

Why Are My Dimmable LED Lights Flashing?

Many people make the mistake of swapping out traditional bulbs for innovative LEDs and leaving their old dimmer switches.

I too have encountered this problem, but my LED lights stop working completely. I immediately switch to the Lutron Caseta smart lighting (then the Philips Hue three years later).

The easiest thing to do is to buy a high-quality “dimmable” LED bulb if your LED is powered by a dimmer. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, substitute the old dimmer for the new LED dimmer.

With these dimmers, you will still have to use dimmable LEDs, but the new switch will probably improve your bulb’s performance.

The Other Issues To Explore When Lights Are Flickering

Apart from dimmers, there are many other reasons your lights are flickering. Let’s explore them together below:

Faulty Fixture Switch

Having a poor connection between your fixture switch and your bulb can cause flickering. To eliminate this problem, gently wiggle the switch to see if this is the issue.

If so, try toggling the on/off switch to see if this resolves the problem. If it does, then you’ll need to replace your switch.

Loose Light Plug

If it is a single lamp, then the problem can be a loose connection between the plug and the outlet. Ensure that your lamp’s plug is securely in your wall socket. If not, try plugging in your lamp again.

Loose Wiring Connections

Having loose wires is no joke, as there is one of the leading causes of house fires. If the flickering increases and you have not altered your electrical system, it may be a fault of loose wires.

There are several plausible reasons for this: switch failure, loose-fitting wiring, worn connectors in the breaker box, or loose electrical panel service conductors. If you suspect loose wiring or have no other reasons for your flickering lights, please contact an electrician.

Overloaded Circuit

Have you found that when a large electronic device (such as your air conditioning or washing machine) is on the lights flicker, blink or dim?

This could be an overloaded circuit, which means that the electrical current of these devices is greater than that of the circuit.

 Bulb Type

Dimmable bulbs

Fluorescent lamps flicker more than LEDs and other bulbs. Their age and temperature may lead to flickering. While minor flickering isn’t a big issue, replacing or converting to dimming LED bulbs will ease the problem.

Yes, dimmers can cause your bulb to flicker and it’s a common problem. If you have switched to dimming bulbs and LEDs compatible switches and you are still experiencing flickering then consider the issues above.

2 thoughts on “Can A Dimmer Switch Cause Lights To Flicker?”

  1. I am trying to hang string lights from my pool enclosure, but I’m not sure if I should do it or need to use zip ties?

    Should I drill holes?

    Reply

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