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Ask John Faulty Outdoor Lights Main Image

Why Are My Outdoor Lights Flickering?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Learn Why Your Outdoor Lights Keep Flickering

Outdoor lighting is an important element of any property. It makes your home more captivating, not to mention it’s functional during evening hours. It enhances your security, enables safe navigation outdoors, and provides an inviting ambiance.

However, this enchanting effect quickly diminishes if the outdoor lights keep flickering. Outdoor lights flickering not only reduce the aesthetic of the lights but may also indicate underlying electrical issues.

Knowing this, we’re here to help you find out why your outdoor lights have been constantly flashing and blinking. Check out the rest of the article to learn about the common causes of this occurrence and the solutions that can help you out.

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Why Are My Outdoor Lights Flickering? Causes and Fixes

It’s been a few days and you’ve been asking yourself, “Why is my outdoor LED light flashing?” There are a number of reasons why, from bulb issues to overloaded circuits. Find out more about them in the rest of the article.

Bulb Problems

Sometimes, the most obvious cause of outdoor light flickering is the light bulbs themselves. “Why is my outdoor LED light flashing?” It might be because the bulbs are improperly installed or lightly fastened.

It is wise to check the bulbs and make sure they are firmly fixed in their sockets before troubleshooting and investigating further. To completely rule out this scenario, you might want to replace the bulb if the flickering continues.

Poor Quality Bulbs

Your outdoor lighting system may start to flicker if you use defective or inappropriate bulbs. Flickering may occur if specific LED or CFL bulb types are used with specific fixtures or dimmer controls. This will not be a problem if you make sure the bulbs you select are suitable for outdoor use and work with the lighting system you have in place.

Voltage Fluctuations

Your electrical system’s voltage fluctuations may be the cause of flickering in your outdoor lighting. These oscillations can be caused by many things, such as problems with your home’s internal wiring, rapid cycling of large appliances, and regional power grid instability.

Engaging the services of a qualified electrician is advised if you suspect voltage fluctuations to be the source of flickering. The electrician may do a thorough analysis of your electrical system to identify the problem’s source.

Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, has provided a list of common reasons why your outdoor lights are flickering, along with some expert solutions, DIY tips and tricks.

Overloaded Circuits

When energy-hungry electronics or appliances share a circuit with outdoor lights, the circuit may become overloaded and cause flickering. The circuit may struggle to handle the load when these devices use electricity at the same time, causing voltage oscillations. Re-allocating devices across several circuits helps prevent this problem.

Faulty Dimmer Switches

Wondering “Why is my porch light flickering?” it may be due to a defective dimmer switch. Dimmer switches let you change the brightness of the light, but flickering may happen if they aren’t compatible with the bulb you use or if they’ve degraded with time. To solve the problem, think about replacing a broken dimmer switch with a more suitable replacement.

Weather and Environmental Factors

Outdoor lights flickering might be due to the outside environment. Rain, high humidity, and temperature swings can all cause moisture to get inside light fixtures, which could result in short circuits and flickering lights. Proper weather-proofing and sealing of your outdoor lighting fixtures should help avoid problems caused by moisture.

Wiring Damage

Due to exposure to the elements, outdoor wiring may experience wear and tear over time. Flickering lights can be a sign of faulty or failing wiring, which can cause irregular electrical flow. Look for signs of deterioration on your exterior wire, such as fraying or exposure. The flickering issue can be resolved by replacing the faulty wire as soon as you can.

Loose Wiring Connections

Outdoor lighting systems may vibrate as a result of wind, precipitation, or nearby construction. This is normal since they are exposed to a variety of weather conditions and environmental elements.

Outdoor lights flickering could be the result of these vibrations, typically because of loosened wiring connections. It is crucial to carefully examine and re-secure these connections. You can do this yourself or have an experienced electrician do it for you.

Electrician Installing Outdoor Lights
Loose and damage wires are best repaired by a certified electrical expert.

What Should You Do When Your Outdoor Lights Keep Flickering?

If your outdoor lights continue to flicker despite basic troubleshooting, it’s important to take appropriate steps to identify and address the underlying issue. Here’s what you can do:

1. Safety First

Whenever working with electrical systems, prioritize safety. Turn off the power at the circuit breaker before performing any inspections or repairs.

2. Check Bulbs and Connections

Start by ensuring that all bulbs are securely screwed in and in good condition. Tighten any loose bulbs and make sure the connections are snug.

3. Replace Bulbs

If the flickering persists, replace the bulbs with new ones. Ensure that you pick bulbs that are suitable for your outdoor lighting fixtures.

4. Inspect the Wiring and Connections

Turn off the power to the outdoor lights at the circuit breaker and inspect the wiring and connections. Look for signs of frayed wires, loose connections, or corrosion.

5. Test with Other Devices

Check if the flickering is isolated to your outdoor lights or if it affects other devices on the same circuit. If other devices are flickering as well, it might indicate a larger electrical issue.

6. Check for Voltage Fluctuations

If voltage fluctuations are a concern, consider using a voltage meter to measure the voltage levels at the outlet. An unstable voltage could be causing the flickering.

7. Inspect the Switch

If you have a dimmer switch, make sure it’s compatible with the type of bulbs you’re using. Some dimmer switches are not suitable for LED or CFL bulbs and can cause flickering. Replace the switch if necessary.

8. Assess Nearby Appliances

Does the flickering coincide with the operation of specific appliances, such as air conditioners or refrigerators? Those appliances could be causing voltage drops. In this case, you should consult an electrician to address the issue.

9. Check for Electrical Interference

Nearby electrical interference, such as power lines or radio frequency (RF) devices, can cause flickering. Unplug or turn off nearby devices to see if it affects the flickering.

10. Consult a Professional Electrician

If you’ve exhausted basic troubleshooting steps and the flickering persists, or you’re uncomfortable working with electrical systems, it’s advisable to hire a licensed electrician to perform a comprehensive inspection and identify the root cause of the flickering.

Pro Outdoor Light Installation
When dealing with electricity and wiring it is best and safest to engage a qualified electrical expert.

Outdoor Lights Flickering FAQs

Are LED bulbs less likely to flicker than other bulb types?

Yes. Generally, LED bulbs are less likely to flicker than other types of bulbs like incandescent bulbs or CFLs. However, LED bulbs can still flicker if the electrical system has issues, the dimmer is incompatible, or the bulbs are poor quality.

Are there certain dimmer switches that are better suited for outdoor lights?

There are dimmer switches designed for outdoor use. These are typically more robust and thus better suited to handle the conditions of outdoor environments. If you want to use dimmer switches for your outdoor lights, ensure that you use ones rated for outdoor use and compatible with the bulbs you’re using.

Is it normal that my outdoor lights flicker briefly when I turn them on?

Some LED lights might flicker briefly when you first turn them on, which is usually because of the initial surge of electricity. This is often considered normal for certain types of LED bulbs and is not typically a cause for concern.

Should I worry if only one of my outdoor lights is flickering?

There could be a variety of reasons why only one of the outdoor lights is flickering. Possible causes include loose wiring, a faulty bulb, or a damaged fixture. Start by checking and replacing the bulb. If this doesn’t solve the problem, go ahead and inspect the wiring and the fixture itself. If you’re still unsure, it’s best to consult a professional electrician.

Hire a Local Electrical Pro

Persistent outdoor lights flickering could be a sign of a more complex electrical issue that requires professional attention. Ignoring the issue could potentially lead to safety hazards, so it’s best to address the problem promptly and contact a local electrical pro using the phone number or form on this page.

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