Lighting Installations. Fixing Flickering Lights. Hervey Bay Electricians.

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annoying flickering lights

Life in Queensland is generally fantastic with great weather and an outdoorsy lifestyle unparalleled by most other states. There are a few things however that might irritate you from time to time—  such as annoying flickering lights and how to best address this pesky issue?

Incompatible Dimmers

Are your light dimmers safe to use with LED bulbs, or are you still using the old, traditional ones that came with your lights before you replaced them? Some manufacturers even recommend specific dimmers to use. On dimmers, non-dimmable LED lights not only flicker, but they may also hum. Even if they do dim, it is uneven, and their lifespan is relatively short.

LED Bulbs

Because LED lights are up to 75% more energy efficient than previous halogen bulbs and require significantly less energy, lowering the voltage or current flow might cause them to turn on and off. Aka: flickering lights.

Off-Peak Ripple Control Signals Causing Problems?

To manage peak electricity demand in some parts of Queensland, some electricity suppliers inject an off-peak ripple control signal onto their distribution networks at specific times to remotely control devices such as off-peak hot water heaters, space heaters, car park lighting, public lighting, and so on.

Peak Demand Times: between 4pm and 8pm
We call this ‘daily peak demand‘, when the network is as busy as the roads at knock-off time. Here in Queensland, this tends to be between 4pm and 8pm, when we switch on energy-hungry appliances like air-conditioners and pool pumps at the same time as other everyday appliances causing flickering lights.

Electrical Appliances & Gadgets

Fans, toasters, and non-dimmed or dimmed lights may all be affected by ripple control, which adds a high frequency signal to the conventional power supply, commonly at 492Hz, 750Hz, or 1050Hz.

What Are Your  Options to Combat Flickering Lights?

The supply authority should be able to tell you which devices can filter these signals from the power supply, and then all you have to do is match the frequency, however you may need to put a capacitor or another load control/corrective device across the switch, such as the Clipsal CAP31.

flickering lights

Fluctuations?

If grid-connected solar power generation is causing network voltages to increase and then fluctuate fast as cloud cover passes over and the substation’s automatic tap changing transformers struggle to keep up with a constantly changing demand, your home’s  flickering lights could be due to network voltage variations.

In Hervey Bay and Maryborough, there are plenty of reputable electrical contractors to choose from to instal, upgrade, and repair flickering lights.

Hervey Bay Real Estate Guide Trades Directory is here to help. Simply scroll through our list of residential and commercial electricians that always show up on time and complete a fantastic job.

If the issue cannot be detected and resolved, you may be forced to switch to a different brand with different built-in filters. Check by asking one of our licenced electricians to assist you.

When it’s Time to Worry

A circuit that is overloaded
As previously said, rare flickering that occurs right when a big appliance starts up is usually not a cause for concern. Even in the best-designed electrical networks, where bigger loads have their own dedicated circuits, this can happen. However, it’s worth investigating if the flickering is:

  • Consistent
  • Severe
  • Persistent

In this situation, the problem could be with the appliance rather than with your lighting. For example, if a bearing fails, the motor will have to work harder to pull more current during startup. Another possibility is that a circuit is experiencing sensory overload.

It’s usually better to employ a professional electrician to inspect the circuit than to try to do it yourself.

Problems with Electric Utility Service
Your home most certainly shares a transformer with nearby residences, especially if you live in a community. This signifies that your power source is connected to their respective loads.

It’s possible that your lights will flicker if someone down the street is using a lot of electricity. If this isn’t the case, or if the lights at their residence are also flickering, the problem could be with your utility provider. An electrician can tell you when it’s time to call for service.

Electrical Voltage Fluctuation
Your home should have a reading of between 115 and 125 volts on a normal 120-volt circuit. You can check that reading yourself if you have a voltmeter. It’s possible that your lights are flickering because the voltage is higher than 125 volts.

There are a variety of reasons why your home’s voltage may be too high. Most of the time, the problem is technical in nature and indicates major electrical system flaws. Unpredictable dimming and frequent bulb burnouts are also symptoms of this problem.

Excess voltage in your home might be a safety problem and cause an electrical emergency. As a result, it’s critical to contact an electrician right away to diagnose the problem.

Frayed or out-of-date wiring connections
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), wiring problems are to blame for 67 percent of residential fires caused by electrical distribution or lighting equipment.

Flickering lights can be caused by loose or obsolete wiring, which is not only inconvenient but potentially dangerous. Arcing is a phenomenon that occurs when a lamp, outlet, or switch box has a loose connection. When an electrical current “jumps” over gaps in a connection, it is said to be “jumping.”

Each arc can reach temperatures of above 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and they frequently cause electrical fires. If you haven’t made any adjustments or upgrades to your electrical system but still get flickers, it’s possible that loose wiring is to cause. The problem can arise from a variety of sources, including:

  • Fixture with sloppy wiring
  • The failure of a switch
  • Breaker box connectors that have seen better days
  • Electrical panel having loose service conductors.

*Call an electrician as loose wiring is not something you should attempt to repair youself.

If you suspect this is the cause of your lights flickering, call an electrician as soon as possible. If only one light is flickering and you assume it’s due to weak wiring, check sure the circuit breaker is turned off before investigating it. Again, it’s preferable to delegate this task to your electrician.

Main Connection Issues

You may notice that the lights in a few places of your home are flickering. Alternatively, you may notice it all over. If the latter is the case, contact an electrician immediately.

If this behaviour occurs randomly, it’s likely that there’s a larger, underlying problem with your primary metre box connection. It’s also possible that the problem is with your service cable connection. In any case, it’s preferable to leave these high-capacity lines to professional electrician.

Address and Repair Your Flickering Lights Now

Flickering lights may appear to be a minor nuisance at first, but they can quickly escalate into a significant one. Even a single faulty connection has the potential to start a fire or trigger a serious electrical problem throughout your home.

If you observe yours behaving in this manner, don’t try to investigate or fix the problem yourself. These connections are hazardous and should only be handled by qualified electricians with extensive experience, such as those listed in our guide.

Please don’t hesitate to contact an electrician if you require assistance.

Featured Electricians

There are plenty of reputable electrical contractors throughout the Hervey Bay and Maryborough regions that will happily assist you with any lighting issues you have. These three electricians are featured this month on Hervey Bay Real Estate Guide. Be sure to check out their listing pages and any discounts or bonus offers each may currently have available.

If you’d prefer take a look at all of our current Trades: Electricians Listings

Electrician in Hervey Bay and Maryborough on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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