Cooperative News

Do your lights flicker? Check these causes before you call

Typically, flickering lights are not caused by PEC equipment

Using LED lightbulbs in your home is a great way to save money while being environmentally friendly. With plenty of options to fit your needs and prices coming down, we recommend making the switch.

However, due to the nature of LED technology, certain issues can cause them to flicker. If you are having problems with lights flickering in your home, it is very likely that there is no problem with your electric service or equipment.

“We’ve taken many calls on this issue, and while we are happy to come out and help members confirm there is nothing wrong with their electric service. However, our recording voltmeters almost always show that the problem lies elsewhere,” PEC Regional Operations Manager Kyle Hahn said.

PEC can only help with issues on the distribution side of the meter, and cutting down on service calls saves money for all our members. So before contacting PEC about flickering lights, check these potential causes.

Incompatible switches

The most common cause of flickering LED lights is having them on a circuit with an incompatible dimmer switch. Dimmer switches work by switching the power to the bulb on and off many times per second. Standard LEDs cannot be dimmed this way, so the switch causes them to flicker. Try switching to special dimmable LED bulbs or replacing the switch.

Low-quality bulbs

While most LEDs are very reliable, using cheap bulbs can cause problems. We recommend doing some research before purchasing LEDs. While high-quality bulbs will be more expensive, they will last longer and are less likely to cause issues like flickers.

Tankless water heaters

While tankless water heaters have many upsides, they can sometimes cause LEDs to flicker. Check to see if the flickers correlate with the times the hot water is on, like when someone is in the shower. These heaters draw so much power that they can affect the voltage being delivered elsewhere in your home while running, which can cause lights to flicker. Try upgrading your bulbs. If that doesn’t work, you may need to consult with an electrician.

Mixed bulb types

Many homes have light switches that control multiple bulbs at once. If some bulbs on the circuit are LEDs and others are not, it can cause problems like flickers. This also happens if the LEDs are not the same type. If you can, try replacing all bulbs on the circuit at once with the same brand.

Bad electronics

Try unplugging other items one at a time to see if they affect the flicker. The issue could be caused by something as simple as a faulty phone charger, even if the charger seems to be working correctly.

If you try all of these, but still experience flickering lights, give us a call at 888-554-4732.