Ask the Expert: Lights On…and Out…and On

Lights going on and off may be great for a horror movie, but not for your home. Bill Shea of William J. Shea Electric has the answers why.

The Question: Why do my lights flicker or dim?

Bill Shea of William J. Shea Electric Says: 

Great Question! Flickering or dimming of lights unintentionally is a sign of a potential dangerous electrical problem. Here are a few scenarios.

•The connections coming from LIPA could be corroded and oxidized, causing an intermittent connection, reducing the voltage needed by the lights and causing them to flicker.

•Bad connections in circuit or fuse panel. Circuit breakers and fuses that are not properly installed, aged or rusted can cause the flickering.

•Loose connections or splices in the circuit feeding the lights are not properly spliced.

Bad switches or dimmers controlling the lights. Flickering or dimming of lights are more noticeable with fixtures using dimmer switches.

There are many more reasons to explain flickering lights. However,flickering lights are the first sign of pending trouble in the circuits feeding the lights and should be checked IMMEDIATELY. This is a sign of a potential fire!!

Have your own questions about flickering lights or any other electrical issue? Contact William J. Shea Electric at (631) 668-1600 or And you can always send us your questions at [email protected] You may even see your question answered right here at Ask the Expert.





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