Light Fixture Problems

Diagnosing and Fixing 4 Frustrating  Light Fixture Problems

Having issues with your light fixtures can be incredibly frustrating. Whether they are flickering, buzzing, not turning on at all, or just providing inadequate lighting, light fixture problems make it hard to properly light your home or office. Not to worry, the electricians at Same Day Electric in Boise have years of experience diagnosing and repairing all types of lighting issues.

In this guide, we’ll cover some of the most common light fixture problems and how to identify and fix them. But first, a quick disclaimer – if you ever feel uncomfortable attempting any electrical repairs yourself, give us a call at (208) 377-3278. Electrical work can be dangerous if not done properly, and we’re always happy to handle any job, big or small.

Now let’s get into diagnosing those annoying lighting problems:

Common Light Fixture Problems

Problem #1: Lights Flickering If your lights are flickering, there could be a few different causes:

  • Loose bulb or connection – First check if any bulbs are loose by giving them a gentle twist clockwise. You can also check if any wires connected to the fixture are loose.
  • Bad bulb – Try replacing the bulb(s) with a new one that is designed for that fixture. Incompatible or poor quality bulbs often cause flickering.
  • Voltage fluctuations – Major appliances or tools that cycle on and off can cause voltage fluctuations that make lights flicker. Or there may be an issue with the electrical service/utility lines.
  • Loose fixture mounting – If the fixture itself is loose and able to move, that can also cause flickering. Make sure it’s mounted securely.

Problem #2: Buzzing Noise That irritating buzzing sound coming from light fixtures is never a good sign. It usually indicates:

  • Loose components – Again, give any visible wires a check for secure connections and ensure bulbs are screwed in properly.
  • Bad bulb – Replace old, incompatible or low-quality bulbs.
  • Loose fixture – A fixture that isn’t tightly mounted will buzz against the mounting surface when vibrating.
  • Voltage issue – Incorrect, fluctuating or surging voltage can all cause buzzing.
  • End of bulb life – When bulbs are nearing the end of their life cycle, humming/buzzing is common.

Problem #3: Light Won’t Turn On Obviously when a light won’t turn on at all, there’s a more serious issue at play:

  • Check power source – Ensure the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped and that any switches are in the on position.
  • Replace bulb – Try replacing burned out or defective bulbs first.
  • Check for loose connections – Look for any loose wiring that may have disconnected power from the fixture.
  • Ballast issue – For fluorescent fixtures, a bad ballast can prevent proper lighting. They’ll need to be replaced.
  • Fixture issue – If connected to power but still not turning on, the fixture itself needs repair or replacement.
  • Electrical issue – There may be a bigger wiring problem that requires an electrician’s expertise. If you help with wiring, we’re here to help.

Problem #4: Inadequate Lighting Sometimes lights work, just not as well as they should. Causes include:

  • Low wattage bulbs – Replace bulbs with higher wattage options for brighter light.
  • Wrong bulb type – Different fixtures call for specific bulb types/sizes to maximize light output.
  • Fixture age – Older light fixtures simply don’t produce light as effectively as newer ones.
  • Bulb age – Bulbs naturally dim as they get older and closer to burning out.
  • Dirty fixture – A good cleaning to remove built-up dust and debris can improve light quality.

Contact Us Now!

For any persisting lighting issues or if you need professional inspection, repair or new fixture installation, the electricians at Same Day Electric are here to help residents and businesses throughout the Boise area. We’re available 24/7 for any emergency needs at (208) 377-3278. Call today or schedule online for fast, affordable and reliable electrical services.

FAQs About Light Fixture Problems

Q: How do I know if it’s just a bad bulb or something more serious? A: First try replacing the bulb(s) with new, compatible bulbs. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, there is likely an underlying electrical problem that requires further inspection.

Q: Is it safe to check connections and wiring myself? A: We recommend having an electrician handle any electrical repairs, but if you choose to do it yourself, make sure you cut power to the circuit at the breaker first. Electrical work can be extremely dangerous.

Q: How often should light bulbs be replaced? A: Most standard bulbs should be replaced annually or once they start to noticeably dim or flicker. Smart bulbs and LEDs typically last 3-5 years before replacement is needed.

Q: What causes buzzing or humming noises? A: Buzzing is commonly caused by loose components, incompatible bulbs, loose fixture mounting, electrical issues like voltage fluctuations, or bulbs nearing the end of their lifespan.

Q: Is it okay to use higher wattage bulbs for brighter light? A: Only if the light fixture is rated for that wattage. Using bulbs that exceed the recommended wattage can create potential fire hazards.

Q: How do I clean dirty light fixtures? A: Most fixtures can be carefully wiped down with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Avoid abrasive cleaners and be careful not to let moisture enter electrical components.

Q: How long do light fixtures typically last? A: With proper installation and care, most residential light fixtures should last 10-20 years before replacement is needed. Commercial fixtures may need replacement more frequently.

Q: When should I hire an electrician? A: It’s recommended to hire a professional electrician for any new fixture installations, major wiring repairs, electrical service/panel upgrades, or if you ever feel uncomfortable attempting electrical repairs yourself.

Let the experts at Same Day Electric in Boise handle all of your indoor and outdoor lighting needs! Call (208) 377-3278 today.