Flickering lights

6 Dec 2007
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United Kingdom
I realise this has been probably asked a dozen times (I did a search but so many different answers).

Our lights flicker an awful lot. I tend not to use ceiling lights so I see it mainly in lamps - probably worse in the bedrooms and I'm fed up replacing bulbs in the bedroom lamps - they keep blowing and I'm fed up replacing a touch lamp in my grandmother's bedroom because every time the bulb blows, it blows the touch sensor.

The only ceiling lights I notice it in is the bathroom which is recessed downlighters.

Is this normal or do I need to get the wiring checked?
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It is not normal; nothing should be flickering in a normal installation.

If it is all of the lights flickering then you may have a loose connection, somewhere, and a check on the wiring is what is needed.
It could be worth checking for loose conductors on both the socket and lighting circuit, this would include all accessories such as socket outlets, fuse connections, switch plates, light fittings, isolation switches, junction boxes, lampholders and any other type of outlet plate. Also as you say this is common to two or more circuits, look at connections at the fuse board/consumer unit, this would include busbar connections, connection to fuses and breakers, also the fitting of the breaker/fuse, isolator switches and conductors to them.
To perform these tasks, it would require safe isolation to the parts being inspected and during any remedial work.
If you are unsure or not confident of carrying out these tasks, employ someone competent to do so.
It could also be a supply fault, which would mean contacting the supplier or DNO.
HOWEVER, if both plug in lamps and ceiling-mounted lamps are flickering that suggests it could be something other than loose connections (unless there's a loose tail or something like that).

Alison, do you have an overhead supply?

Does it happen at any particular time of day or night or coincide with anything you are doing?
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Thanks for the replies. I'll get a spark in to check the wiring cos my limits are wiring a plug!!

What do you mean by overhead supply? Pylons? I don't think we have - there's no pylons about the place anyway.

It's normally late at night that I notice it worse - in bed, the bedside lamp will flicker and if you get up to the loo, the bathroom lights flicker. Not continuously - maybe just once or twice. Bedside lamps and bathroom halogens blow a lot though. I thought it was maybe crap bulbs but it doesn't seem to matter what kind of bulb I put in, it still happens.

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