My lights aren’t working? They don’t turn on when I flick the switch… They keep flickering! What should I do?

What does this mean?

We all take for granted how handy it is to be able to turn lights on and off whenever we want. But what if your lights suddenly stop working and you have no idea why? Was that the light bulb that blew? Is there something broken within the light switch? Are the wires being nibbled by mice?

Hopefully, your wires aren’t being eaten by mice, otherwise you’ll have a whole new problem. In the vast majority of cases, the issue can be resolved without the need for HRHislop to come and take a look!

The 4 main causes:

– The light fitting is unplugged

– The light bulb has burnt out

– The circuit breaker has tripped

– The ballast/driver needs replacing

Some other causes could be:

– The light switch is broken

– The wires to either the light or the switch aren’t connected properly

Your Lights Aren't Working? What Should You Do? This is a photo of a broken light bulb.

Why do bulbs burn out? How do I fix it?

As time goes on, constant surging of electricity through a light bulb will wear down the filaments on the inside. Eventually, as the filaments become brittle, a final surge of electricity will either cause the filaments to burn, break or melt. This is the main reason why your light bulb will suddenly go out or make a “pop” as you turn flip the switch.

This is easy to fix, make sure the light switch is in the off position, remove the old light bulb by either just unscrewing or by pushing up slightly and unscrewing. Then get your new light bulb, comparing it to the old one to make sure it is the same type (try not to touch the glass of the bulb as grease from your hands can shorten the life of it). Screw your new bulb in by pushing up and twisting it into place. Now flip the switch into the ON position and hopefully it works! Your lights still aren’t working? what should I do? Read on!

Why do light switches stop working? How can I fix it?

Like everything else with moving parts, eventually they can go bad! When this happens, the easiest option is to simply the replace the light switch as they inexpensive. The task can be quite simple to do if you know what your doing.

Before you start taking off the faceplate there’s a few other reasons why the switch may not be working.

A switch can lose power if the breaker in your fuse box trips, this prevents electricity from flowing to said switch. The circuit breakers will trip as a safety measure when the wires heat up and pass a certain thresh hold. If you believe it’s safe to do so then switch the breaker back on. It may go back off again straight away which means there’s definitely an issue somewhere on that circuit, however, it may stay up and not trip again due to a one off occurrence.

Another common reason for a light switch to stop working is a short circuit. This can happen when the live wire comes in to contact with a neutral wire, which causes a large amount of current to flow through the circuit and cause the circuit breaker to short out and shut itself off before anything dangerous to happen. Short circuits are dangerous as they have the potential to start a fire.

Over time, wires within the terminals can loosen, the main symptom of this is flickering lights. If you believe this is the cause you can turn off the circuit at the fuse box and remove the faceplate, and tighten up the wires within their terminals. If you take off the faceplate and the wires in the terminals are tight then it’s most likely an issue with the switch so you’ll need to replace this.

“I’ve checked all of that but My lights still aren’t working? What should I do?”

Can light sockets go bad? What should I do if it has?

If someone has over tightened the light bulb when replacing it, it can flatten the contact which can prevent the light bulb from making contact, meaning it will not have power. Another cause can be if you’re using the wrong type of light bulb. You can try and rectify this by prying the tab back up but make sure the power is OFF before you attempt this.

Does the entire fitting need replacing? Give us a call unless you’re ready to take on the task! The video below shows how you can do this:

If after all these steps, you still can’t get your lights back on then give us a call. We always try and get there on the same day!