Discuss What would cause this light fixture to flicker randomly? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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I have a two-light fixture in my kitchen. See this video showing the flickering. Here are the observations:

  • Both light flicker at different times seemingly randomly
  • 80% of the time they don't flicker
  • It worked for many years
  • Roughly 4 years ago it flickered for like a week then it stopped.
  • The circuit branch continues nowhere else, the circuit comes to this light and that is all. It has a dedicated light switch.

Here are the things I've tried:
  • replaced the bulbs
  • Pulled the fixture down and reconnected it to ground, hot, and neutral. Tightened everything.
  • I've measured each light using an AC multimeter while it's flickering it still shows ~ 120V.

My next step is to replace the whole fixture I guess, but it's a mystery to me. What else should I look at to find and resolve it's root cause. Is it possible it's not the fixture itself?
View attachment VID_20200623_123756.mp4

Lucien Nunes

If the two lamps flicker independently it is almost certainly bad contact in the fixture, probably in the lamp sockets. Tap the lamps and fixture to see whether this starts and stops the flickering.

Inspect the lamp socket contacts and ensure they are not bent out of shape or burnt. Some brands or shapes of lamp might make better contact than others, e.g. if the lamp body stops it screwing in any further before the pip on the end is securely pressed against the hot contact. If so, try a different brand of lamp.

Is it controlled by a normal mechanical switch?


i presume this is a screw in lamp?

I have seen on other fittings of similar design, the contact for the pip in the middle of the lamp is a flat strip of metal, not a spring and plunger.
sometimes after time the metal has crept backwards and no longer makes good contact.

you could try the following.

Isolate power
using a pair of long nose pliers, gently pull the metal at the bottom of the fitting towards you about 5mm to 10mm (1/4 inch to 1/2 inch)

look down the fitting and ensure the contact at the bottom is well clear of the surrounding screw

refit lamp into fitting and turn back on.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
What you suggested was a good idea, but it also did not fix the problem.

I tried yet more bulbs and strangely now it's working. It's strange that the problem affected both bulbs around the same time. And the test replacements I moved also were flickering. Very strange.

Anyways, for now it's working. Thanks for the replies!
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