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Electrical Wire and Cable

Causes of Light or Switch Delay

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Why a Light Fixture or Switch May Have a Delay When Turning On – There may be a loose connection or splice within the wiring of the light circuit.

Why a Light Fixture or Switch May Have a Delay

Electrical Question: Why is there a time delay when I turn on a light switch?

This electrical wiring question came from: Walt, a Homeowner from Dallas, Texas.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Walt.

Causes of a Light Switch Delay

The Following will assist you with wiring light switches:




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6 Responses to “Causes of Light or Switch Delay”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Tony, One thing to consider is light bulbs. If the porch lamps do not have standard incandescent light bulbs then there could be a start delay. This is especially true for CFL bulbs that are used in outdoor light fixtures where the temperature is cold.

  2. Tony says:

    I have a porch light switch with 2 sconces, both have 60 watt incandescent bulbs in them. When I flip the switch it can take anywhere from 3 to 20 seconds for the light to come on. After reading, I’m inclined to stay by replacing the switch and then trouble shoot from there. Thoughts or suggestions?

  3. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    The light fixture wiring should be inspected for a possible connection problem or a possible pinched wire which can occur when the light fixture parts are reassembled.
    I hope this helps,

  4. Jonathan Schaefer says:

    Thank You that should help. However, I do realize I may have forgot a detail. The fan in question still works, just not the light.

  5. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Johnathan,
    The circuit wiring should be checked and voltage readings observed to look for a possible fault. Intermittent problems like this can be challenging to find, however in a case such as this, the starting point should be the electrical circuit.
    I hope this helps,

  6. Jonathan Schaefer says:

    I also have one light in my home that has a delay. There is a ceiling fan that is effected. The ceiling fan is connected through a SPST switch. There is an additional issue on top of this I think. The light kit on the ceiling fan will stop working after a while. There was a different ceiling fan installed that worked fine for about a year and a half. At this point, the light kit would stop working, first for a few hours, then longer, and then not at all. I replaced the fan, and the problem seem to go away, except the delay. Then the other night, the light stopped working, it turned out to be the bulb, but I replaced this last night, everything worked. When I tried to turn the light on this morning, the new bulb immediately blew.