Ceiling Fan With Flashing Light Problem
How to Fix Flashing Lights on a Ceiling Fan: The Most Common Problems that Cause Ceiling Fan Lights to Flash On and Off and How to Fix Them.© By: Dave Rongey
Flashing Lights on Ceiling Fans and How to Fix Them
Electrical Question: The lights in my ceiling fan flash on and off, what is causing this and how can I fix it?
- The lights will go off and then turn back on, the filament getting to an orange glow before it goes off again at a regular frequency of about 3 times a second.
- It is very distinct from a flicker and does not change based on load differences on the circuit.
- The wiring inside the switch box is correct and safely and effectively wire nutted and connected.
- I’m not sure what the problem could be.
Do you have any suggestions as to what the problem could be?
This Ceiling Fan Question came from: Alex, a Handyman from Iowa City, Iowa.
Thanks for your Ceiling Fan Question Alex.
How to Fix Flashing Lights of a Ceiling Fan
Application: Ceiling Fan Light Fixture Flashing Light Bulbs.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate. This electrical project is best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, a non-aluminum ladder.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work on a ladder and access to the light fixture.
Precaution: Identify the light switch and turn it OFF , then wait for the bulbs to cool before exchanging light bulbs.
Notice: Changes in light bulb type must not produce more heat which could damage light fixture components or the ceiling fan.
Ceiling Fan Flashing Lights and How to Fix Them
- Limiting Switch and Light Bulbs
- Some ceiling fans have a built in limit switch which measures the amount of electricity being used by the light bulbs in the fixture.
- If the light bulbs are too large or they are consuming too much power or watts then the limiting switch will activate and cause the lights to go off and on.
- Check the owners manual and make sure the light bulbs are the same as specified, and replace the bulbs if necessary.
- Loose Light Bulbs
- Ceiling fans produce vibrations when operating, so if the light bulbs are loose or not screwed in all the way the lights may flash on and off.
- Check the light bulbs to see if they are loose or they wiggle while in the socket. Gently but firmly screw the light bulb into the socket if it is found to be loose.
- Loose Wire Connection
- Wiring connections that are not made correctly can cause problems but can me fixed easily.
- For best results the wiring connections for the light fixture should be made using wire connectors that have a tapered spring inside which ensures a good wire connection.
- Rarely will a wire connector become loose during shipping, but it can happen. During the assembly of the components it’s always a good idea to check the wiring connections and tighten up loose connections as needed.
- Will electrical tape around a wire connector help? Yes, especially in a case like this however if the right wire nut has been selected, the wiring has been properly prepared for the splice connection, and the connector has been installed properly then adding electrical tape to the connector is not necessary.
More about Wiring a Ceiling Fan
- How to Install Ceiling Fans and Wiring
- Step-by-step pictures
- Easy wiring diagrams and installation guide
- Light and fan switch variations
Additional Resources to help you
Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring
- Licensed Electrician Reveals the Secrets of Successful Electrical Troubleshooting
- Methods used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures encountered.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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