Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year. No matter what happened in the year, this festival can make anyone feel blessed.
People who were busy or away from home get back to celebrate the end of the year with their loved ones.
And all this celebration is incomplete without Christmas lights.
But if you ever passed by a home with flickering fairy lights you know that these are the worst things that can happen in all the joy and celebration going and can ruin anyone’s joyous mood.
The main reason Christmas lights start flickering is that the inexpensive LED lights most people buy haven’t been made the same way as the traditional Christmas lights.
While the LED lights are more energy-efficient they can’t provide the same warmth and brightness as a string of vintage incandescent mini bulbs.
Let’s clear out the most common questions people ask when your fairy lights start flickering.
Are Flickering Christmas Lights Dangerous?
Honestly, flickering Christmas lights does mean that danger is nearby.
As per the reports of the National Fire Protection Association, there are around 770 fires that are caused every year by Christmas lights alone.
Most of the time the flickering happens because of improper electrical work.
And along with causing fires, flickering or flashing lights can also cause different kinds of seizures to epileptic people including tonic-clonic, absence, myoclonic and focal seizures, etc. in which most of them are disabling and some are really dangerous.
Why Are My Fairy Lights Flickering? – 5 Causes
There could be multiple reasons why your home’s fairy lights are flickering.
The best way to fix them is to first identify the reason behind that flickering.
Some of the prominent reasons why your fairy light might be flickering are:
1. Loose bulbs:
This one might sound trivial, but it’s usually not the first thing people check when a light bulb is flickering.
Sometimes the bulb isn’t screwed in the socket tightly, and can’t make proper contact with it, which can cause intermittent flickering.
Even recessed lights can loosen in the socket they have been put in.
2. Incompatible switches:
Many households never upgrade their electricity connection as it’s a lot of hassle.
So most of them have old dimmer switches that were made to be compatible with the incandescent bulbs, not LEDs.
The LEDs that are connected to a dimmer can often flicker.
Moreover, poor wiring behind the switch could also cause flickering.
3. The whole string might be faulty:
Most of the Americans just wrap their light strings and throw them in their basements when they are done with Christmas.
Due to improper storage, the wiring in the strings gets weak and get breaks in them. These ones can never be solved.
4. Significant load from a heavy appliance:
Overloaded circuits are a common reason that can make perfectly fine light strings flicker.
HVAC units or other large home appliances demand a lot of power and drawing too much current from your circuit will make the fairy lights flicker.
There could be other reasons like weak circuit breakers and inadequate wiring to the large appliances.
5. Current fluctuations:
Not every time the problem is on your end, sometimes due to heavy load, there are current fluctuations from the grid.
But you can always check whether your electrical system is old or not.
How Do You Stop Fairy Lights from Flickering?
When you know what is causing your fairy lights, it’s very easy to stop them from flickering by some simple steps like:
- Check if all bulbs are tightly screwed in the socket or not.
- Check which kind of switches you use and if it’s an old dimmer, replace them immediately
- Check out your electrical wiring system and fix any loose wires behind the switches.
- Find out which appliance is drawing too much current and make sure to replace it with an energy-efficient alternative.
- Try smart bulbs that don’t need a physical dimmer switch. Dimming the bulb directly is usually a more reliable option
- Call an expert technician to get the wiring behind the circuits checked and fix them.
How to Maintain Fairy Lights Regularly to Prevent Flickering?
If maintained properly, LED lights have an impressive lifespan of at least 25,000 hours.
Here are 4 steps you can follow to prolong the life of your fairy lights and prevent flickering.
Step 1: Next time you take down your fairy lights, wrap them in coils around your arms carefully and put them neatly in a storage bin (drill 5-6 holes or proper ventilation).
Step 2: Take the bin indoors and place it in a warm location for 3-4 days while keeping the lid open.
Step 3: Check the lights after 3-4 days to ensure they are dry. If yes, close it with a lid and store the bin in a cool, dry location.
Step 4: Before you put them till next November, cover them up with a few old newspapers that can act as an absorbent and will keep the lights dry.