Dimming Lights In A Storm or When A/C Goes On

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Last Updated: May 4, 2021

Dimming lights is not unusual. Generally it is not a serious problem, but more of a small annoyance.

Common causes

Voltage fluctuation

(i.e. A/C goes on)

When the Air Conditioner, vacuums or other appliances, that draws a lot of power, is first turned on there may be a dimming or flickering of the lights. Often resulting in a higher than normal voltage draw or fluctuation; causing the lights to dim a little. Lights that dim occurs more often in rural areas and older homes.

At times electricians may add another circuit

Occasionally there may a grounding or load balance issue in a home that may cause this. Consulting with an electrician may shed light on this.

Power company

Another cause may be that a power company’s transformer may have blown in the neighborhood. This may happen during a storm, but sometimes it just happens.


Brown out from power companies occurs at times when they experience heavy load demand.

Who to consult? An electrician.

The majority of the time an electrician can determine the cause and fix it easily. Occasionally more investigation as to causes may be required.

Additional Resources

  • Flickering fluorescent lights can usually be fixed by doing one of several things.

  • Light

    At times a bulb, a switch or something else needs replacing. Sometimes just tightening the existing bulb a little will stop the flickering.

  • When A/C is added to older homes the condensate from the A/C may require a small pump because there is not an adequate drain that the water may flow into by gravity.

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