What’s the Buzz (in Your Light Bulb)?
Written on: May 15, 2023
When to swap out the bulb and when to call an electrician.
Everyone has a sound that aggravates them. Sometimes it’s squeaking shoes on linoleum or loud crunching. Certainly, persistent buzzing is a terrible annoyance for plenty of folks. If there’s a fly trapped in your home, you might not be able to relax until you’ve shooed it out a window.
But what do you do when the buzzing isn’t caused by a fly but by a light bulb? Countless homeowners in Queens, Nassau and western Suffolk counties have spoken to our electrical service team about light fixtures that won’t stop buzzing when turned on.
If you have the same issue, we have good news for you: you can often fix a buzzing lightbulb yourself. But if an electrical professional is needed, OSI Comfort Specialists is here to help!
What can cause a buzzing light bulb?
Many reasons why a light in your home would be buzzing are relatively straightforward and easily solvable. It depends on the type of bulb you have.
- Fluorescent light bulbs all buzz to a certain degree because of the ballast that controls the voltage. You might be able to lower the buzzing by adjusting the bulb. If the sound persists, you may need to replace the ballast. Many homes and workplaces prefer to replace the fixture altogether since fluorescent lighting can be harsh and unpleasant. If you need to repair or replace a fluorescent fixture, our team can help.
- Incandescent light bulbs have been phasing out since 2011. If you still have an incandescent bulb on a dimmer, its filaments might vibrate as voltage changes. The simplest way to fix this issue is to swap out the incandescent bulb for an LED light bulb. This will also save you money since LED bulbs use less energy and tend to last longer.
- LED light bulbs don’t contain filaments that would buzz. However, you might hear buzzing from an LED bulb if it’s not a dimmable product and you have it on a dimmer. In this case, you would simply need to swap it out for an LED dimmer bulb.
When do you need to call an electrician for a buzzing light fixture?
If you adjust or change out your light bulbs as indicated above and the buzzing continues, there could be an electrical wiring issue. The most common problems are outdated dimmers and ballasts or interference from other wires. OSI Comfort Specialists has a licensed and experienced electrical team that can help with these and other electrical repairs.
We regularly help with old or incorrectly installed lighting fixtures that require re-wiring. These jobs are quick for our electricians, but they can cause safety issues for homeowners who try to fix the problem themselves. And while we’re there, we’re happy to discuss other electrical services we handle, including:
- adding new outlets
- installing electrical panels
- APS battery backups for computing needs
- EV charging station wiring
The only buzzing this time of year should be bees around your spring flowers. Get in touch with OSI Comfort Specialists now to fix your buzzing lights.