Common Reasons A Light Switch Won't Turn The Lights On And What You Can Do About It

9 May 2019
 Categories: , Blog


It can be puzzling when you flip the switch and the lights don't come on, especially if you know the light bulb is fairly new. There are some easy things you can check before you call an electrician, but if the problem is with the wiring, then you'll probably need professional help. Here are some causes of lights that won't come on and how to fix the problem.

Change the Light Bulb First

Even if you know the bulb is new, change it anyway. The bulb may have been bad when you put it in and just needs to be replaced. It's also possible a problem with the switch burned out the bulb. If you put in a new bulb and it pops or stops working shortly after you change it, then you should probably call a professional to look at the switch in case it has a short in it. Sometimes, a light switch will work intermittently, and that's a sign that something is wrong. You may want to avoid using a light switch that works sometimes and not others until an electrician repairs it so that it's safe.

Check the Circuit Breaker

If other outlets and lights in the same room work fine, then the circuit breaker may be okay, too. However, it's possible the light switch is on a different circuit, so it never hurts to check. Look in the electrical panel for a switch in the off position. Flip it back on and test the light again. If the circuit flips back off, leave it off until an electrician can fix it, because there could be a problem with the wiring that's causing the circuit to keep flipping off.

Call an Electrician

While you can check the bulb and circuit breaker yourself, you'll probably want to call a professional to check the switch and wiring. The electrician can remove the switch plate and check it for problems. If the switch is bad, a new one can be put on. The problem might also be something like a loose wire that can be tightened. The electrician will find the problem -- whether it's a short, loose wire, bad light fixture, or damaged parts -- and make repairs. This may involve the use of meters to test the circuit and switch.

A switch that doesn't work properly isn't always dangerous, but it could be a sign of an electrical problem that needs prompt repairs to prevent a shock or fire. When the lights won't turn on, it's not only an inconvenience; it can be a safety hazard, so finding out the cause and having an electrician make repairs if necessary is the safe thing to do.

To learn more, contact companies like Street Brothers Electric.