Not all lighting fixtures are built in the same ways. In fact, it’s these differences between brands, styles, and functionality that make them such an accommodating part of the average home. However, the manufacturing process isn’t perfect, and when a product is faulty, it poses more of a risk than many of us expect. These items can even be dangerous if left unnoticed for too long and present a series of problems that you’ll need to pay to have fixed. Therefore, it’s important that you know what to look for in order to replace these items before they can malfunction. These are some of the telltale warning signs of a faulty light fixture and how you should respond to them.
The Dangers of Faulty Light Fixtures
All too often, homeowners install their lighting without the slightest idea of the hazards they could pose. As such, before we get into what you should look out for, it’s important that you understand what could happen if you don’t properly address a faulty light fixture.
For starters, broken lighting instruments tend to release a lot of heat and are prone to having exposed electrical currents. This is why, should you touch them, the chances are high that you’d sustain a static shock or even a burn—which is something you’ll especially want to protect against if you have pets or children. In more severe cases, the sparks from frayed wiring can also ignite an electrical fire inside the house and further put your family and your belongings at risk. So, make sure you’re getting your fixtures replaced immediately should you notice the following indicators.
Common Indicators of a Faulty Fixture
There are several things that could happen to or near your lighting fixture before it actually becomes dangerous. This means, in most situations, you’ll still have enough time to respond to the threat. The following are some of the most common warning signs of a faulty light fixture and how to best identify them.
Humming or Buzzing Sounds
Typically, home wiring doesn’t generate any noise because proper connections don’t leave space for extra currents to escape. However, when a fixture is hooked up incorrectly or the wires are damaged in some way, you may hear a buzzing or humming sound as the electricity moves between the light and the wall. This means you have a live current moving freely somewhere in this space that you, or your loved one, could come in contact with it. Light switches can also make similar noises if the wire damage is closer to that area.
If wires aren’t hooked up correctly, you may also notice a faint burning smell when you leave your fixture on for a long time. This odor is often caused by a live current sparking and charring the fixture material or wire coating, making this sign much more dangerous than others. As such, should you notice a strange smell in the vicinity of your lighting, it’s time to identify the source and replace these components before a fire can break out.
Excess Heat When On
It could also mean danger if your fixture is hot to the touch when it is turned on. As briefly mentioned above, faulty wiring releases a live current that can do anything from burn the area around it to give passing individuals a shock. This electricity can also cause the fixture itself to heat up and cause severe burns upon contact with the skin. For this reason, it’s important that you take note of whether certain rooms feel warmer than others and identify whether the light is to blame. Keep in mind that your light outlets could heat up as well from the raw electricity. As such, you should wear protection when touching any part of this setup.
Signs of Scorching
Similarly, this heat can cause scorch marks to appear along your once pristine lighting instruments. Because electricity generates heat, it can cook the insulation of the fixture. This turns it a jet-black color that can be seen from the outside of the item. When this occurs, not only is the appearance of your fixture affected, but it also sets the stage for other symptoms to develop—like the previously mentioned burning odor or excessive heat generation.
Flickering or Dimming Light
Another indicator to keep an eye out for is probably among the most noticeable in your daily life—the regular flickering or dimming of your light. This is one of the primary ways homeowners often identify a faulty light because it provides a visible sign that something isn’t working as intended. After all, your lights shouldn’t have to struggle to illuminate or become dim after running for a few minutes. When this happens, it’s the result of a disconnection so large that the electrical current needs to bridge the gap in short bursts. It’s because of this that the light will flicker rather than stay on.
Damaged or Messy Wiring
Even if you don’t notice any of these signs, you should still consider getting your fixture replaced should you discover the wiring is messy or damaged. Any damaged components have the potential to worsen over time and evolve into many of the other indicators on this list. As such, catching the problem now will be key to preventing future injuries or property damage.
Messy wires can work in much the same way. Though they aren’t currently releasing a current that could damage what’s around them, tangled wires are at a higher risk of being cut, crimped, or snipped through standard use. Therefore, it’s always a good practice to keep them organized and out of the way. You can learn more about wiring and everything lighting here.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs with your own home lighting fixtures, it’s crucial that you find replacements before they can put you and your family in harm’s way. At Bicycle Glass Co., we pride ourselves on our quality recycled glass pendant lighting fixtures. Each of our products is made by hand with care and inspected thoroughly prior to being shipped. This way, we can ensure you’re receiving nothing less than a well-performing item. To learn more about what we have in stock, give us a call or visit our website.