I have an issue with my ceiling fan light; the light is on, then eventually over time it starts flickering off and on, eventually over time shutting off. I'll switch the light off, and then switch it back on, but no light. After a little while, I can get the light back on. Eventually it will start flickering again and shutoff.

While it's off, I tested the fan, and it works. Seems to me this is a loose wire in the light kit? Or maybe we need to replace the light kit altogether?

  • When you say "it starts going off then quickly on", do you mean it flickers (off, on, off, on, ...), or it dims then gets bright again. – Tester101 Dec 22 '11 at 17:32
  • flickers yes, couldn't think of the word :-) – Brian Mains Dec 22 '11 at 17:54
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    Make sure the bulb is screwed in tight, and all the connections in the fan, light, and switch are properly connected. If you still have problems, contact an electrician. – Tester101 Dec 22 '11 at 18:00
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    Electrical work is not really do-it-yourselfer type work, and it can be difficult to diagnose electrical issues through the internet (My multimeter does not work so well from many miles away). If you don't have the proper tools, training, and knowledge, it's best to let those that do handle things like this. – Tester101 Dec 22 '11 at 18:16
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    Is it a single bulb? If multiple, do they all flicker together? Is the bulb a CFL or incandescent, or something else? Have you tried replacing the bulb with another one? How about with another type (brand/technology) of bulb? – gregmac Dec 22 '11 at 22:21

It could be one of a few things, like the prong in the lamp socket, or where the wires are riveted to the socket, or the factory crimp/wire nuts not having all the wires securely attached. Any place there is a wire connection could affect it.

DIY box stores should have a school house light kit for under $10.00.


Is it possible this is the same problem I'm having with my Hunter fan's lite. The watt governor (to keep the watts below 190 max) seems to have failed. I have tried changing out the bulbs (both in size and cfl) but both still "disco" flash when the light is turned on at the switch. No remote. Internet sites say to wire around the Watt Governor by connecting White to White, and Black to Red.

I have Neutral In (W), Live In (B), Light Out (R), and Common Out (W). Looking for a little more detailed wiring instructions. All the web site info says by-passing the Watt Governor will solve my problem. Just need some help on how to do that. There is another smaller box with a Red and White wire. I don't know what that is. CBB61 300VAC 50/60hz. MAX TEMP +80 c22.2 no. 190 E 163532 08

This problem is happening since the 2008 government reg to have these stepdowns installed on lite kits. If your fan/lite is newer, I'm betting this is your problem too.

* Note: Ran across a link to the federal register. The reg is in 10 CFR Part 430, effective January 11, 2007. It requires ceiling fan light kits manufactured after January 1, 2007 to be designed such that they cannot operate over 190 watts. It applies to all manufacturers. How they achieve the limit is up to them.

It's an energy conservation step, not a safety one. I can't imagine how that made sense to anyone, but it nevertheless is the the rule.

  • Interesting, I'll have to look at that. Thanks! – Brian Mains Dec 31 '11 at 1:43

I just bypassed the watt governor in my Hunter fan light. I had the same problem with flickering lights which progressed to the light coming on for two seconds and then going out. To bypass the device, tie the white wire from the light to the bundle of white wires with the wire nut. Tie the black wire to the black and white wire from the square connector that mates with the connector from the fan. I think I will post on Facebook a picture of this device.

  • Please post your picture here too. – Niall C. Jun 30 '13 at 13:26

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