So when it happened, I tried to turn on the light (that worked fine before) and it lit up only to go off shortly after. subsequent tries were met with failure. So I changed the bulb for a new one.

No luck. What is especially weird, is that after leaving the light off for a short while, it will do it again: being on for a moment and turning off. If one tries to Turn it on after such a "burst", the time it is on gets even shorter and weaker until it can't be noticed that it is on.

It's an LED light bulb and the apartments electrical system is kinda old.

This is my last attempt before calling an electrician.

  • Sounds like a thermal cutoff in the fixture, although normally LED bulbs don’t generate enough heat to matter. What happens if you use the exact bulb the fixture was designed for?
    – Tyson
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 18:19
  • Thank you. I am using the design recommendation. Maybe/Probably the thermal cutoff is broken?
    – user80327
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 8:34
  • 1
    LED light bulb was designed for the fixture? It sounds like an old fixture from the description that the apartments electrical system is old. I suspect you are screwing in an LED equivalent lamp... If that is the case, I'm specifically suggesting that you try an old fashioned incandescent light bulb.
    – Tyson
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 12:45
  • I meant the wiring is quite old ( and ugly), like 50 years old would be my guess (wire color coding standards changed a couple times since then). The light fixture is maybe 1 year old.
    – user80327
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 9:34
  • If the wiring is old, you might think about fitting AFCI breakers. They are designed to detect arcing in old wiring. Also if you're in North America, wire color codes haven't changed. They have in Europe, bigtime. Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 6:57

1 Answer 1


The symptoms fit a loose connection in your wiring somewhere. You NEED to call an electrician before something catches on fire.

  • 1
    I agree, it's a thermal cutoff, except it's an accidental one caused by arcing of loose wires. Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 6:56

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