I have ceiling light fan. The fan works fine. The light used to work fine. All of a sudden one day the light started acting up. When I turn on the switch, the light flickers on for about a second and then turns off. It has three bulbs, all turn on and then off in less than a second. Any suggestions to fix problem.

  • 2
    What kind of bulbs? I had CFLs in a ceiling fan that was on a dimmer that used to do that.. Ended up just being the dimmer needed to be turned up a little.
    – ShoeMaker
    Jul 8, 2012 at 6:50
  • 4
    Did you try tightening the bulbs. Vibrations from the fan may have loosened them.
    – Barry
    Jul 8, 2012 at 20:54
  • Is there a dimmer (for the lights) or a speed control (for the fan) in the switch (or remote)? If so, there may be a receiver circuit in the canopy over the fan which may be a source of the problem.
    – bib
    Jul 13, 2012 at 17:44
  • Is it one wall switch controlling the whole thing (fan + lights) or is the light on a separate switch from the fan? Any dimmers involved, either in the wall switch or built into the fan? Any speed controls? Oct 7, 2012 at 23:11

5 Answers 5


I've seen this happen before. The vibration of the fan loosens connections to the bulbs. The lighting portion of the fan should be removed and examined for flaky connections.

The fact that the lights come on and then off might indicate an issue with a partially-inhibited connection that is generating some heat and then separating somewhere in the light fixture.


I would check the switch itself. Even switches have a shelf life. After a while the continual arcing of electricity from the contacts can cause them to break down.


Did you check the fuse? It should be in the switch or the fan lights circuit board. And, if the lights is in a series circuit, check each of the bulbs, in that case, one bad causes all bad.


There may be a loose wire within the fan itself.


Does it have a remote to control the light and fan? I have found when adding remote units to fans that when the unit is powered up by the wall switch it briefly flicks on the bulbs, before either turning them on or off according to the last setting before the wall switch was flicked off. I have resolved this in the past by changing the LED bulbs,, but I don’t know why some do it and some don’t.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.