My illuminated light switch flickers when off. I've had it a long time and never noticed it flickering before. I recently had an electrician replace the 3 mini hanging lights I had that were a disaster. They took light bulbs with mini bases, the spiral kind. They were difficult to remove, some replacements wouldn't fit, I broke one that I couldn't remove. Finally had the fixture replaced with the hanging lights that took bulbs with the normal size base. I believe the bulbs are called CFL and have the spiral inside a regular looking bulb. I read on this site about the bulbs flickering when there's an illuminated switch. My situation is that the bulbs don't flicker but the switch does. It's not a dimmer, just the flip kind. I'm concerned about the possibility that the flickering light switch could wear out wires and cause a fire. Bay City, Mi

  • Do they flicker at a constant steady rate, or erratically? I don't think the fluorescent bulbs could make it flicker when turned off, maybe there was some damage to the switch or wiring when the electrician was working. Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 21:16
  • 1
    If you unscrew all the CFL's does it not flicker?
    – rogerdpack
    Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 5:07
  • i bought brand new illuminated swithes at least 10 of them. about half flicker now, flickered right away. defective when purchased. I think people bring back bad ones and they just put them right back on the shelf. drives me nuts.:)
    – user113387
    Commented Mar 15, 2020 at 3:21

1 Answer 1


If it is an old switch that is internally illuminated when off, then it probably uses a small neon bulb as the light source. They do burn out eventually. Usually they flicker before they completely burn out.

The neon lamp burning out is not hazardous in any way. The lamps are not replaceable. If you want to fix it then you will need to replace the old illuminated switch with a new one.

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