I live in an apartment building, each unit has a separate electric meter. I have noticed that the incandescent bulbs in the bathroom flicker quite visibly in the morning, but not usually at other times. I am not running anything else except for clocks or possibly the fridge (which cycles itself on and off) or the water heater (ditto). It is winter, so no A/C is running, and we have electric heat (not heat pump).

Why would the lights flicker only at certain times of day? I figure that I only notice it in the bathroom due to it being a small brightly lit room with no windows, not sure if light bulbs flicker elsewhere in the apartment at those times. I sometimes observe a single flicker occasionally in other rooms at night. This did not happen when I lived in houses.

  • May have nothing go do with your apartment; may be load on the building's power lines from other uses (heavy elevator usem for example). Unless you have reason to believe it isn't happening to anyone else, I recommend ignoring it.
    – keshlam
    Feb 19, 2016 at 4:21
  • It is a two-story building, so no elevators. They are not really used in this area, as most buildings are 3 story or less. Could be load from the nearby strip mall, but why only in the morning?
    – user50401
    Feb 19, 2016 at 4:26
  • Like said above, typically it's when other loads kick on across the line and so it has to adjust. The main lines could run across town and feed factories, large buildings, etc. Think about how far the power goes out when yours is out (although not a surefire answer). Maybe around that time in the morning is when their AC systems kick on to reheat/cool the mall or when it opens. It'll be like this at first, but the system will adjust as necessary.
    – TFK
    Feb 19, 2016 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


I'd contact the landlord/superintendent/maintenance, and have them investigate.

Electric water heater, electric heater, hair dryer, curling iron, vacuum cleaner. All these devices can draw large amounts of current, which can cause voltage drop leading to flickering lights. Depending on how the building is supplied, the problem could be caused by your unit, another unit, or a combination.

The problem could also be caused by excess moisture generated by showering, a loose wire, an old dying bulb, a loose light socket, etc.

Your Answer

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