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Why is my light switch buzzing? Is Dimmer Light Switch Humming Noise Dangerous And How To Fix

May 5, 2023

Light switch buzzing is a frequent phenomenon. This sign indicates a problem with the switch. However, it is not a warning that you should replace electrical equipment immediately.

Please refer to some of the information below to diagnose the switch problem you are experiencing and then provide a solution.

Buzzing or Humming?

Buzzing or humming ?
Buzzing or humming ?

Buzzing and humming are both common problems on light switches. They are a sign that your device is having some issues. The problem may lie in a faulty light switch and electromagnetic interference.

Buzzing

Light switch buzzes make a loud noise, especially in the off position. This noise comes from the current between the metal wire contacts inside the switch not flowing through the metal paths. Instead, the current crosses the gap between the metal parts.

The crunching sound is refined. So is a buzzing light switch dangerous? The answer is that it can be hazardous if you don’t handle it quickly. Because current crossing the gap between metal parts can cause a fire.

Humming

Different from buzzing, humming emits lower noise.

When the switch is in the on position, it uses a variable rheostat to reduce the light intensity. That is also the reason why it emits a slight buzzing sound.

Humming is a continuous sound that stays at a low, steady pitch, in contrast to buzzing, which is sometimes sudden and might vary in intensity.

So, humming is frequently employed as white noise to promote relaxation or sleep. Additionally, it may cover up unwanted sounds like traffic or building noise.

Humming may be utilized therapeutically in addition to being a relaxing activity. It has been demonstrated to decrease blood pressure, reduce stress, and boost mood.

Reasons why light switch dimmer buzzing and how to solve

What are possible reasons for buzzing light switch
What are possible reasons for buzzing light switch

You can see that the light switch and the dimmer switch are not much different.

Light switches help you to turn on/off lighting equipment. The dimmer switch also has this feature.

In addition, it can also support the user in controlling the level of lighting. The dimmer is an upgraded version of the light switch.

Not only do they have nearly the same function, but the problems that light switches and dimmers face are also similar. You should know about the main causes of dimmer switch buzzing.

Loosing Wiring

Among hundred of reasons out there loose wiring seems to be the most popular
Among hundred of reasons out there loose wiring seems to be the most popular

The reason for the noise does not come from the switch itself but from the wiring. Fortunately, you can fix this reasonably standard error quickly.

First, for your safety, you must power off the switch before removing the cover. Then check the wires carefully. The button will only work correctly if the wiring is tight enough.

If the screws along the edges of the switch are not firmly attached to the circuit wire, gently tighten the screws.

Finally, put the regulator switch back in place, reinstall the switch plate, and turn the power back on.

If you find scorch marks on the screw heads during the repair process, turn off the power and call an electrician.

You should also seek other repair or replacement measures if the switch continues to buzz after tightening the screw head.

Fluctuation electricity

Rapid fluctuation in electricity can cause dimmer switch buzzing
Rapid fluctuation in electricity can cause dimmer switch buzzing

This phenomenon occurs when you turn on/off the switch too quickly, or the current suddenly increases sharply.

When the voltage in the circuit fluctuates, it causes electrical charges to move between the metal parts inside the switch randomly. The above phenomenon will cause the light switch making buzzing noise.

Although it sounds dangerous, this problem is relatively easy to fix. Please check the newness, the wire’s safety, and the circuit breakers. When damage or malfunction is found, replace them immediately.

In addition, to prevent oscillations well, you can install more voltage stabilizers. In the worst case, call an electrician to address the problem thoroughly.

Light switch error

Sometimes problem comes from the light switch itself
Sometimes problem comes from the light switch itself

After a long time, the switch usually makes a slight noise. This phenomenon is understandable because the light switch is too old and cannot work as usual.

Even new switches can experience the same problem. Poor build quality and bad design create buzzing noise from the light button.

The fastest and most complete solution is to replace it with a new one. Accordingly, the tools you need to prepare include

  • New power switch.
  • Conductor.
  • Screwdrivers.
  • Wire connector.
  • Voltage meter.

Before doing anything, you will need to turn off the power. To be more sure, you can use a non-contact voltage tester to ensure the leads aren’t working.

Once secure, you can remove your old device by eliminating the wiring harnesses connecting to the switch.

Before connecting new equipment, you might need to use a wire stripper to strip the ends of the wires. After this step, you can use the wire connector to connect the ground wire on the switch to the compatible wire on the switch housing.

Finally, insert the new switch into the housing, securing it and its cover with mounting screws. Remember to turn on the breaker again and check if the switch is working correctly.

During installation, try to remember the color code of the wiring to ensure accuracy. If there is any doubt, contact professionals for help.

LED flicker

Led Flickering is likely to cause buzzing in some case
Led Flickering is likely to cause buzzing in some case

LEDs are compatible with DC voltage. This power supply is slightly different from the AC voltage used by other household appliances. Therefore, to use the lamp, users often have to find an LED driver, convert DC to AC, or vice versa.

The problem appears when the LED driver is not compatible with the LED. At this time, the lamp cannot operate stably, resulting in abnormal electrical load generation and causing flickering led lights or led lights glow. It is one of the reasons the light switch buzz.

So, given this problem, how can a buzzing light switch be fixed? You need to check the status and quality of LED lights and drivers, then repair or replace them if necessary.

High-quality equipment compatible with the electrical system will help you avoid many unexpected problems.

Light switch sparking

Better call for professional electrician helps in some cases

Light switches that emit sparks will undoubtedly make many people afraid. However, in some cases, this sign has nothing to do with a dangerous electrical fault.

The switch sparks because electricity jumps between the contacts when they are far apart.

However, if you see the switch sparking, combined with smoke and dark gray marks on the switch cover, you must immediately turn off the household power. You’d better contact an electrician for help.

Find out: Why your led light not working but has power

Light switch overload

The light switch may get a little warm when operating, which is normal. However, it may be overloaded if you find it unusually hot and making strange noises.

The simplest way is to replace the dimmer switch with a new one that can handle more watt bulbs. You can switch from using energy-efficient bulbs like incandescent to LED or CFL.

Finally, you can also use a variety of dimmer switches. However, this solution should have the support of an electrician with expertise.

Light bulb

Make sure your led bulb is at top of its condition to get rid of light switch buzzing noise
Make sure your led bulb is at top of its condition to get rid of light switch buzzing noise

The electrical switch problem can come from a fault in the light bulb.

Poor quality bulbs usually need a steady power consumption. This problem creates electrical fluctuations, affecting the operation of the switch.

If you have determined the problem is in the bulb, replace it with a better one to prevent electrical fluctuations.

Light switch buzzing when turned off

Why is my light switch buzzing? A dimmer that makes a noise when turned off indicates an electrical problem. When this problem happens, you will probably face one of two problems: a faulty switch or a loose connection.

Loose connection

An unstable current caused by loose wire possibly cause buzzing noises
An unstable current caused by loose wire possibly cause buzzing noises

A loose connection will cause the current to be unstable or even cut off. Electric field fluctuations will occur in this case, resulting in a buzzing noise in the switch.

This phenomenon, if prolonged, will be dangerous. And with electrical knowledge, you will be able to handle it safely. Therefore, have an electrician check and repair it instead of solving it yourself.

Malfunction light switch

A faulty incompatible switch is responsible for buzzing
A faulty incompatible switch is responsible for buzzing

On the other hand, if a malfunctioning light switch causes a buzzing sound, the switch itself is defective and needs to be replaced.

Malfunctioning switches can also be a safety hazard as they may not work correctly, causing electrical problems or shocks. It is essential to replace a malfunctioning switch as soon as possible.

A short circuit will cause the light switch to malfunction, resulting in a buzzing sound. As with poor connections, you should seek the help of a professional electrician to replace a damaged light switch.

Is the light switch buzzing dangerously?

The light switch buzzing might be risky in many cases and better call for professional electrician helps
The light switch buzzing might be risky in many cases and better call for professional electrician helps

Sometimes, a buzzing light switch is not necessarily a sign of danger. Because if the cause comes from a loose wire, you can quickly end this situation safely.

However, if the problem is with a switch or wire, a buzzing noise could indicate a dangerous electrical situation. In particular, when you hear buzzing, see sparks, and smell smoke, you must immediately turn off the power.

It is possible that the power cord is overloaded or the switch has a component problem. In this case, please consult a professional electrician instead of handling it yourself.

Conclusion

Why does my dimmer switch buzz? There are many causes of light switch buzzing. Poor connections, overloaded switches, faulty lights, damaged bulbs, etc., can all be reasons for annoying noises.

To solve the problem, in addition to checking the connection and replacing the old equipment, you should also seek help from an electrician. Professionals will give you a lot of helpful advice.

Thanks for reading! Hope that Emberlight have solved your problems smoothly!

Lexii is a marketing creative with 6 years in Event, Product, and Social media marketing. She has assisted with coordinating and managing marketing campaigns for Procter & Gamble, and assisted with growth of smaller CPG brands on a national level.

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