How To Stop A Buzzing Light Fixture Or Light Bulb: Causes And Solutions November 20, 2023 – Posted in: Tutorials, Commercial Lighting

how to stop a buzzing light fixture

Have you ever found yourself distracted by the maddening hum or buzzing noise of a light bulb? Rest assured, this is a common pet peeve and there’s no need to suffer in silence (or in buzzing I should say).

As we’ve journeyed through the ins and outs of electrical fixtures and bulbs, we’ve unearthed some surprising culprits as well as handy solutions to this pesky issue.

We’re eager to guide you in pinpointing precisely what’s causing that annoying buzz from your LED, fluorescent or incandescent lights – and how best to hush it for good. Are you ready to bask in the peace of silent light?

Key Points

  • Buzzing lights can come from bad matches with dimmer switchesloose tubesold ballasts or bulbs.
  • You can stop LED buzz by getting a new dimmer switch that fits your bulb type.
  • Fixing the fluorescent tubes in place may quiet down a noisy fixture.
  • If you hear a hum from your bulb, there might be an issue with the ballast. Get it changed for peace at home!
  • For quick fixes, check if the metal cover on your fixture is loose or damaged and replace it.

Causes of Buzzing Light Fixtures

photo of electrical box with lots of wiring

Understanding the causes of a buzzing light fixture is crucial before you can effectively troubleshoot the problem. Whether it’s an LED, fluorescent, CFL or incandescent light fixture that’s buzzing, each type has different potential causes.

From faulty dimmer switches to old ballasts and inconsistent voltage levels, we’ll dive into all these reasons below to help you understand why your lights are humming so persistently.

LED Light Fixture Buzzing

modern led light fixture hanging above kitchen island

LED lights can make a buzzing sound, it’s a common problem seen in lower quality fixtures. This sound often comes from using a dimmer switch that does not match well with LED lights. LEDs need special dimmers to work right. When paired with the wrong kind, they may buzz or flicker.

It is important to buy an LED+ rated, CL or ELV dimmer switch if you want your LED lights to run smooth and quiet. The loud noise might go away when you change the switch. 

Another reason LED fixtures might emit a buzzing sound is due to a poor quality ballast. 

Fluorescent Light Fixture Buzzing

rows of fluorescent light fixtures

buzzing sound from a fluorescent light fixture can become a real bother. This kind of noise often comes when the fluorescent bulb tubes are loose or not fixed in place well. If your fixture is making this noise, try to adjust the tubes.

Make sure they are fitted right.

Sometimes, fixing the tubes does not stop the buzz. In such cases, we might need to look at the ballast part of your fixture. The ballast manages how electricity flows to your bulbs.

If it is old or faulty, it can cause that annoying humming sound too. Replacing the ballast may fix this issue and give you a quiet and bright room once again.

CFL Light Fixture Buzzing

CFL Light Bulbs Piled Up

Your CFL Light may buzz if it’s old or broken. Buzzing can also be a sign the light bulb needs to change. Light bulbs wear out with time, and when they do, they often make a soft humming sound.

Using new bulbs can fix this problem. If your lights are buzzing even after changing the bulb, it could be because of bad ballast. A professional electrician can replace an old ballast easily and stop the noise for good!

Incandescent Light Fixture Buzzing

Incandescent Kitchler Light Fixture

Incandescent light fixtures usually don’t buzz. But if you hear a sound, there might be an issue with the incandescent bulb or its parts. The buzzing could come from the filament inside the bulb when it’s loose or worn out.

Incandescent bulbs tend to only emit sound when they’re connected to a dimmer switch, particularly TRIAC dimmers

The power flow can make it vibrate and cause a hum. It is always wise to turn off your lights and check them with care if they make noise. You can try using rough service bulbs that have stronger filaments built to take more shakes without breaking easily.

Solutions to Stop the Buzzing

woman experiencing headache from buzzing sound

We dive into various effective solutions to stop that annoying buzz, from adjusting the size of your dimmer switch for LED lights to precisely tweaking fluorescent tubes and replacing defective light ballasts.

We’ll also show you how fixing a metal housing or diffuser could be the simple answer you need. Stick with us as we uncover these proven fixes!

Properly Sizing the Dimmer Switch to the LED Light

We can solve a buzzing LED light fixture by properly sizing the dimmer switch to the LED light. Follow these steps:

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  1. First, identify if your LED light is compatible with your dimmer switch.
  2. Next, turn off the circuit breaker for safety.
  3. Take out the old dimmer switch, but be careful with the electrical wiring.
  4. If you find that your LED light is not compatible, get a new dimmer switch that matches your LED bulb.
  5. Fit in the new dimmer switch and turn back on the circuit breaker.

Replacing the Light Ballast

You may hear a buzzing sound from your light fixture. This could be due to a bad ballast. A ballast regulates the current to your bulb and it might need replacing. Here is how we do it:

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  1. First, find the circuit breaker. Turn it off.
  2. Take out the old ballast from the light fixture.
  3. Look for a new ballast that matches the old one.
  4. Attach the new ballast where you took out the old one.
  5. Make sure all wires are in place and safe.
  6. Now turn on your circuit breaker again.

Frequently Asked Questions – Light Fixture Is Buzzing

Why is my light fixture buzzing?

Your light fixture is buzzing due to reasons like a wrong bulb, a dimmer switch issue, or an electrical short in the wiring.

How can I fix a buzzing LED light?

To stop an LED light from buzzing, you can try replacing the bulb, check if it’s dimmer-compatible, or call an electrician for help.

What causes a fluorescent light to buzz?

A fluorescent light may buzz because of issues with its ballast that does not regulate voltage well causing electromagnetic interference.

Does a flickering light bulb make noise?

Yes, sometimes when the filament inside the bulb vibrates too much it can cause both flicker and buzz sound.

Should I replace my entire fixture if lights are still buzzing after changing bulbs?

Before replacing your light fixture entirely, troubleshoot by checking whether it’s the electrical line or wiring problem; if so engage an electronic technician for repair work.

Can using different types of bulbs reduce my energy costs while stopping this annoying noise?

Switching to energy-saving LED bulbs or ballast-free LED tubes could cut down on energy costs and reduce humming noises as these fixtures don’t tend to vibrate as incandescent and fluorescent ones do.