Lighted Switch Flickers

larryiniowaDecember 13, 2010

I have a lighted wall switch that has a flicker. Its a standard toggle wall switch, a very ordinary switch.

It has started to flicker. I thought the bulb in the switch was neon and would last almost forever.

Does anyone know what the flicker means? is the switch (light in it) going bad? Or is it an indication of some other issue like a loose connection?

I'm concerned about safety. Our house is 100 years old. Its been rewired, but you just never know what the possibilities are.


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Ron Natalie

It could be the neon bulb inside is dying or you've change the load. The internal light in that thing is designed to be connected to a resistive load like a incandescent lamp. If you've put a CF or something else odd on the switch now, it may be causing the neon to not light consistently.

It's unlikely to be a safety issue either way.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 5:46AM
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Neon lamps don't last forever. If it's 10-15 years old, it's probably just starting to fail.

An interesting characteristic of neon lamps is that as they degrade, often they'll glow steadily again as long as you're shining a light on them. (Makes them kind of useless, I know. :)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 2:01PM
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Thanks for the replies. I think I'll install a new switch and see what happens.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 8:44PM
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Before replacing the switch you should see what it is controlling.

If CFLs have replaced incandescent in the fixtures switched the neon light cannot get any current to glow.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 9:02AM
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Hi my name is Jon and about your flickering wall switch it does not mean to much. I grew up in a house that had all lighted wall switches in it and 4 of them throughout my house always flickered 24 hours everyday and they never broke or burned out and there was nothing wrong with the lighted switches and it does not mean anything other than a small glitch in the switch. My friend Marry Beth also lives in a house her whole life to that has lighted switches that flicker to and hers have lasted just fine to. You have nothing to worry about what so ever.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 10:53PM
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