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Causes of Light or Switch Delay

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Why a Light Fixture or Switch May Have a Delay When Turning On – There may be a loose connection or splice within the wiring of the light circuit.

Why a Light Fixture or Switch May Have a Delay

I have a light on a ceiling fan that is operated from two 3-way switches.

  • When the light is turned on, there is an approximate 1 second delay before the light actually lights.
  • Doesn’t matter which switch is used or whether the pull cord on the fan is used – the delay still exists.
  • Installed new ceiling fan and new switches and it still does the same thing.
  • Maybe it’s nothing bad, but it’s kind of annoying and a little disconcerting.
  • It’s a just purchased house, so I have no idea how long this may have been going on.

This electrical wiring question came from: Walt, a Homeowner from Dallas, Texas.
See more about Home Wiring for Texas

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Walt.

Causes of a Light Switch Delay

  • In my experiences there are two possible causes that would make a light switch delay.
    1. The light switch is getting worn out and needs replacing. The internal contacts can break down over time due to arcing. The arcing can eventually cause the contacts to fail completely, and the arcing can produce a residue which can affect the initial flow of electricity between the switch contacts.
    2. There may be a loose connection or splice within the wiring of the light circuit. This is a problem that would eventually cause the circuit to stop working completely or worse, because loose electrical connections can produce heat and arcing, which can become a fire danger.

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