How to Fix a Flickering Touch Lamp

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper towel

  • Flashlight

  • Light bulbs


A touch lamp on a concrete floor may not respond to touch, reports Touch and Glow. Insulation or cardboard under the lamp may make the touch control function again.


Don’t use a compact fluorescent bulb in a touch lamp because the touch lighting works with a power control resistor or thyristor similar to a dimmer. CFL bulbs aren't recommended.

Always unplug your lamp at the socket before maintenance.

A touch lamp isn't a good choice in all homes.
Image Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Free of mechanical switches, touch lighting contains sensors that react to air, motion and the touch of your hand. Touch lamps that use different intensities -- low, medium and high -- have bulbs that flicker on and off at different speeds. The speed is faster than the eye can see on high intensity but may operate at half the number of flickers at low intensity. You may see the flicker at low intensity, while others won't notice it. Other causes for flickering of the touch light are power usage from another appliance, a loose bulb or a dusty socket.


Step 1

Listen when your touch light flickers. See what other electrical items are operating at the same time. If your light blinks or flickers when the heat is on, power usage from another electrical appliance can be the cause. Move your lamp to another electrical circuit to stop the flickering. Moving the lamp may also get it away from air or motion that causes it to flicker.

Step 2

Unplug the lamp. Screw the light bulb clockwise until it is tight. A loose bulb can cause a touch lamp to flicker.

Step 3

Clean the socket. Unplug the lamp, wait for it to cool and remove the bulb. Wipe the socket or area where the light bulb screws in with a folded paper towel. A flashlight will allow you to check inside the socket for dust or an obstruction. The tab inside in the middle must make a good connection with the end of the bulb.


Step 4

Disconnect the power source and change the bulb if the light continues to flicker. A defective bulb can be the cause.

Step 5

Change other light bulbs in the room. A compact fluorescent light interferes with a touch lamp because CFL bulbs create interference or electronic noise. Touch lighting is sensitive to electronic noise.



Linda Richard

Linda Richard has been a legal writer and antiques appraiser for more than 25 years, and has been writing online for more than 12 years. Richard holds a bachelor's degree in English and business administration. She has operated a small business for more than 20 years. She and her husband enjoy remodeling old houses and are currently working on a 1970s home.