It's frustrating when an overhead light flickers or stops working completely when it's in your kitchen. Without enough lighting, it's difficult to cook or make sure the dishes are clean when you wash them. You'll definitely want to have the light repaired as soon as possible. Here are some reasons an overhead light may stop working and what can be done about the problem.
The Bulbs Are Loose or Bad
If the light flickers, twist the bulb to make sure the connection is tight. If the bulb is inserted properly, the problem could be a bad bulb. Of course, you'll want to replace the bulb, but if the new bulb doesn't work, you may want to try an additional bulb before you decide something is wrong with the light or wiring. You may be accidentally putting a bad bulb in as a replacement. You can always check the bulb in a lamp to verify that it is good. Ensure the bulb seats tightly so contact is made with the metal inside the socket. Once you rule out the bulb as the source of the problem, you're left with the possibility of a bad light or faulty wiring. You'll probably need to call in an electrician for help.
The Bulbs Have the Wrong Wattage
If you have recessed lights in your kitchen, be sure the bulbs have the correct wattage. This type of lighting usually has a limiter switch that turns the light off when it gets too hot. The heat can build up around the fixture since it is positioned inside the ceiling and air flow is restricted around the light. If the bulb you put in the light has too much power, the fixture can become hot and shut off automatically.
There Is a Problem With the Switch or Wiring
If you're sure you have good bulbs of the correct wattage installed and there is power going to the light and it still doesn't work, you'll want to call in an electrician to diagnose the problem. The light itself could be bad. For instance, a recessed light could have a bad limiter or an overhead light could have a bad socket. The light could also have a short, loose wires or some other electrical problem.
You might have a problem with the switch instead. An electrician can remove the plate and examine the switch to look for loose connections, shorts, and other problems. Beyond that, the problem may be in the wiring or electrical panel. Since something as simple as flickering lights or a switch that works sometimes and not others could be a symptom of trouble with wiring, you don't want to put off having an electrician make an electrical repair.