, ,

This tale begins in the wee hours, at about 3 am last night, with me waking to the sound of Loki vomiting next to the bed. Great. So I flicked on the overhead light (though not sure why since I could see well enough with the night lights) did a quick clean up and checked on Loki, switched off the light and went back to bed. Suddenly there was a quick flash of bright light and my first thought was that I was having a stroke (!!!). So I laid down carefully and waited to see what would happen next.

A minute or so later there was another bright flash and I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw it was the ceiling light. Then it flashed again. Huh? So I leaned over and switched it on and off again, thinking maybe I hadn’t engaged the switch properly, but that did nothing. The flashing continued with random frequency, sometimes with a few minutes between flashes, other times like a blinding disco strobe. Clearly I wasn’t going to get any sleep like this.

So I took to Twitter, as I so often do at times like these. But at that time of night (by now it was well past 4 am) there were just a few North Americans about and the only advice I got was from my Canadian friend Marilyn aka @NagOnTheLake, who told me not to watch Stranger Things. Ha. I was more concerned about there being a short circuit somewhere and visions of an electrical fire played around the darker shadows of my weary late night thoughts.

Then I picked up my phone again and got onto Google, typing in “light flashing after turned off” and found some info (from 2012) about CFL lights that said…

Many times this is due to the circuit inside the CFL charging up, even when the bulb is off. … When the wall switch is on, the CFL bulb gets full line voltage. When the wall switch is off, the CFL bulb is the neutral for the light of the wall switch, causing a tiny current to flow through the CFL bulb.

To be honest, I have no idea whether it’s a CFL or an LED bulb up there, and this extra knowledge wasn’t helping anyhow, as in, what was I supposed to do about it at (now) 5 in the morning? So I lay there awhile longer wondering – WHY NOW??? – and it was then that I had my own light bulb moment. When I first got out of bed I had used the switch next to my pillow, but when I came back into the room I turned off the light using the switch near the door. AHA. So I got up again and did the procedure in reverse, switching on the light at the door, and switching it off again after getting back into bed. AND IT WORKED. The flashing stopped and I was finally able to doze off again sometime around 6 am.

But I still don’t know WHY it worked. Any takers out there? I also don’t know if there is anything I should do about this, other than never use that switch next to the bed again. Help??