Are my compact fluorescents supposed to flicker?

CFLs are not supposed to flicker but if they do there is no cause for alarm. Flickering is likely due to a defective ballast. The ballast is located above the bulb’s base in the ballast housing and serves as a resistor, regulating and allotting the proper voltage to the bulb. If the ballast is failing to work correctly, or has a faulty connection to the mounting plate at the top of the base, the light will flicker because the flow of electricity is being interrupted.