DIY - Rewiring a Lamp

August 18, 2011

Rewiring a lamp like I did in my last post seems quite intimidating, but in reality it's rather simple. All you need is a few supplies and some tools, and in very little time you'll have a lamp that will illuminate your space without the worry of old wiring.

Here's what I used: 
Tools needed to rewire a lamp
And here are the steps I took:

1. This is the most important - unplug your lamp (This is rather obvious, but I'm going to state it anyway). You'll then remove the shade and bulb.

2. Remove the socket's outer sleeve, clip the cord to remove the socket, and then remove the old cord. Throw the old parts away.
How to rewire a lamp - part 1
3. In my case I was replacing the post to make the lamp slightly shorter. Once I'd reassembled my lamp, I threaded the new electrical wire through the pipe, and left enough wire at the top to work with.

4. Add the harp base and then the socket base to the top of the lamp.
How to rewire a lamp - part 2
5. Split the wire down the middle, and tie and underwriter's knot in the wire. This will prevent the wire from accidentally being pulled out of the lamp.
how to rewire a lamp - part 3
6. At this point you'll use your wire clippers to remove some of the protective sheathing from the wire. You'll need to expose about 1/2" from both wires. These exposed wires will be wrapped around the screws on the socket.

7. You'll need to use your fingers to feel both sides of the wire sheathing. One side will be smooth, and one side will have some ridges on the wire. It's important to know which side is which as the smooth wire is the 'hot' or positive wire, and will be attached to the brass screw on the new socket. The ridged wire is the neutral wire, and will be attached to the silver screw. To attach the wires to the screws, form a hook shape with the wire and loop it over the screw in a clockwise direction. The wire should just circle the screw once with the wires insulation resting against the screw. Tighten the screw to hold the wire in place.
How to rewire a lamp - part 4
 8. Assemble the socket by twisting on the outer shell, and then tighten the screw at the base of the socket to secure it.
How to rewire a lamp - part 5
9. Add your bulb and plug-in your newly rewired lamp. Ta-Da! It works! I told you rewiring a lamp was easy!
A newly rewired lamp

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  1. [...] Rewiring my bedside lamps is a favorite project because I was incredibly intimidated to try it, and in the end it was very simple to do. [...]


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