How to Change a Lamp Switch

Changing a lamp switch is so easy and cheap, you'll never worry about whether a thrift store or garage sale lamp works again. And you'll never have to get rid of a favorite that stops working, either.

Last year I bought two mid-century lamps at the Goodwill Bins store for $3. They were so adorable with their art-deco style and peach color. Plus burlap shades. For $1.50 each? Crazy, right? There was an outlet at the store, but no bulbs, so I couldn’t test them. Since they were so cheap, I bought them anyway. When I got home, one worked and one wouldn’t turn on. I was sad, because I think they’re so awesome in that Mad Men sort of way and I wanted both.

I called for reinforcements. My super handy husband saved the day! (For the record, I totally could have done this myself. No, really.)

Turns out, I didn’t need to worry. Lamps have very simple electronics. When you take one apart, what you basically have is the cord running up a tube from the base to the top, attached to a simple switch that the light bulb screws into. The switch is in a case that pops open to give you access. You can buy a lamp switch replacement for about $5.

Start by removing the switch casing and unwinding the wires from the screws. (Make sure the lamp is unplugged!) The wire looks like an extension cord without the plug end.

Changing a lamp switch is so easy and cheap, you'll never worry about whether a thrift store or garage sale lamp works again. And you'll never have to get rid of a favorite that stops working, either.
The cord has two halves. Each part wraps around a screw on the switch, which is then tightened down. Think about battery cables, only without polarity so it doesn’t matter which side of the cord wraps around which screw.

Changing a lamp switch is so easy and cheap, you'll never worry about whether a thrift store or garage sale lamp works again. And you'll never have to get rid of a favorite that stops working, either.
If you take apart the  switch casing (that’s the gold thing in Kevin’s left hand), you’ll be able to remove the actual switch (the silver thing with the switch in Kevin’s right hand.) The only tool you need is a flat head screwdriver.

Changing a lamp switch is so easy and cheap, you'll never worry about whether a thrift store or garage sale lamp works again. And you'll never have to get rid of a favorite that stops working, either.
I was worried about a modern lamp switch fitting my vintage lamp, but lamp switches come in standard sizes–because light bulbs come in standard sizes. In the picture above, you can see Kevin tightening the screw on the wire. We wanted to make sure it was the switch that was the problem, and not the wire. If it had been a wire, Kevin would have cut the plug off of an extension cord and striped the wires to replace the existing lamp cord.

Changing a lamp switch is so easy and cheap, you'll never worry about whether a thrift store or garage sale lamp works again. And you'll never have to get rid of a favorite that stops working, either.
No need! The new switch did the job.

Changing a lamp switch is so easy and cheap, you'll never worry about whether a thrift store or garage sale lamp works again. And you'll never have to get rid of a favorite that stops working, either.
The bottom of the switch case goes in first, then the switch is wired and put in place, followed by the top of the switch case, and voila! All fixed and for less than five bucks, including the lamp, plus about fifteen minutes of work. I’ll never worry about whether or not a cute thrifted lamp works again.

Changing a lamp switch is so easy and cheap, you'll never worry about whether a thrift store or garage sale lamp works again. And you'll never have to get rid of a favorite that stops working, either.

 

* * *

This post is shared at these awesome blogs:

Sew Many Ways, Flamingo Toes, Nifty Thrifty Things

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s