How to wire a light socket & switch

Written by cecilia harsch Google
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How to wire a light socket & switch
Learn to repair lamps and keep them out of the trash. (lamp image by Bube from

A lamp socket and switch can be wired with very little effort. A socket is actually three pieces: the socket cap or base, the exterior socket sleeve and the interior socket/switch. Whether you need to add the entire socket or just the interior socket/switch, the wiring is the same. Knowing how to wire a light socket and switch will allow you to repair broken lamps rather than throw them in the trash.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement interior socket/switch

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  1. 1

    Unplug the lamp from the wall outlet and move it to a level work surface. Remove the light bulb and the lamp shade.

  2. 2

    Remove the lamp harp. The harp--the part which holds the shade in place--attaches to the lamp by tension placed on the harp base from the harp itself. Squeeze the harp sides together to release the harp from the harp base.

  3. 3

    Remove the exterior socket sleeve. The sleeve will pull up and off of the socket and allow you to access the interior socket/switch.

  4. 4

    Feel the lamp wires. One side will be ribbed and one side will be smooth. Wrap the end of the smooth wire around the brass screw on the interior socket/switch and tighten the screw. Wrap the ribbed wire around the aluminium screw and tighten that screw as well.

  5. 5

    Slide the socket sleeve back over the interior socket/switch and push firmly down on the sleeve to set it firmly in the socket base.

  6. 6

    Replace the lamp harp, light bulb and lamp shade. Plug your lamp back into the wall and test it.

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