How to wire lamp switches

Updated February 21, 2017

Learning how to wire lamp switches can help you rescue the occasional garage sale find and maybe a few lamps from around your own home. Save a few pounds by learning to fix lamps and mastering minor do-it-yourself electrical wiring projects. Watch out, though, once your friends find out you have mastered those minor electrical projects -- you will become their personal electrician.

Unplug the lamp from the wall socket.

Remove the lamp shade, light blub and lamp harp. To remove the harp, squeeze the sides toward each other and lift up from the lamp harp bottom.

Grasp the socket sleeve and pull it up and out of the socket cap, or base, exposing the interior socket. The interior socket is the lamp switch.

Pull up on the interior socket to expose the two screws on the interior socket.

Strip the ends of the lamp wire. Use wire cutter/strippers to strip 1.3 cm (½ inch) of insulation off each lamp wire.

Loosen the two screws on the interior socket and wrap one of the lamp wires around each wire. Tighten the screws. It will not matter which wire goes on which screw; either will work.

Push the interior socket back down onto the lamp.

Replace the socket sleeve by sliding it over the interior socket.

Replace the lamp harp, light bulb and lamp shade.

Plug the lamp into the wall socket.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wire stripper/cutters
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About the Author

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.