How to Add a Light Switch to a Standing Lamp

Not all lamps are created equal. Some standing models, whether they are table or floor lamps, are not equipped with a switch. They must be plugged into a wall outlet controlled by a wall switch, or unplugged manually to turn them off. This can be inconvenient and limit the lamp's placement. The solution is to install a lamp socket with a built-in switch. You might select a socket with a pull-chain switch, a push-through switch, or a turn-knob switch. All will work, and all will require the same amount of time to install.

Unplug the lamp. Remove the finial, shade, shade harp, and light bulb. Put them aside. The socket will be exposed.

Press your fingers against the socket shroud on the lamp, where the word "Press" is stamped. Wiggle the shroud and remove it from the socket base. Perform the same action with the new socket, and remove the socket interior.

Loosen the contact screws of the socket interior on the lamp, and remove the wires. Remove the socket interior, and put it aside. Loosen the contact screws on the replacement socket interior as well.

Wrap the black lamp wire around the brass screw on the new socket interior. Wrap the white wire around the white metal screw on socket new socket interior. Tighten both screws to hold the wires securely in place.

Slip the new socket shroud over the new socket interior. Press your fingers against the places marked "Press," and wiggle the shroud back into the socket base until it locks into position.

Reinstall the bulb, harp, shade, and finial. Plug the lamp into any wall outlet.

Push, turn, or pull the new switch, and your lamp will light.

Things You'll Need

  • Lamp socket
  • Slotted screwdriver
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About the Author

Rich Finzer earned his boating license in 1960 and started his writing career in 1969. His writing has appeared in "Northern Breezes," "Southwinds," "Living Aboard," "Good Old Boat," "Latitudes & Attitudes," "Small Craft Advisor," "Life in the Finger Lakes," "BackHome" and "Dollar Stretcher" magazines. His maple syrup has won awards in competition. Rich has a Bachelor of Science in communications from Ithaca College.