Light Bulb Socket Wiring

Written by isaiah david
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Light Bulb Socket Wiring
Light sockets are simple devices to wire. (lamp and socket image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

Light sockets are extremely simple devices. They have two wires and two terminals, and the colour on the wire matches the colour on the matching terminal. The most important thing to keep in mind when wiring your light socket is to get a good electrical connection. The exposed end of each wire should be in direct contact with the screw on the corresponding terminal, and there should be no loose strands of exposed wire sticking out.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Light socket assembly
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Remove the old socket if you are replacing one. Cut the wire where it connects to the old socket and untie the underwriter's knot holding it in to the cap. Slide the cap off. Otherwise, skip this step.

  2. 2

    Strip about 1/2 an inch of enamel from the end of each wire. There should be two wires, one with a copper colour and the other, silver. Twist the exposed end of each wire with your fingers so that all the individual strands of wire join into one.

  3. 3

    Unscrew the light bulb socket assembly. There will be a piece called a cap at the bottom which screws into a shell at the top with a hole for the base of the light bulb. Between the two is the electrical insert, which holds the actual bulb.

  4. 4

    Thread the wire through the cap and tie an underwriters knot, leaving at least 3 inches of wire past the knot. Loop one strand behind the cord and the other strand in front of the cord, forming two loops. Thread each strand through the loop formed by the other.

  5. 5

    Loosen the screws on each side of the electrical insert. Wrap the copper-coloured wire around the copper screw in a clockwise direction and tighten the screw to hold it in place. Wrap the silver screw around the silver insert and tighten it.

  6. 6

    Slide the insert into the shell. Screw the cap onto the shell. Your socket is now wired.

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