How to wire lamps with multiple sockets

Updated February 21, 2017

Lamps with multiple sockets add a level of versatility to your lighting decor, because you can vary the amount of light put out by switching the different bulb sockets on or off. While the wiring of a lamp with multiple sockets might seem more complex at first glance, the actual wiring is not much more complicated than that of an ordinary single-socket lamp.

Twist off the locking nuts at the base of each lamp socket with your fingers. Pull the lamp sockets out of the lamp base. Loosen the screws on the base of each of the lamp sockets with your screwdriver.

Cut a length of lamp cord for each of the sockets with wire cutters. Pull apart the two leads on each end of the wires with your fingers. Remove 1/2 inch of insulation from the end of each of the leads. Slide the leads from each of the wires under each of the screw terminals -- one lamp wire to each socket -- and tighten the screws.

Push the lamp cord wire through the lamp and pull out at the base. Twist together one lead from each of the lamp wires so that you end up with two bare wire ends. Place these together with the two leads from the lamp cord leading to the plug, and place a wire nut over each. Twist the wire nut to hold the wires together.


Don't work on the lamp or any electrical device if it's plugged in.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Lamp cord
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire nuts
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About the Author

Based in Virginia, Nichole Liandi has been a freelance writer since 2005. Her articles have appeared on various print and online publications. Liandi has traveled extensively in Europe and East Asia and incorporates her experiences into her articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.