How to Convert an Oil Lamp to Electric Using a Shade Bracket

Written by jonra springs
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How to Convert an Oil Lamp to Electric Using a Shade Bracket
Stylish oil lamps convert to electric with a fitting lamp shade bracket. (lamp image by Goran Bogicevic from

Many oil lamps are crafted glass or metal bases with ornate decorations. Burning oil is not always an option due to fire regulations and allergies. Oil to electric conversion kits make it possible to use the beautiful oil lamp with a light bulb and a lamp shade. Some shade brackets are made for oil lamp conversions and fit specific oil lamp sizes. Others come with cork that is cut to fit. Cork allows nearly any size lamp shade bracket to fit into a converted oil lamp.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Utility knife

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  1. 1

    Unscrew the oil lamp chimney and wick holder and remove the wick. Pour out all oil and wash the base thoroughly. The oil must all be removed before making the switch from oil to electric.

  2. 2

    Screw on a lamp shade bracket made to fit the oil lamp size. The threads on the bracket hardware will fit the threading on the lamp base exactly. The power cords on lamp shade brackets that are made for oil lamp conversion are not in the centre of the underside of the bracket. Instead they are offset to the side so they do not go down into the base of the oil lamp. Leave the cord to dangle down the back side of the lamp to keep it hidden from view.

  3. 3

    Push the cork bottom of a lampshade bracket for a converted oil lamp into the hole at the top of an oil lamp base. Cut away some of the cork with a sharp utility knife to make it fit if necessary. Electric oil lamp conversion kits with cork or threaded bases are sold through online hardware retailers.

  4. 4

    Screw a light bulb into the light socket. Fit a lamp shade onto the bracket harp or ring and secure it with the included hardware. Plug in the power cord from the converted oil lamp and turn on the light.

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