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How to rewire a touch lamp

Updated April 17, 2017

Touch lamps use a low electrical current flowing through the body of the lamp to sense when contact is made with the lamp, turning it on and off. This is not only a fun use of technology, but also a convenient method for turning on a light with a hard-to-locate switch in the dark. If your touch lamp seems to have stopped working or you want to convert an existing lamp into a touch lamp, it is as simple as getting the right parts and placing them in the lamp's circuit.

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  1. Disassemble your lamp. This will require you to remove the light fixture. The light fixture should be attached to the power cord via black and white wires coming from the the cord. Make sure the lamp is unplugged, and snip the connection from the cord to the fixture. You will need to wire the touch circuit between these two points.

  2. Connect the black wire from the power cord to the black wire on the touch module by stripping the ends and twisting them together with a wire cap.

  3. Strip the ends of the white wire from the light fixture and the white wire from the power cord. Twist the bare ends together.

  4. Strip the end of the red wire from the touch module and connect it to the point where the two white wires meet using a wire cap.

  5. Strip the ends of the black wire coming from the lighting fixture and the white wire coming from the touch module. Connect these two points using a wire cap.

  6. Attach the yellow wire from the touch module to the body of the lamp. You could simply wrap the wire around an exposed screw or other point, but for best results, solder the stripped end of the wire to the body of the lamp. For your touch circuit to work, the lamp must be metal so it can conduct the signal from the touch module.

  7. Plug in your lamp and test to make sure your touch module is working. For the light to turn on and off by touch, the light fixture switch must be set to the "On" position.

  8. Warning

    These instructions are for a basic touch module. If your module does not have the same coloured wires or more wires than described here, consult its accompanying literature to determine how your wires match to the ones described in this article. Never work on a lamp or other electrical signal if it is still plugged in. Even with the lamp unplugged and disconnected from power, the circuit may still store electrical current, so be careful when working around bare wires to avoid electrocution.

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Things You'll Need

  • Touch module
  • Plastic wire caps
  • Lamp with metal body
  • Wire cutters
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder

About the Author

Hailed as one of his native Baltimore's emerging writers in Urbanite Magazine, for the past five years Kevin Krause has been writing everything from advertising copy to prose and poetry. A recent grad holding a degree in English and creative writing from University of Maryland, Baltimore County, his most recent work can be found in The Urbanite.

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