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How to attach a lamp shade

Updated March 21, 2017

As time passes and home decor changes, many homeowners find themselves wanting to update a lamp shade or redesign their lighting scheme. To change out an old or dull-looking lamp shade, you'll need to size and attach it to the harp (a area located at the top of lamp where the lamp shade is attached). Once you have the right shade, you can easily put it on the lamp using a few easy steps. As with any appliance, variations among styles and manufacturers are common.

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  1. Disconnect your lamp.

  2. Remove the bulb from the socket cap. Remove the old lamp shade and place it to the side.

  3. Position the new shade on the lamp by sliding it gently over the top of the lamp stem. Allow it to sit comfortably inside the "UNO fitter" hardware, which generally screws onto standard lamp sockets and extends from around the socket cap. The UNO fitter is built-in to the lampshade and is secured by a finial, which is located at the tip of the lampshade.

  4. Test for a proper fit. Check the washer fitter, which is located at the top of the shade. Shaped like a washer, the washer fitter has a centre hole that slips over the rod of the harp.

  5. Place a new light bulb inside the socket cap.

  6. Plug the lamp into a power strip or power socket. Turn the lamp on.

  7. Tip

    Size the lamp shade before purchasing. There are two types of UNO fitters: slip-UNO fitters, which are held in place by a bulb, and threaded-UNO fitters, which are screwed into place.


    The instructions provided here are not intended for all lamp shades. Some lamp shades have wires that simply slip over the bulb. Never attach a lamp shade without first reading the manufacturer's directions.

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About the Author

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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