PowerTech Blog

How to Repair a Lamp Switch

Every home needs table lamps and floor lamps to provide extra light and make it more special. Despite the cool things you can do with built-in lighting — including recessed and under-cabinet lights — a lamp on your desk, by your bedside or in your living room brings a soft, intimate and cozy feeling to the entire space, not to mention provides extra light to avoid unnecessary eye strain. Lamps should be a part of your home’s overall lighting plan, if they’re not already. 

But what happens when your favorite lamp won’t turn on? You might change the bulb, unplug it and plug it back in, and fool with the switch a few times. Nothing. Chances are, your lamp switch is broken. You have two choices: Ditch the lamp and buy a new one or fix the switch.

While the residential electrical services team at PowerTech rarely ever recommends a DIY project involving lighting— in most cases, it’s best to call in the experts if you’re having problems — you want to give fixing it a try, here are some tips on the best way to safely go about it. 

10 Steps to Fix a Faulty Lamp Switch

  1. Unplug the lamp. If it’s been on a while before the switch goes out, wait for the light bulb to cool, then remove it.
  1. Unscrew the metal light bulb holder and unscrew it from the switch. You can do this by turning it counterclockwise. 
  1. Check out what’s going on. The power cord is made up of two separate electrical wires (who knew?) that are attached by little screws. Reach in and wiggle the wires. The culprit to a broken lamp switch is often the wires coming loose.
  1. Tighten the screws. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver.
  1. Plug the lamp back in to test it. If the lamp still doesn’t work, unplug the lamp and remove the bulb holder again.
  1. Unscrew the two small screws that attach the two wires.
  1. Disconnect the wires from the switch.
  1. Use a pair of pliers (needle nose is probably easiest, but you could try regular pliers too) to remove the collar on the outside of the switch, then remove it.
  1. Remove the switch from inside the lamp.
  1. Do each step in reverse with a new switch. Your lamp is likely working again. Yay!

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There you have it. In many cases, you can prevent your favorite lamp from ending up in the trash bin. Fixing a bad switch yourself also saves you the expense of buying a replacement or hiring someone to repair what in most cases is a fast, simple fix. For most electrical repairs, though, play it safe. Call an electrician.  

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PowerTech has the power to provide all of your residential electrician and commercial electrical needs, whether it’s a home remodel or repair, an electrical issue at your business, a generator service or purchase, or emergency electrical help. Let us show you why we are the top choice for service in Council Bluffs, Omaha, and beyond. 

Ready to get started? Give us a call at 712.256.8702. You also can fill out our contact form and a representative will contact you as soon as possible.