How To Repair Your Desk Lamp

by marciag

Is your desk lamp in need of repairs? Find out how to repair it and when it's best to just get a new one.

While most desk lamps can be easily repaired, you have to keep in mind that this is not always the case. There are those odd moments when you need to realize that it's best to replace your loved and trusted lamp.

If yo do get the urge to get crafty, there are various things that you can fix, such as replacing the light bulb, checking and fixing the wiring, getting new lamp shades or tightening various screws that got loose.

It all depends on what you find to be the problem with your particular lamp. So here are the most common repairs for your lamps that you can do on your own.

Change The Light Bulb

change the lightbulbThis is maybe the easiest repair of all. Oftentimes it is overlooked whereas this is maybe the most common problem that can happen when the lamps don't work.

So always before attempting something more difficult, check for the obvious: that the light bulb is not burned out.

Depending on the light bulb you have in your particular lamp, you need to buy the same one with the same wattage and size. So make sure that you get exactly the same specialty light bulb from the store.

Adding a wrong type of wattage in your lamp might cause unpredictable problems that could prove to be...rather interesting (yeah, happened to me once when I didn't know better...)

(photo credits: Morguefile)

Make Sure It's Not The Wiring

desk lamp wiringAnother common problem is the bad wiring, particularly either the plug or cord or even the light socket.

First check that the cord is not frayed or even cut. If it is, then the connection is quite bad. In this case what you need to do is open the lamp base and cut the old plug off.

Leave a couple of inches of wire so you have what to work with. Next make sure to separate the wires and take about half an inch of the old wire ends to strip them.

Next also separate the new wires and strip their ends. What you need to do now is take the new ends and twist them very carefully with the old ones.

Use electrical tape to secure them well. Of course you can also use electrical bolts for securing the wires in place. Now make sure to push in the newly created cord in to the lamp base and then replace the base.

If it's not the cord, it could be the plug. If you see that it's cracked, bent or broken, you can easily replace it just the way you replaced the cord.

The next place to check is the light socket or switch. Again, this is no different than replacing any of the previous elements such as the cord or plug.

(image credits: Morguefile)

How To Rewire a Lamp

Replace The Lamp Shade

replace the lampshadeYou might find that none of the above is really the problem with your lamp. The next thing you need to check is that the lampshade is not broken or cracked. There are some things you can do here as well.

One way is to remove the light bulb and the shade. The home improvement store or the shop you bought you lamp usually has extra replacement lamps shades in the same color and material as your original one. If not, you can use your creativity in creating new ones.

For example, one idea I've read about is to get hold of a creative craft box, then cut a hole that will fit the lamp in the bottom and simply replace your lamp shade with it. You can also use decoupage to simply create a new shade instead of your old broken one.

Check out the video below for some interesting custom made lampshades that you can make as well!

Photo credits

How to Make Custom Lamp Shades

How to Make a Custom Lamp Shade

When it's Best To Just Get A New Lamp

When all is said and done, it might be just not worth spending too much time on fixing a desk lamp. They are usually so cheap (and so gorgeous!) to buy that spending $20-$30 on a new one might make a better use of your time and you might get to have something new and modern in your home.

Also depending on when you got your original lamp, check out the warranty for replacements or repairs. Many times the manufacturers have a one year warranty and if you're still in the grace period, you can take advantage of that and get yourself a new lamp for free.

Updated: 06/14/2012, marciag
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