Quick fixes to make your lamps last

Lamps are simple devices, but you still want them to last a long time. Good news: Simple devices are almost always easy to bring back to life when something goes wrong. Here are some tips to make your lamps last.

Quick fixes to make your lamps last

Save a lamp in minutes

When a lamp flickers or stops working completely, you can usually solve the problem in a matter of minutes.

1. Check the bulb by trying it in another lamp. If the bulb is good, unplug the lamp and use a small piece of fine sandpaper to rub the contact strip inside the socket until it is shiny.

2. Lamp still doesn't work? It's probably the plug. If the wire is connected to the plug with screws, try tightening them. If that doesn't work — or if you have a clip-on plug or molded-on plug — get a new clip-on plug at a hardware store or home centre and attach it.

3. Still no light? Must be the socket — another easy job. Unplug the lamp. Pull off the socket's outer shell, and remove the cardboard insulating sleeve. Maybe you'll get lucky and discover that one of the wires has come loose. Put it back around the screw — make sure the end of the wire is at the right side of the screw. If you discover tight connections, pick up a new socket at a home center or hardware store. Make sure the amp and volt ratings are the same as the old socket. Lamp cord has two parts: One half is ridged or marked. Attach this wire to the silver screw terminal. Attach the other wire to the brass screw.

4. If it still doesn't work, the problem is with the cord, which may be frayed or pinched and shorted. If you are at all adventurous, it is not difficult to replace the cord on a regular lamp with one socket. Buy a length of new cord — or even better, a replacement cord with a molded-on plug. Then remove the socket and plug on the old cord, and attach the new cord to the plug end of the old cord — twisting metal wires together and taping them smooth. And then pull out the old cord to pull in the new one. If you feel any resistance, look for a hook holding the old cord in the base of the lamp.

Long live energy-saving bulbs

  • Compact fluorescent bulbs cost more than regular incandescent bulbs, but they use much less electricity to put out the same amount of light and last up to 10 times as long, so they are cheaper in the long run.
  • Fluorescent bulbs always list the equivalent regular-bulb wattage, making it easy to get the right one.
  • The only drawback is that the light that compact fluorescents give out tends to be cooler — that is, bluer — than regular bulbs.

How to remove a broken lightbulb

  • You're changing a lightbulb in the nightstand lamp, and it breaks off in your hand.
  • So now the glass is off, but the stem and base are still inside. Unplug the lamp.
  • Cut a potato width-wise, and place it over the broken bulb. Twist, and the rest of the lightbulb should come out easily.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu