How to Rewire a Bridge Arm Floor Lamp
Rewiring a lamp doesn't have to be complicated. In order to rewire a lamp, remove the bulb socket where the light is usually screwed on, and then take the chord of wire out from inside. Replace it with a new chord and tighten the uncovered wire on either end to the socket and to an electrical plug.
Bridge lamps are the kind of lamps that have a swinging arm that come out of the lamp base. They're great for reading, working or studying in spaces because they can be turned towards or away from someone without having to move the entire lamp around. They also come in different styles and colors, and can be used to both decorate and illuminate work areas.
Like all lamps, bridge arm floor lamps wear down over time. But that doesn't mean a beloved lamp has to be tossed out right away. Given the right steps, the worn but loved lamp can be fixed and given a whole new life.
First and foremost, unplug the lamp, then remove the shade. Then, you can detach the bulb socket, which is where the light bulb is screwed into the lamp. It's held to the lamp with a nut at the base. Turn the nut counterclockwise with a wrench or your fingers. Once the nut is taken off, the bulb won't be attached. The only thing holding it there is the wires inside of the lamp.
Removing Other Parts
There are two screws at the base of the bulb socket, which is where the lamp chord is connected to the rest of the lamp body. Loosen the screws and put the bulb socket to the side for later. Now, you're ready to add a new chord into the lamp. You can do that by taping one end of that chord to the old chord. Pull the old chord from the top of the lamp. In doing so, you'll be pulling in the new chord.
Make sure that there's enough of the new chord coming out of the bottom to reach electrical outlets. If you don't plan on having the lamp far from an outlet, 5 to 6 feet will do. If you plan on having it further away from an outlet, try extending 8 to 9 feet of chord out of the lamp. Once you have your preferred length, cut the top of the chord with wire cutters.
Prepping and Connecting the Wires
At the end of the new chord, remove some of the insulation. It's the rubbery material around the wires. Try removing around 2 to 3 inches of the insulation with wire strippers. After that's done, grab a new electrical plug and loosen the two screws on it. Then, take the uncovered wire and wrap it around the two screws. Once that's done, put the cover back over the electrical plug.
On the other end, take the bare end of the lamp chord, and put them at the bulb end of the light socket where there are two screws. Take one wire and put one to each, then wrap them around the each screw until they're tightly secured.
Putting It Back Together
Pull the chord from the bottom end to get rid of any slack. Once that's done, attach the bulb socket back into the lamp with the nut. When screwing it back on, turn the nut clockwise. Once that's back on the lamp, feel free to put the lamp shade back on, and plug it into the wall to test if the chord is on correctly. If the lamp doesn't turn on, double check that the wires are tight onto the screws found on the plug and on the bulb socket.
Angely Mercado is freelance writer in NYC whose work is in NPR, Lenny Letter, BK Based, and more.
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