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How to Replace a Tolomeo Switch

Claire Gillespie

Many Tolomeo lamps come with inline switches on the cord. If your Tolomeo lamp is out of warranty, it's simple to replace the inline switch yourself.

How to Replace a Tolomeo Switch

An icon of contemporary Italian home design, the award-winning Tolomeo lamp designed by Michele De Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina in 1986 for the Artemide company is available as a floor lamp, a desk lamp, a wall lamp or a ceiling lamp. The process of replacing a Tolomeo switch depends on the specific product, but lamps, in general, are not complex mechanisms. They consist of an electrical wire with a plug on one end and a switch on the other. The switch completes the electrical circuit, which allows electricity to flow through the switch. Many Tolomeo lamps come with an inline switch attached to its power cord. A registered Tolomeo provides a five-year limited warranty, but if your warranty has expired, it's a simple job to replace a faulty switch yourself.

    Prepare the Lamp

  1. Before you replace your Tolomeo lamp switch, unplug your lamp from the wall outlet, make sure it is cool before beginning the replacement, and take it to a spacious, well-lit area for the best working conditions.

  2. Disassemble the Switch

  3. Locate the screws on the base of the inline switch and unscrew them using your screwdriver to open the switch. Remove the half of the switch not attached to the wire and set it aside.

  4. Remove the Wire

  5. Use your screwdriver to take out the screws that hold the wire in place at the center part of the switch. Remove the wire. You'll see that there are actually two separate wires: the smooth wire is the "hot" wire and the ribbed cord is the neutral wire. The neutral wire is always left intact, whereas the hot wire is cut to connect to the switch.

  6. Attach new Switch

  7. Unscrew the screws on your new switch to take it apart. Wrap each end of the hot wire around the screw holes in the switch and secure them by tightening the central screws. Press the intact neutral wire into the switch. Put both halves of your switch together and use your screwdriver to secure them. Take your Tolomeo lamp back to its usual location, plug it into the wall outlet and test the new switch.

  8. Tip

    If you are installing an inline switch for the first time, make sure you connect the hot wire to the switch. Although it will still work if you connect the neutral wire which is known as reversing the polarity, this may cause safety issues such as energizing the socket sleeve, which can make your lamp dangerous to use.