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How a Lamp Works

©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

Lamp Wiring Diagram

Regardless of how sophisticated or elaborate the design, most lamps have the same basic wiring and construction.

A typical lamp includes a shade that sits on a frame called a harp. A socket holds the light bulb, or several sockets may hold several bulbs, and a cord runs through a hollow channel, called a stem, inside the body of the lamp.

If a table or floor lamp doesn’t work, do the obvious: Put in a new working bulb. If it still doesn’t light, check the circuit breaker or fuse that serves the lamp’s outlet.

If the circuit is working, you may need to replace the lamp socket or plug. Be sure to replace cords and sockets with parts that are identical to the originals.

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About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.
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