How to Rewire a Lamp

No need to toss that old lamp. Follow these easy steps for rewiring a light, making it good as new.
Golden sculpture lamp.

Golden Sculpture Lamp

HGTV shows step by step how to rewire an old lamp to make it as good as new.

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Materials Needed:

  • pliers
  • screwdriver
  • wire cutter
  • lamp rewiring kit, containing socket, cord and plug

Remove Old Socket

Before starting, make sure lamp is not plugged in. Use the screwdriver to press the sleeve of the socket out. If the socket has a "press here" inscription, press your thumb on the inscription and lift the sleeve off.

Lamp being taken apart by a screw.

Take Lamp Apart for Rewiring

Before starting, make sure lamp is not plugged in. Use the screwdriver to press the sleeve of the socket out. If the socket has a "press here" inscription, press your thumb on the inscription and lift the sleeve off.

Cut Old Wires

Pull the socket up and use the wire cutter to cut/disconnect the old wires. Flip lamp over and unscrew nut on bottom of lamp base. Pull thread up and remove old socket. Pull the cord out of the bottom of the fixture.

Woman cutting wire from lamp.

Cut Wire in Lamp Project

Pull the socket up and use the wire cutter to cut/disconnect the old wires. Flip lamp over and unscrew nut on bottom of lamp base. Pull thread up and remove old socket. Pull the cord out of the bottom of the fixture.

Install New Lamp Cord

Feed the new cord from the lamp kit through the hole in the bottom of the lamp until it comes out at the top, and attach new socket.

Split the Wires and Knot Cords

Using the wire cutters, split top 2" of wires by cutting along the groove. Use the wire cutter to remove approximately 1/2" of the insulation from each wire. Tie the split cords using an underwriter's knot by making a loop with each wire, then feeding the opposite color wire through each loop to create a figure eight. Note: Check the lamp kit's instructions for an illustration.

Woman checking wires.

Check Ends of Lamp Wires

Using the wire cutters, split wires by cutting along the groove. Use the wire cutter to remove approximately an inch of the insulation from each wire. Tie the split cords using an underwriter's knot. Make a loop with each wire and then feed the opposite color wire through each loop to create a figure eight. Note: Check the lamp kit's instructions for an illustration.

Connect Wires

Use the screwdriver to loosen the screws on either side of the new socket — brass for hot, silver for neutral. Wrap the hot exposed wire (check lamp kit instructions to determine which wire is hot) around the brass screw on the socket. Wrap the other wire around the silver (neutral) screw and use the screwdriver to tighten the screws and hold the wires in place.

Woman screwing lamp together.

Secure Lamp Pieces

Use the screwdriver to loosen the screws on either side of the new socket. Wrap each exposed wire around a screw on the socket. Use the screwdriver to tighten the screws and hold the wires in place.

Snap Sleeve On and Test

Slide the sleeve back on the socket until it snaps into place. Test the wire by plugging it into an outlet.

Lit light bulb in a rewired lamp.

Test Light Bulb in Rewired Lamp

Slide the sleeve back on the socket until it snaps into place. Test the wire by plugging it into an outlet.

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