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How a Lamp Works

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 developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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