Wednesday, May 23, 2018

How to Convert an Oil or Kerosene Lamp to Electric

If you like the looks of an Oil or Kerosene lamp, but not the mess with a burner and fuel, electrifying the lamp is easier that you might think. With specialty lamp adapters, a lamp can be changed over to an electric burner in minutes. In 5 simple steps the lamp can be converted.

Step 1: Identify the type of lamp you have.

There are many types of oil lamps out there: #2 burners, duplex, Aladdin, Central Draft. After you have identified your oil lamp burner, you are able to pick an adapter to fit.



Step 2: Decide on type of shade or no shade.

These electric adapters can be simple and hold a chimney, or they have other options with shade rings and harps for fabric shade. Before you convert to electric, you need to decide what the final product will look like and get the right adapter for that style.

Step 3: Unscrew and clean the oil lamp

An antique kerosene lamp might have months, years, or decades of kerosene on the lamp. This is a good time to clean the lamp. Wash it out with some clean water and let it completely dry.

Step 4: Install the new adapter

Installing the new adapter is as easy as replacing a light bulb. It literally screws in the lamp collar. If you followed step 1, this step is a breeze.



Step 5: Complete the look

Add the shade or chimney to the lamp. Screw in a bulb and enjoy the 21st century.


Looking for a more visual approach? Try this video.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Porcelain Table Lamp Repair - New Socket and Cord

A customer brought in this table lamp the other day and said it needed a new socket and cord set. This is a common repair for any lamp. If you found a lamp at a yard sale, flea market, or online and it needed some basic repair, these are the steps to take.

First, always give the lamp a general inspection. This will help you prepare a list of needed parts. We like to only replace bad, worn out parts. Safety is also an issue. Loose hardware and non-polarized plugs should be addressed as part of any repair.



This lamp seems to be in decent shape so the only lamp parts needed for this repair are:

1) Brass lamp socket

40250 - On-Off Leviton Light Socket, Brass, Polished & Lacquered


2) Lamp cord set 

Antique Brass Color, 18/2 Plastic Covered Lamp Cord

The repair starts by unplugging the lamp and removing the light bulb.


Next, remove the harp from the lamp. Lift the locking couplings and squeeze the harp toward the socket.


Remove the socket shell from the socket cap. Using a flat head screw driver, apply pressure on the socket shell and lift it from the socket cap.




Unscrew the old lamp cord from the old socket interior and remove the socket interior.



Untie the old UL Knot and pull the old cord down to the lamp base.



Now you want to remove the old socket cap. Loosen any set screw and unscrew the socket cap from the lamp body. Screw the new socket cap on the threaded rod and tighten any set screw. If your lamp has a front and back, make sure your harp saddle is oriented side to side.






With the socket and cord removed, now is the best time to tighten the lamp body. The lamp will go back together the same way it came apart. First, push the new lamp cord up the lamp body to the socket cap.



Next, tie a UL Knot in the lamp cord.


Screw the wires onto the new socket interior. The smooth wire connects to the brass screw and the ribbed wire connects to the nickel screw.


Slip the socket shell over the interior. Pull any cord slack back down the bottom of the lamp body. Snap the socket shell into the socket cap making sure both sides are securely snapped into the cap.


Add a bulb and test the lamp.



This lamp is back in service for another 40 years. Total cost: < $25.00 total time < 45 minutes

Friday, April 13, 2018

Banker's Lamp Pull Chain Socket Repair

A customer brought in a banker lamp the other day and complained it stopped working. The pull chain socket was not functioning properly so the lamp would not come on at all.
Typical Banker Lamp


Our initial inspection determined the only problem with the lamp was the pull chain socket. The lamp cord and bulb were in good working order. The only lamp part we'll need for this repair is a new pull chain socket interior.

1) Pull Chain Medium Base Lamp Socket Interior


48210 - Pull chain socket interior, no paper insulator
Making sure the lamp is unplugged, we unscrew the socket shell from the socket cap. Remove the socket shell and pull the old socket interior out as much as possible.




Unscrew the lamp cord from the old screw terminals and remove the socket interior. For this lamp, the socket cap was a little loose, so we tightened the cap and adjusted the set screw.


Stretch the wires out as long as possible and identify the smooth cord and the ribbed cord. The smooth wire connects to the brass screw terminal and the ribbed wire connects to the nickel screw terminal on the new socket interior.




Push the socket interior back into the socket cap. Screw the socket shell back on the socket cap.



Add a bulb and test the lamp.



Job well done. Total cost <$5.00 Total time < 20 minutes

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

How to Measure and Install Acrylic Diffusers

Acrylic diffusers are an easy and cost effective way to make a big change in table or floor lamp. Specialty lamp shops like Antique Lamp Supply, offer diffusers in several sizes. We currently offer sizes from 7 1/2 inch to 17 1/2 inch.

08341 - Lampshade Diffuser, 11.5 in diameter, Fits 13 and 14 inch openings


Each diffuser is made from 1/8 inch thick translucent white acrylic and has a 3/8 inch center hole for mounting the diffuser to the shade. Installation is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Step 1: Identify the lamp needing a diffuser.


Step 2: Unscrew the lamp finial from the harp or threaded rod.


Step 3: Place the diffuser flat against the top of the shade and screw the finial back on the threaded rod or the top of the harp.


For information about measuring and fit, check out this video.


In addition to table lamps and floor lamps, diffusers can be used for sleek and clean Mid-Century style pendant lamps. Especially pendant lamps with drum style shades. Like the table lamps and floor lamps, the intention is to spread the light from the bulb.

69132C - Mid-Century Modern Fabric Shade Fixture

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hand Decorated Table Lamp With Bottom Light, Rewired

A customer brought in this Gone-With-The-Wind or Parlor style table lamp and wanted it to be rewired. After an initial inspection, we found the cord was not polarized and the top socket was worn.




The lamp parts needed for this repair include:

1) 3-Way Socket Interior With 1/8F Hickey
3-Way Socket Interior for 3-Way Light Bulbs. Medium base (E26) turn knob socket with 1/8F tap hickey, full paper insulator and short mandrel. 250W-250V


2) 8 Foot Brown SPT-1 Cord Set (Brown [item 46710] was their choice, any color polarized cord set would work.)
46710 - 8 ft. Length, Brown 18/2 Plastic Covered Lamp Cord Set, SPT-1

To disassemble this lamp, we will need to remove the socket. This lamp has an unusual socket, there is no cap or shell. It has a hickey on the bottom inside the gallery. You will first need to unscrew the key from the socket. Then, you will unscrew the hickey from the socket interior. A small flat head screw inside the socket connects to the hickey.






With the old socket removed, unscrew the wire terminals and pull the old cord down from the lamp base.



Untangle the wire to remove from the bottom light wire. Using the new lamp cord, twist the bottom light wire to the new lamp cord. The cords should match: smooth wire together and ribbed wire together. If the bottom light has a black and white wire, the smooth wire connects to the black wire and the ribbed wire connects to the white wire of the bottom light. With the wires connected, push them up the lamp rod to the top socket.







Connect the lamp cord to the new socket interior. Since we have a 3-way socket, the smooth wires each have a screw terminal. The smooth wire from the plug attaches to the brass plated screw terminal. The smooth wire from the bottom light connects to the black screw terminal. Both ribbed wires connect to the nickel screw terminal.





In some cases (like this one), you can get lucky and use the old hickey on the new socket. For this lamp, we removed the hickey off the new socket and used the original hickey on the lamp and the flat head screw from the socket. Just be sure to pull wires down the lamp to avoid excess slack around the socket. Slip the new insulator over the socket and screw on the old lamp key.


If the bottom light was removed for this installation, simply snap it back in place. If the bottom light needed to be replaced, now would be the right time with the cord replacement.

48235 - Keyless Candelabra Socket w/Spring Clips, Leviton Brand





With a few good bulbs in place, we test the lamp.





Gone-With-The-Wind, not. Total time < 30 minutes Total Cost < $10