How to Rewire a Swing Arm Floor Lamp?

In most cases, rewiring a swing arm floor lamp is little more than replacing the old cord with a new one.

The cost to rewire a balanced arm floor lamp typically ranges from $25 to $70. Rewiring a swing arm floor light takes about hours to complete and does not require special skills or tools.

Rewiring a lamp is usually best performed by an experienced electrician. However, it can also be done as a do-it-yourself project if your swing arm floor lamp has a standard electrical cord and socket.

If you’re ready to rewire the swing arm floor lamp yourself, take a look at this guide to get started.

how to rewire a swing arm floor lamp

How to Determine If Swing Arm Floor Lamps Need Rewiring?

1. First, look at the socket.

If you see evidence of melting or scorching around the wires attaching it to the cord, then the wiring needs to be replaced.

The same goes for fraying or exposed wires in the cord, which connect to the socket. If the metal socket on the ceiling is exposed, you’ll need to replace it as well.

2. If the lamp still has a plug on it, then look at the prongs.

If they appear blackened or the metal strips are broken or detached, the plug needs to be replaced.

3. Take a look at the lamp’s switch.

The switch is usually located on the side of the socket.

If it looks scorched, melted, or loose, replace it. Even if it appears intact, you may still want to change the switch. A lamp’s switch can stop working overtime, so it’s best to replace it with a new one.

Is It Difficult to Rewire a Swing Arm Floor Lamp?

Rewiring a swing arm floor lamp is not particularly difficult and requires no special skills. All you need to do is gather the necessary materials, take apart the lamp, and then rewire it.

You can find all of the tools you’ll need at a home improvement store, such as a lamp socket and cord set, pliers, screwdriver, wire strippers, and electrical tape.

You can use the same procedure to rewire most lamps. Just make sure you know the wattage of the lamp and purchase a cord that matches it.

How to Rewire a Swing Arm Floor Lamp: Step by Step Instructions

The following steps will guide you through the process:

1. Preparation

You’ll need the following tools to rewire the swing arm floor lamp:

  • Wire stripper
  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement socket
  • Cord set
  • Electrical tape

Make sure the lamp is unplugged before you begin.

2. Disassembly

Step 1. Remove the bulb

There may be a small screw holding the bulb in place. If there is, you can use a screwdriver to remove it.

Reach up and grab the bulb, then pull it out. It should loosen fairly easily.

You may have to wiggle it back and forth a bit before it comes off completely.

Step 2. Remove the light socket from its housing

Locate the screws that hold the housing together. There should be one or two on either side of the socket.

Use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the metal housing onto the lamp’s arm and pull it away from the swing arm floor lamp.

Then, unplug the wires from the socket.

Step 3. Remove the old cord

You can gently pull on the cord to remove it from the lamp socket.

Another method is to twist the cord with needle-nose pliers until it snaps.

Also, you can cut off the end of the cord and strip the insulation off of the wires using wire strippers.

3. Assembly

Step 1. Attach the new cord

Once it is free, you can then attach the new cord in its place.

To do this, simply pass the cord through the pipe on the back of the lamp and secure it in place with the attached clamp.

Strip about 1/2 inch of insulation from each end of the new cord.

Twist each wire around its respective terminal on the new cord connector. Be sure to tighten screws securely and cut off any excess wire.

Step 2. Connect the new cord to the socket

Locate the wire connected to the bottom terminal on the socket.

Connect this wire to the ground wire from the cord using several inches of electrical tape.

Wrap each wire clockwise around its respective terminal screw on the new socket, then tighten the screws to secure it in place.

Step 3. Connect the new socket to the lamp’s switch

Locate the wire connected to the upper terminal on the old socket.

Connect this wire to the wire from the new socket that is attached to the top terminal of the switch.

Attach it using several inches of electrical tape and make sure to wrap clockwise around the screw on the new socket.

Then, connect the wire attached to the bottom terminal of the switch to one end of a line cord.

Wrap both of these securely with electrical tape.

Step 4. Reassemble the lamp.

Connect the light bulb and secure the shell of the lamp’s housing back on. Screw all screws back into place.

Once you’ve completed the rewiring, plug in the lamp and test.

Below is a video demonstrating the rewiring method:

What To Do Next:

Once you know how to rewire a swing arm floor lamp, you can try out your skills on more complex lamps.

Look for old or broken lamps at yard sales. You can also take apart lamps that don’t work and learn from those experiences as well.

Before rewiring a lamp, it is necessary to always look for the wattage rating of the bulb. This needs to be taken into consideration as it will ensure that the lamp does not overheat and lead to a fire.

When rewiring the light socket, make sure that the wire connections are secure and that the wiring is done in a way that will hold up well over time.

Also, check to ensure that no wires are showing. If they are, use electrical tape to cover them up.

After rewiring a lamp, do a quality check and ensure that all parts are secure and that nothing is loose or hanging off of the lamp.