The light bulb socket adapter I'm talking about is the one with two female AC plugs on each side and a you can screw a light bulb on top. I screwed this socket into my light fixture outside of my house, there's one on each side of my garage, and I screwed a light bulb into the adapter then I screwed the adapter into the light fixture outside of my house. It didn't work. When I removed the adapter form the light fixture and screwed in a light bulb into the fixture outside the light bulb when on. I took the adapter and tried it on a lamp inside of my house and it worked fine. Will not work on the light fixture outside, but the fixture works fine with a light bulb in it. I returned the adapter to Lowe's and got a new one and the same thing happened. The light fixture outside works fine with a light bulb in it, but will not work with the adapter in it. Very frustrating. I hope I explained myself well. Hope you can help me. I'm trying to put up Xmas lights outside. Thanks.

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    Moving this to a comment, because it's not an answer: I don't believe these adapters have any circuitry inside them so I don't think there could be a difference between how they work inside and outside. Therefore, I'm going to guess that the outdoor socket is bad. I realize you said you tested the outdoor socket without the adapter and it worked, but I have also used these adapters and they tend to put pressure on the socket because they are longer and act a bit like a lever. So I'm thinking your outdoor socket has a loose connection or is degraded from weathering and faulty.
    – ssaltman
    Nov 9, 2015 at 16:13
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    I agree with ssaltman that the adapter shouldn't function differently between two fixtures, and if it does it most likely has something to do with the fixture than the adapter. I would suggest looking further into the outdoor fixture. Also, I assume that this outdoor fixture is somehow weather protected (covered porch or other weathertight fixture)? The adapter you are referring (it would be GREAT if you would post photos of the adapter and fixture) normally are not for outdoor use.
    – paulmz
    Nov 9, 2015 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


It is possible that the outter shell (Screw portion) of the outside lamp is longer not allowing the adapter to screw all the way in and touch the center contact. with the switch off(perferrably circuit breaker off) you might try pulling the center contact out so it will make contact. if this works you may need to place some insulating material behind the contact so it wont push back in when it gets warm from the light, Please if you do this make sure the circuit is turned off best checked with a volt meter or non contact "tick tester" so you dont light yourself up.

  • Ed I did what you suggested pulling the center contact up a bit and it worked fine. So simple don't know why I didn't think of it. My XMAS lights look great. Thanks for all the replies.
    – Peter
    Nov 10, 2015 at 16:41

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