About a week ago the bulb blew in one of my lamps and when I put a new bulb in it still didn't work. I tried the bulb in a different lamp and it was fine so just thought oh well I need to get a new lamp. But today the same thing has happened with a different lamp. The bulb has blown and the lamp will not work with a new one. I'm a bit worried as this seems like a strange coincidence. Both these lamps have worked for years with many bulbs blowing, and now they both go in the same week. I don't mind buying 2 new lamps but I'm worried there's some underlying problem with the electrics that will cause it to happen again when I get new ones. The sockets are still working and other electrical appliances seem fine. But could it be something like too much electricity getting through which would be too much for table lamps but the other things (an electric heater and a laptop) would still be fine? Any ideas appreciated!

  • I just fixed a 1940's vintage lamp. The cord, a replacement, not original equip, was cracked near the lamp base and needed replacement. While doing that I found that a screw which holds one of the power connectors up tight to the socket had worked loose and needed tightening. I fixed that. The springy bit of brass or copper in the center of the socket had gotten bent down too far to make good contact with the bulb base, and was heavily oxidized. I pried it up a bit, and sanded it down to clean metal. The lamp now works perfectly. If you're not comfortable doing all those things, buy new lamps. Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


Occasionally when a lamp blows the elements short and create a large amount of heat the center conductor may not be touching or the switch may have failed. The fact 2 lamps blew in a short period may be due to power spikes in your area but unless you have other household items not working verify there is a connection from the cord to the center then the other side of the cord to the shell of the lamp holder. If the center is not working on either side of the cord and turning the switch on still provides no continuity the switch is probably bad and will need to be replaced. A cheap 10$ ohm meter is all you need to check the cord/switch combination and you can even check the bulb to see if it is good by measuring from the center to outside.

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