Introduction: How to Disassemble an IKEA Hemma Cord Set

The IKEA Hemma Cord set. Simple, affordable, versatile.
Ever need to disassemble/deconstruct/separate the Hemma's components to feed just the wire through a lighting project? Instructions to do so couldn't be found on the Internet, so I tackled the project and am sharing in the hopes that it helps others with their projects!

The point of this Instructable is to demonstrate how to pull apart an IKEA Hemma Cord Set into its separate components. Once this is done, you'll be able to feed the electrical wire of the cord set through much smaller openings/holes than the cord set normally allows.

Step 1: The Tiny Tab That Keeps the Head Together

Make sure the cord set is unplugged at any point that you're working on it.

Inside the socket, there's a small golden metal tab. This tab creates the electrical connection with a light bulb (when one is screwed into the socket). For now, though, this tab is keeping us from being able to unscrew the head of this fixture.

Insert a slender screwdriver between the end of this tab & the side of the socket -- then pry the tab upwards just enough to ensure that the tab is clear of the ribs on the inside of the socket.

Step 2: Unscrew the Socket Head From the Socket

Now that the tab has been pried up, the head of the socket can be unscrewed rather easily.

Step 3: Remove the Socket's Inner Components

Once the head of the socket has been removed, you'll see that the inner components are (basically) secured within the socket by pressure.

Remove the electrical connection part of the base (the black plastic part that makes contact with the bulb) by simply pulling it outwards with your fingers.

Then, use a slender screwdriver (or similar instrument) to pry the rest of the components out. The white tabs through which the wire feeds are held in place by pressure against the surrounding socket. They should come out with a combination of prying & pulling. Shouldn't be too difficult.

Step 4: Break the Inner Tabs

This is probably the trickiest part of the dis-assembly of the Hemma Cord Set -- as it requires that we break part of the inner plastic connections in order to release the socket components.

In the accompanying photo, you'll see an inner bushing that has tabs on each side (in the upper left quadrant of the photo).

The method that worked for me was using some pliers (wrapped with tape to protect the plastic) to twist the top of the socket until those tabs snapped. Work delicately & slowly here. Too much force will damage the outer plastic.

Once the tabs snap, you'll see that the interior bushing twists freely (shown in the lower-right quadrant of the photo).

After the tabs have snapped, you'll be able to simply unscrew the top cap that is holding the remaining socket components to the wire (lower-left quadrant of the photo).

Step 5: Remove Remaining Parts

If you slide the socket housing and cap up the wire a bit, all you are left with is what you see in the top of this photo.

Using a small screwdriver, unscrew the posts holding the black & white wires in place (noting that the black wire is connected to the gold post and the white wire is connected to the silver post).

Then, you can slide the remaining plastic pieces off with your fingers.

Step 6: You're Done!

That's it. All the components should now be off the main electrical wire.

To provide an example of why you might wish to remove all of these components, I've included a photo from a recent test project: feeding the wire of the Hemma Cord Set through an IKEA Ekby Valter wall bracket (


databoy (author)2012-12-09

This project should be removed from the Instructables database before an innocent person is electrocuted.


"Ever need to disassemble/deconstruct/separate the Hemma's components to feed just the wire through a lighting project? Instructions to do so couldn't be found on the Internet, so I tackled the project and am sharing in the hopes that it helps others with their projects!"

In your egoistic wisdom to broadcast to the world that you are capable of dismantling electrical products you also have displayed a contemptuous disregard for electrical product safety.

If you read the Ikea instructions, Ikea lampholders and cable assemblies are purely a use once and discard products.

Electricity kills people. Breaking the inner tabs in the lampholder comprises the ISO safety standards. That is why the cable is fitted with a mounded polarized plug and the lampholder contains a tamper proof mechanism not designed as a DIY dismantle after the factory assembly.

tulsa_jerm (author)databoy2016-12-06

The lamp holder, as it ships, is capable of electrocuting anyone foolish enough to place two fingers into the socket in exactly the right manner while the cord is energized.

ISO is a standards organization, not a safety organization. This procedure voids the *listing* of the product, which means exactly nothing to the end user.

Your comment should be removed because it clearly violates the "be nice" rule of this site. You are not helping anyone, you are not being nice, you are not being positive nor constructive, and no one, ever, anywhere, has ever, and will never, be killed by a HEMMA cord set.

PaulinLabelle (author)2015-11-09

are you absolutely sure this is safe

hanttula (author)PaulinLabelle2015-11-10

Of course not, there is nothing in life that is *absolutely* safe. While this is a simple project with minimal modifications, there's no accounting for how you might go about it. If you're not sure of your comfort with working with things that carry electricity - DO NOT follow this Instructable. This is true of any Instructable, naturally. Just because someone puts together a set of instructions, it doesn't mean that every reader should follow them.

If you're seeking a similar solution with less risk, perhaps replacing the plug would suit your needs.

dotsie.watson.5 (author)2015-10-11

The polarized plug is rather important as the earthed (ground or white wire) side must be connected to the outside shell of the socket, never to the center contact. This is to ensure that someone unscrewing the bulb and touching accidentally the screw threaded part of the bulb base will not get a shock.

BartholomewH (author)2015-06-12

Are you sure it will not explode after I reassemble it? :D

mark.pettovello (author)2015-01-18

After completing Step 3 to disassemble the last two parts:

Note 1: The default display on the web site only shows the first 3 of 6 steps. Go to the top and click the tiny button with tiny squares on it left of the Six Steps button to show all six steps.

Note 2: Step 4 says that you need to break the inner tabs. This action was unnecessary for me. All I needed to do was use a pair of pliers (wrap the teeth with duct tape to not damage the plastic) to grab the small knurled nut and unscrewed the two components.

kenhhk (author)2014-06-18

Hi, I got to this point and couldn't figure out how to disassemble the last plastic piece. Can someone help? Thanks!

photo (16).JPG
AntonioR2 (author)kenhhk2014-09-21

Did you figure it out? I have the same problem.

Julien Thibeault (author)2012-12-07

Took me less than 5 minutes to complete. I was looking to do exactly that for the first part of my next instructable. Thanks!

kenhhk (author)Julien Thibeault2014-06-18

Hi Julien,

I got to this last part and couldn't get the plastic pieces disassembled to pull out the cord entirely. Can you let me know how you did it?



photo (16).JPGphoto (17).JPG

That's awesome; so glad that it worked out for you!

It looks like you did a very clean job of dis-assembly, too! If you have any notes on what could have made it easier, please let me know & I'll update the Instructable.

alidavaha (author)2013-03-08

Maybe I should add....I'm working with an orange cord. Just tried with another one (I bought 10 when they were on sale for $2 each) and it worked perfectly! Anyone have any idea if they are different?

hanttula (author)alidavaha2013-03-09

I wish I could help. I only have experience with the version of the cord used in this Instructable. As a few readers pointed out, you could always just replace the plug end (with something like one of these if you need to feed the cable through small openings.

alidavaha (author)2013-03-08

I'm having a lot of trouble with Step 2 - I can't get the pieces to unscrew! The first time I did this it worked perfectly, but now have tried on 4 other Hemma cords and just can't get any of them to unscrew! I'm definitely lifting the tabs up enough. Any tips? Thanks!!

ybunnygurl (author)2013-01-21

This is handy when I don's feel like replacing the plug, but i would snap not break parts.

I suppose all the people on here saying that taking apart the lamp makes it a safety and fire hazard, would bulk at me who is not licensed master electrician putting a switch on my Hemma cord set. And you would be rely reeling if you knew I have replaced 2 mains on my circuit breaker, were the mains load was a 20 amp, but the wiring in my house is only a 15 amp. I payed a licensed master electrician to do the work, but he was to lazy to do it right.

Daeglan (author)2012-12-20

Wouldn't it be easier and faster to just notch the wood?

hanttula (author)Daeglan2012-12-20

If this was an Instructable about making the hanging light, yes. But, that final picture was just to show ONE reason you may need to disassemble the unit. The Instructable itself was about the process not just what was shown in that final image.

wjgp (author)2012-12-13

Do some folk here need a hug?
The internet is full of instructions for working on mains voltage of all potentials.
Home Depot has shelves of DIY mains plugs,sockets, lamp holders etc, as do the hardware stores in any country you care to visit.
Statistically, the countries that have laws restricting who can deal with mains wiring and fixings have the same number of electrocutions as those that don't.
This instructable was written by a member in good faith trying to share his gained experience. There is no implied compulsion to follow it. Ikea's use of double bend fixation of a double insulated wire is maintained by his instructions. This technique is actually safer than the screw clamp, or worse, constriction wire retention used in most over the counter lamp holders.
In my experience,those who shout warnings of impending disaster are usually trying to protect a vested interest in the subject. I would be interested if they ever fix their own cars rather than using a motor mechanic.......more people die in motor vehicle accidents than via electrocution
However, if they truly feel this is a safety issue, they are in for a busy time as folk seem bent on melting and casting metal, cooking food without food handling protocols in place,assembling wheeled vehicle without engineering certification and using FCC equipment outside manufactures guidelines without approval.

Its Christmas, can't we all just get along? If there is a real safety issue, politely point it out and most people take it on board and adjust their instructable accordingly. If the method is to twist two mains wires together and fix with chewing gum, by all means point the folly out fast, but this instructable is at an industry standard level of reassembly....I just wish I could say the same of some of the 'Trade' installations I have been involved in checking.

wjgp (author)2012-12-10

I'm pretty sure the broken tabs do not compromise the Iso Cert, if my reading of the standards is correct, otherwise most electrical goods relying on looped cord fixation would not comply. Relying the cord feed tube is replaced, even if it rotates, the iso cert safety is maintained.
I'm also pretty sure reference to someones "egotistical wisdom" and implying it may get someone " electrocuted" is not in line with either the be nice policy of this site or in the spirit of a site that posts instructables on how to make smelting furnaces, knives, road going vehicles and numerous other electrical hacks.
I believe implicit in the nature of the site is 'use common sense and don't try it if you dont understand it'

"Life is a terminal condition!"w-

hanttula (author)wjgp2012-12-10

Thank you for this comment. I created the Instructable just to be helpful to others and didn't really know of the appropriate way to address the points that you referenced with the other commenter. Your comment was insightful and, well, made me feel better. Thank you.

DustyBoots (author)hanttula2012-12-13

I think it's best to simply assume @Jimmeh30's coffee was cold that morning. That would make me irritable too.

Jimmeh30 (author)2012-12-13

The reason there are no instructions on the net for working on mains voltage is because it's FKN DANGEROUS if you don't know what you're doing, for you and for anyone else that does and has to rework your fk ups.

As pointed out by someone on a previous page, you could squeeze the bushing back in, instead of "breaking out the tabs" and probably compremising the integrity of the unit.

Doing this is a very simple process for the mechanically and electrically APT, for those who ARE NOT (not pointing any fingers) I would suggest leaving the pliers and screwdrivers in the hardware store, and paying someone who knows what to do, rather than follow, I dunno, an "ible" for eg, and break things while creating something that may or may not be dangerous given that you have no idea what you're looking at or wether or not the advise given is true, correct, or SAFE.

DustyBoots (author)Jimmeh302012-12-13

"[b]We have a "be nice" comment policy.[/b] Please be positive and constructive with your comments"
Seems like you didn't read that part before engaging Flame Mode.

cburgess7x (author)2012-12-11

you can squeeze the bushing and push it in, avioding tab breaking

databoy (author)2012-12-09


Previous post should read:

Electricity kills people. Breaking the inner tabs in the lampholder compromises the ISO safety standards. That is why the cable is fitted with a mounded polarized plug and the lampholder contains a tamper proof mechanism not designed as a DIY dismantle after the factory assembly.

In simple English:

Once the lampholder tabs are broken the lampholder is no longer ISO safety certified.

Spokehedz (author)databoy2012-12-09

You can edit posts...

marhar (author)2012-12-09

Very nice! I would have instinctively cut off and replaced the plug... thanks for the insight that the other end can be deconstructed as well! And it's interesting to see how the mechanism works!

MrBillG59 (author)2012-12-09

Good job, but it might have been much easier just to cut the plug off and then put on a replacement plug.

hanttula (author)MrBillG592012-12-09

The plug end is molded in place (within the rubber/plastic). Taking apart the socket instead of cutting off & replacing the plug does not require any additional parts and allows for a cleaner "finished product" (since replacement plugs are usually fairly bulky).

ElZorro (author)hanttula2012-12-09

You could "keyhole" the bracket so that the light cord could simply fit without modification.

hanttula (author)ElZorro2012-12-09

Excellent point. The example of my particular usage was just to demonstrate a project completed from the disassembled socket. The focus of the Instructable itself is, of course, for those just seeking a way to take apart the Hemma cord set.

Snidely70448 (author)2012-12-09

This type of replacement plug is quite inexpensive, and not at all clunky.

hanttula (author)Snidely704482012-12-09

That does look quite good!

AdamVanMeter (author)2012-12-09

This is handy! I have a few of these lying around, after I got sick of seeing the cords everywhere. Now I have a great idea on what to do with them. Thanks!

Kimbones (author)2012-12-06

Nice way of doing it, also nice to know that they keep it simple enough for disassembly. But wouldn't it be easier just to redo the wall plug end instead? Just for simplicity that is.

hanttula (author)Kimbones2012-12-07

The plug end is molded in place (within the rubber/plastic). Taking apart the socket instead of cutting off & replacing the plug allows for a cleaner "finished product" and does not require any additional parts (such as a replacement plug).

audreyobscura (author)2012-12-05

this came out really well, i like the profile of your design a lot.

hanttula (author)audreyobscura2012-12-05

Thanks! I tried to make it clear & straightforward. I hope this helps somebody out!

About This Instructable




More by hanttula:Adding Depth (and Swagger) to IKEA's Otherwise Flat Hexagonal Hönefoss MirrorsHow to Disassemble an IKEA Hemma Cord SetConverting the IKEA Stollet Hanging Lamp Into a Better Table Lamp
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