This was intended to be my entry for the weekly switch challenge but it took 3 weeks for the switch i ordered on Amazon to be delivered so I missed the deadline but thought I'd go ahead and post this anyway.

Last summer I bought a chrome metal lamp at a garage sale for 5 bucks.    I really liked the chrome.   It worked fine for a while but after a few months the push button switch died.   Rather than simply replace the switch, which had already been done at least once, I thought this would be the perfect lamp for a touch switch.   with a touch switch you simply touch any metal on the lamp and it'll turn on/ off as well as dim.  since every bit of this lamp is metal, it's a perfect choice.  there are several types of touch switches available.  there is one that you plug into the wall and then plug the lamp into it.   This lamp doesn't have a threaded rod down the middle so the socket wiring is isolated from the body so i wasn't sure if that would work.   There is also a touch sensor socket that you screw in and then screw your bulb into that.   This lamp has the socket recessed in to the base so the screw in socket wouldn't work.  I went with the hard wired switch replacement.

To spice up the lamp I painted the base and the underside of the metal lamp shade.  I'm reasonable certain that the paint shouldn't interfere with the touch sensor but I'm typing this before it's complete so fingers crossed......

Step 1: Supplies / Tools

here's a simple supply list.  this may vary depending on your particular lamp.

Supply List
Touch switch
electrical tape
wire nuts
double stick foam tape

Wire cutter
wire stripper
screw driver (if you need to replace the existing socket)

additional supplies that may be required:
replacement socket
18 gauge wire if lamp wiring is bad
replacement felt for underside of lamp base
sacrificial extension cord to use if you need to replace the main power cord.

Before you purchase your switch, check what the electrical load will be so you can get the right sized switch.  Some lamps may have a 300 watt halogen bulb or may have multiple bulbs.  If you have a lamp with 3 sockets, each at 100 watts then that's 300 watts total load. Even if your only going to use 60's, you need to size the switch to handle the maximum.  My lamp has a single socket with a maximum rating of 100 watts.   The switch is rated for 200 watts and I don't go any higher than 60 so this will work fine.  Hopefully in the future I'll swap the incandescent for an LED bulb but currently quality dimmable LED bulbs are out of my price range. 

My local big box store didn't have any of these switch's so I ordered it from Amazon. 

This lamp has a shallow base so I initially thought that I'd have to build a base plate to give enough room for the switch, but I was happily surprised that it fit. 

Interesting, thanks for sharing!
I ordered one from China but it doesn't seem to work. I also tried a led lamp and that one starts blinking every second or so. So i guess the touch-thingy works. Is it too low powered? Does anyone have a suggestion?
<p>Thanks for these instructions! I would try this, but it's a new lamp that I want to convert to a touch lamp for my mother and there is no threaded tube up the middle. The wire goes up an external tube and it's not threaded, so I think to make this work, I'd have to drill a hole in the base and attach the wire to the base with a screw and I'd rather not do this to a new designer lamp... I did buy the plug-in converter and it doesn't work - it makes the lamp blink on and off. I bought another, assuming that the converter was defective and got the same result. And it happened with two different lamps! Any idea what might cause that to happen? Thanks!</p>
<p>Regarding the light socket, plugged in to the outlet/socket adapter, which was screwed into the socket - two things come to mind. Either a previous owner wanted the bulb to sit higher (and didn't have, want to buy, or know to buy, a long-neck bulb) or someone screwed in the outlet adapter and then later couldn't get it out, so then the person &quot;fixed it&quot; with a plug in socket. The latter is the most likely. </p>
<p>I would recommend not taking any advice from this post telling people you can wire the lamp any way changing the leads, you should have your license revoked with that advice thats a shock hazard and is not up to osha reg.</p>
<p>&quot;Technically with a 2 prong ungrounded lamp, you can wire it either way...&quot;</p><p>this is true, but if the lamp is wired backwards, you can get a shock replacing the bulb if you touch the socket.</p>
What do you mean &quot;don't play drums on it&quot;? I'm guessing the bulb goes out and shorts the switch? Could you put a fuse in somewhere to protect it?
I have a couple of vintage pole lamps one has two lights the other has three. Each swich controls each of the lights independently. Would this work with them?
I wonder if this will work with a bottle lamp? You would have to have a metal shade right?
If your lamp has a metal base with a metal rod that connects to the socket then this will work. you don't need a metal shade. you may be limited to only being able to touch the base to turn the lamp on/off.<br>If you check you local hardware store there are other touch switch options that plug into the wall and then the lamp plugs into it with no need to rewire the lamp.<br>I didn't think it would work with this lamp but it may with yours.<br><br>
I used your design. Very nice. I trained my dog to turn the light on and off. Now looking for a lamp for the other room.
Haha i rubbed my socks on the floor and shocked my moms touch lamp with my finger and i broke it! lol but now i have to pay :(
Wow. I had no idea that static electricity could fry the thing. This is my first time using a touch sensor. My house is all hardwood floors so hopefully no static :)<br>I would suggest one of the plug sensors but since your lamps switch is bad that probably won't work will it? Switch is $10 which isn't to bad. Just learn from my lesson and study the wiring before hooking it up so u don't fry the switch like I did :)
Oh how i wish we had Home Depot in this country. Sweden seems devoid of such kits. Not even the pro shops have them.
Can you order stuff from amazon? the first switch I got, I ordered online. <br>
Of course i can. I just didn't think of it. You wrote it out plain for all to see, but somehow i missed it. The first kit is already on its way. Thanks.
This is SUCH a little nit-pick... Honestly, I feel bad for even mentioning it... But it is 'cord' not 'chord'.<br><br>One is a length of small wire/string, and the other is a grouping of complimentary notes on a musical instrument.<br><br>Everything is else is totally awesome though!
Thank you! <br>I can't spell to save my life. I've become dependednt on spell checker. If I type a word that's an actual word then I'm screwed. <br>by day I'm an architect, I'm trying to think how many projects I wrote chord, rather than cord? dozens, at least <br>:)
Oh goodness... isn't &quot;Chord of Wood&quot; also a building supply unit of measurement?<br>
I have two made- in-China lamps that I like but I continually have problems with the switches. This sounds like an idea I need to try. The big thing that struck me though is the ongoing problems I have with switches on vacuum cleaners, appliances and tools. They just don't last anymore. Makes me wonder what kind of fire hazard todays electrical components are creating.
Awesome job. My grandparents had one of these types of lamps in their house, and I always loved it. Had I known making one was this simple I'd have done it long ago!
Thanks. <br>i recommend that if your lamp can handle it, that you use either the socket touch sensor or the plug in one. neither of those require any wiring at all. i didn't think those would work with this lamp which is why i went with the hard wired option which was also pretty easy once i figured out what i was doing <br>:)
very interesting ^)

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an architect by day. I love doing projects by night, both on my own and with my kids
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