This project got started because I was going through $2-$3 300 watt halogen light bulbs about once a month and because the lamp in my office made as good a heater as it did a lamp.
I wound up converting 3 lamps for a total cost of about $12 in lamp parts
6 ceramic light sockets
2 3-way switches
1 25' roll of 14awg single conductor stranded copper wire
The lamps have been working great for about 3 months now. They're saving me money on electricity and light bulbs.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Lamps and Decide What You Need
I had 3 lamps I wanted to convert (one was already fluorescent but with a blown ballast) the 2 halogen lamps had dimmer switches which won't work with fluorescent lights and if left on low will burn them out pretty quick.
I found a three way chain switch at the hardware store which looked like it would fit in the tube in place of the dimmer switch.
The pre-fluorescent lamp already had a 3-way rotary switch so there was no need to replace it.
Step 2: Demolition
Remove all the electronics and any hardware not welded to the top of the lamp.
You will want to leave the cords that are strung through the lamp where they are as we will reuse these.
Step 3: Wire It Up
I've included a simple wiring diagram here for how to connect the switch and the lamps. If the wiring diagram is not clear let me know and I will try to put up some more info.
All of the components I was using had pigtails so I used wire nuts to secure the connections. (sorry no pics I finished the project a long time ago and just found this site recently)
You may need to use some additional wire as there were only 2 wires going from the dimmer switch to the top of the lamp and now there will be 3 (hot A, hot B, and neutral). Make sure to use a heavy enough gauge of wire to carry the voltage.
Step 4: Mount the Sockets
The next step is to mount the light sockets. How you do this will depend on your lamp. I was lucky, after I took apart the halogen lamps there were a couple of threaded holes on a bar welded across the center of the lamp. There were also some left over screws that fit perfectly. I drilled out the threads on my light socket's mounting bracket and screwed the sockets to the bar as in the pictures.
The lamp that was already a fluorescent didn't have any pre-threaded holes but there was a big plastic hub in the center so I drilled a pilot hole for each lamp and screwed them in place with sheet metal screws.