My beloved bedside lamp fell down, on the carpet so it wasn't a big hit, and it stopped working. Now, I tried to replace the bulb, but it doesn't change anything. Since this had happened to me another time in the recent past, I thought it would be useful to ask a few things here:

What is the best way to make my lamp re-usable, not spending more than the cost of a new lamp?

  • What kind of lamp is it?
    – TeresaMcgH
    Dec 17 '13 at 20:03
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    Welcome to Sustainable Living! I'm not sure I understand your first question, but perhaps something like this is what you are looking for? As for you second question (which is off-topic here BTW!), you might want to try diy.stackexchange.com
    – THelper
    Dec 17 '13 at 21:30
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    It would be worth trying the replacement bulb in a different light to ensure you're testing with a working bulb. Dec 17 '13 at 21:41
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    Generally yes, I see repairing as a form of reuse/reduction, but this question is still rather off-topic. It seems your practice with electricity is limited. It's ok to learn first, but someone skilled should oversee you while doing so. Please be warned about electricity's powerful nature - it can serve, but it can kill you too. Browsing the internet or asking somebody after an electric shock might be too late:)
    – Peter Ivan
    Dec 18 '13 at 7:44
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    I've removed your second question because list questions are off-topic. We will try to make a list of great DIY sites on the diy-tag info page of this site, for future reference. Please update your remaining question and make clear what exactly you mean with "make my lamp re-usable"
    – THelper
    Dec 18 '13 at 8:50

In my opinion, fixing rather than repurchasing is part of sustainability. Of course others believe otherwise, and that's okay.

It depends upon the type of lamp, e.g., touch-to-light, mechanical switch, other.

My guess is there is a problem with the lamp socket. The first thing I'd do is use my trusty voltage detector (VD) to verify there was voltage in the socket. Make sure you try the VD with the switch in every position.

voltage detector

Silly test: verify the outlet is hot (the VD's tip fits in the socket for that very reason), then verify the VD registers voltage where lamp's cord enters the lamp's body.

If there was voltage, then I'd check the contacts to verify they're not bent/etc so they are making good contact with the bulb (DO NOT TOUCH THE CONTACTS IF THE LAMP IS PLUGGED IN). They can be bent back to where they should be with a small screwdriver/pencil.

The VD should point you to the problem: outlet, cord, socket, switch. All of these parts can be found in your local hardware store. Make sure you ask for help when you are there. If you pull the "real guys (or gals) don't ask for directions" card, you can seriously injure or kill someone (or yourself!) by using a part that is not designed for what you are trying to do.

When in doubt, get an electrician's help. Even if you have to fork out $500, that's far cheaper than replacing a burned-down house or an injured loved one.

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