Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Antique Lamps


Over the past few weeks, we've had several of our antique table lamps re-wired. It started with on of our lamps being quite a challenge to turn on. We would have to turn the switch to just the right point in order for the bulb to come on, which would usually take several turns.

I discovered that this means that the switch is bad and can be a fire hazard because the lamp may be on when the bulb isn't illuminated. 


A more obvious sign that it is time for updates is a tattered cloth cord with exposed wiring. 


Another trick to determine if your cord should be replaced is to bend it in half. If you see cracks form in the bend, it's probably time to update.


We've been replacing our old cloth and vinyl cords with new cloth cords. The reproduction cloth versions come in various colors (my local antique light repairman had a selection of brown, gold and white in his shop).

In addition to updating the cords and plugs, we've also updated bad switches with new three-way switches. I honestly had never considered this before, but it was an option that I thought we'd try. Now that most of our table lamps are three-way lights, I absolutely love the versatility it offers in the lighting a room.

The cost of updating a table lamp has run us between $25 and $35 each, depending on how much gets updated. The cost is well worth it for the peace of mind that safety brings, along with the added aesthetic benefit of the lighting versatility.

16 comments :

Victoria said...

I love alabaster lamps your's is a wonderful find. You are so right about peace of mind however I did not realize I could still get cloth cords. I will definitely look into that. Thanks for the FYI.

Dianne said...

I am loving the sneak peeks we are getting of your new rental. It looks so warm and friendly.

penelopebianchi said...

How completely lovely and exciting that you recommend the "cloth-covered" cords for old lamps!!

I have been a decorator for so many years it gives me a headache to count! But those vinyl and plastic cords give me even more of a headache with beautiful old lamps!

There are many places all over the country which will do beautiful "silk wrapped cords) which are so much more beautiful and compatible with lovely old lamps!

Bravo!!!

kathy said...

Inspired by your antique alabaster lamps, I was able to find and purchase one for our home. While functional, the old cord worried me and honestly, our old lamp needed some new hardware. I was so happy with the choice of new cords and plugs. The fabric covered cords are wonderful. I think a worthy investment. Giving new life to our old lamp will keep it, safely around, for a long time!

Rebecca T. said...

Several of my antique/old lamps need the cords and switches replaced. I had no idea the cords could be replaced with cloth covered ones. What a great idea!

Yuko Jones said...

I have two alabaster lamps myself and I enjoy them very much. One still needs to be rewired, and the other came rewired when I purchased it. But it's a dark brown fabric covered cord I might change it to a white one (the dark cord stands out like a sore thumb against a light gray wall.) It's great to know how much it'll cost to update.

Anonymous said...

I keep admiring the colour of your window trim! I realize you're in a rental, but do you know what it is? Perhaps you chose it, or painted it?

NanaNor's said...

Hi, We just finished rewiring an old antique lamp we have. So glad we did! We also have an antique clock that quit working and the man who took a look at it said they were never meant to last this long; we were lucky it didn't catch fire.
Great reminder today!
Thanks,
Noreen

Catherine said...

I do not know the window trim color - neither does the homeowner. We have been somewhat successful in having it matched for touch-ups.
Best, Catherine

Anonymous said...

Lovely to see the statue I remember from the old house in the window, and very exciting to see another new post. Thank you for sharing with all of us.--Em

Linda said...

A great reminder for folks and good advice for options. It is a chore to have the rewiring done but so necessary! About 17 years ago we replaced wiring and shades on inherited lamps and one uses a lot overseas with differnt voltage. It is time again. This time however, we are able to space them out so cost and inconvenience is manageable.

Brandi said...

My husband rewires all the antique lamps we find too! It is such a nice way to preserve such beautiful quality finds!
B

Ashley said...

I couldn't agree more! I've had antique lamps rewired as well as two demijohns converted into table lamps--all well worth the minimal cost.

katie snead said...

This is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I would have been so stressed about hanging over the off centered fireplace, but I LOVE what you did!

Petra said...

Great post, I must try and find someone in my area who re-wires lamps. Your ideas are always informative and inspirational!

Fiona said...

Just looking at this post again and see that we have the same taste in books. Some duplicates and some similar to on my bookshelf. I have one old alabaster lamp, must get my husband to check it.

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