Lamp Stopped Working – How To Fix A Faulty Light – Lamp Repair

I have a sentimental lamp that stopped working. I changed the light bulb but the light still does not work. The lamp is about 50 years old and in bad condition. The light/electrical outlet circuit breaker is turned on. Please help me to troubleshoot my lamp as it has sentimental value. What parts of a lamp can fail and cause the light to not work?

Lamp Stopped Working - How To Fix A Faulty Light - Lamp RepairLAMP REPAIRLamp Stopped Working – How To Fix A Faulty Light?

HOW TO FIX A LAMP THAT DOES NOT TURN ON: Be sure the lamp is plugged in, try a different power outlet, make sure the power outlet is on, try a different light bulb, check the circuit breaker, screw the bulb all the way in, wipe off the threads on the light bulb, turn the light switch to ON. Are the brass socket tabs at the bottom of the light socket positioned correctly? Bend with needle nose pliers if needed. Is the top of the lamp loose? Over time, spinning can make the wires disconnect. Inspect the wiring to be confirm it is secure/not loose.

If your lamp does not illuminate, then a faulty bulb, a faulty power outlet, a faulty switch, a faulty light socket, a faulty plug, a faulty brass tab, or a faulty cord may be the issue. You will need to troubleshoot the issue to fix the lamp. See below for a step-by-step guide to fix your lamp.

Lamp Parts IllustrationLamp Parts Illustration – Credit: Pinterest

Lamp Repair KitLamp Repair/Replacement Kit


First check that the light bulb is not burned out. Be sure the bulb is cooled down and remove it from the lamp. Gently shake the light bulb to see if it’s burned out. You will hear a small piece of the filament in the bulb moving around if the bulb is bad. Change the light bulb if it is burnt out.


If the bulb is working, next check to be sure the lamp is getting power. Check that the lamp is plugged in. If the lamp is plugged in check to see if the power outlet is live. Go to the circuit breaker box and check the breaker for the outlet the lamp plugs into. Turn the breaker on. (If the breaker is already tripped you may have a bigger problem and have an electrical issue, you will need to troubleshoot or call an electrician to remedy the issue.)


If the bulb is good and the breaker is on, check that the switch is working properly. The lamp will have a switch where the bulb screws into on the socket or on the power cord. Inspect the light switch and be sure it is functioning properly. You should hear a clicking noise when the switch is pressed or turned. If the switch is not functioning properly, unplug the lamp and take the switch apart. Replace the switch if necessary.


The light socket may have debris in it and therefore the bulb cannot make a connection. Unplug the lamp, remove the light bulb and inspect inside the bulb socket. At the bottom of the light socket, check to see if the electrical bulb terminals are flat and not making contact with the bulb. Be sure lamp is unplugged and pull up on the terminals so the light bulb can make a connection. If damage is found you will have to replace the light socket.


If all other parts of the lamp are in working order, check the lamp power cord. Unplug the cord and inspect for damage. If the cord is damaged, this can make it so the light does not receive power. The power cord may be old and brittle and needs to be replaced. Remove and replace the lamp power cord if damage is found.


The electrical plug may have an issue. Inspect the electrical plug to be sure it is not damaged. If the plug is damaged it will need to be removed and replaced.


Unplug the lamp from the power outlet. Check for continuity with a multimeter from the plug to the socket when it is switched on. Check the switch for continuity when it is switched on. You will find the part that has failed if this is an electrical issue.


Light cannot be turned on? You may have a broken knob on the light switch. A lamp replacement knob is inexpensive and can be replaced easily. You will need a new knob. Remove the old knob by unscrewing it. Screw in the new knob and test the light to be sure it lights up.

Lamp Not Working – Lamp Repair

Need help with a lamp that does not illuminate? Please leave your question below with the problem you are having. We can get back with you and assist you with fixing your lamp or light.

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9 thoughts on “Lamp Stopped Working – How To Fix A Faulty Light – Lamp Repair”

  1. Ellen Singletary

    I have a lamp that only turns on (sometimes) as I’m switching from off to on. Once I hear the click that should indicate it has been turned on, the turns off again. Would this more than likely be a switch or socket issue?

  2. Appliance Repair Assistant

    Luana wolnicki,
    Possibly the light has burned out or there is no power.
    Is the switch to turn it on working?

  3. Luana wolnicki

    Led lamp stopped working but still clicking noise ??? Tried a fuse not the problem ?

  4. Lamp stopped working after a bulb blew. Any suggestions on fixing problem? Breaker on, other devices on the outlet work, tried multiple new bulbs, the bulbs work in other lamps. The lamp is less than 5 yrs old.

  5. My in-laws have two table lamps that have a light up on the top and in the base. One of them will not come on in the top and the other will not come on in the base. I checked the bulbs and they are good. They are getting power so that is not the problem. These lamps are too pretty to throw away. What would cause one part to work and the other not? Thanks for any help you could give.

  6. Rewired an antique floor lamp with a light in the base. The base light and switch work fine but when you turn on the top light it burns out with a flash, could the top socket be broken? I don’t think I wired it wrong. If so where would I fine one, large socket with large three way large bulb.

  7. ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant

    Betty Sowa,
    Floor lamp with foot switch – Foot switch stopped working.
    Yes this can be fixed. Unplug the lamp and take apart the foot switch.
    The foot switch is most likely cracked or has a wiring issue.
    You can either repair it or buy a new foot switch and install it yourself.
    Check some online stores or your local hardware store for “Lamp Foot/Floor Switch”.

  8. I have a stand up lamp that you turn on/off by foot because the switch is located on the on the floor (plug).
    It was stopped working, can it be fixed?

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