Archive for Monday, February 13, 2012


Fix-It Chick: New dimmer can bring touch lamp back to life

February 13, 2012


Scot M. Kunen invented the touch lamp in 1984 and updated his patent in 1987. Since that time, the dimmable touch control has found its way into many different lamps.

If your table-top touch lamp has stopped working, replacing the touch dimmer control box in the base of the lamp may easily brighten your day.

Step 1: Unplug the lamp and remove the lamp shade and light bulb.

Step 2: Lay the lamp on its side and remove the lamp base to expose the wiring inside. If the base is covered with felt, carefully pull back the felt. Otherwise, simply loosen the mounting screws and remove the base plate.

Step 3: Locate the old control box in the lamp base and disconnect the box wires from the lamp by unscrewing each of the three wire nuts.

Step 4: Remove the yellow signal wire running from the control box to the base of the lamp’s threaded rod by unscrewing the nut from the threaded rod and slipping the yellow wire contact ring off the rod.

Step 5: Slide the wire ring from the new control box onto the lamp’s threaded rod and secure the ring in place, as before.

Step 6: Using a wire nut, attach the black wire from the new control box to the lamp cord wire running from the smaller blade of the lamp’s plug end.

Step 7: Use another wire nut to attach the grey wire from the new control box to both the wire running from the larger blade of the lamp’s plug end and the wire running up to the lamp socket.

Step 8: Connect the brown or red wire from the new control box to the remaining wire running up to the lamp socket.

Step 9: Secure each of the wire nut connections with a small amount of electrical tape.

Step 10: Check the wire nut connections to assure there are no loose wires and check the control box wiring diagram to confirm that the lamp is wired correctly.

Step 11: Press the control box back into place, replace the light bulb and plug the lamp in. Wait a minute and then test the lamp to be sure it operates properly.

Step 12: Unplug the lamp and replace the lamp base. When reattaching felt bases using contact cement, allow the cement to dry completely before returning the lamp to an upright position.

— Linda Cottin can be reached at


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