General Lamp conditions and diagnosis

Lamp not working - Why

Here we are going to give you some help as to what might be causing your lamp not to work. We will cover some basic checks and some not so obvious.

First thing first unplugs the lamp for the mains socket, remover the lampshade if there is one and take out the light bulb.

Starting at the top lest have a look at the lampholder itself. 

BC Lampholder.

If there is a switch does it operate smoothly? However, before you push the bar make sure it’s not a safer switched lampholder which is indicated by a Red post between the 2 Brass pins. If this is the case, you will need to add a lamp before pushing the bar.

Make sure the lampholder looks intact and no parts broken.

Do the 2 Brass pins depress ok. NEVER DO THIS IF PLUGGED IN.

Is the lampholder loose on the base fixing.

You may need to replace the complete lampholder to fix any of these issues.

ES Lampholder

Most will not have a switch so no need to worry about that.

Is the lampholder loose or any parts broken.

Do the contacts look correct where the bulb is screwed into? There should be a centre sprung pin and one on the edge of the inside part.

Flex Cable

Look for where the flex comes out of the lamp and follow it down towards the plug. If there is a switch in the flex check this out first.

You may need to replace the complete lampholder to fix any of these issues.

In line switch

 Have a good look at where the flex goes in and out the other side. Is the flex pulled out or show signs of being pulled out?

If it is not a sealed switch you may want to take the cover off only if you are competent to do so and check all wire are connected.

Does the switch operate smoothly and like it use to do?

If not, you may need to change the switch to solve these issues.


Have a look at the plug for any damage. Broken body or the flex being pulled out.

If you are competent to remove the cover, have a look at the wires, are they all connected and is the strain relief holding the flex to take the straining off the terminal connections?

Is there a 3 amp fuse fitted? This is the maximum fuse size for a lamp. Whilst this will not stop the lamp working it is a safety thing.

By the way did you check the fuse is not blown.


Well how do i know if the fuse is ok or not.

If you a new packet of 3 amp fuses then just change it to be sure.

If not, find a lamp that you know is working and take the fuse out of the broken lamp and try it in the lamp that you know works. Do not do it the other way around because if there is a fault with your broken lamp then you will almost certainly blow a good fuse and you will then be 2 lamps down.

Of course, if you have done all the above checks and the fuse does not work in the good lamp then the fuse has blown for a good reason, something blew it. It could be no more than the bulb blew which can blow the fuse as well. So, in this case you would check the bulb in a lamp base that you know works to see if the bulb is ok. 

Then you may just need a new bulb and of course a 3 amp fuse.

If none of the above help you find the issue, then it’s off to the repair shop.

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