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Standing lamps are pretty simple units with a very small number of components. I found this lamp next to the dumpster and found that a simple safety switch on the top of the lamp was not pressed down properly, forcing the lamp to be in the off position at all times. This guide shows the user where the safety switch is (possibly) located, and how to test if the problem with the lamp is the switch.



No parts specified.

  1. Repairing Standing Lamp That Won't Turn On, Repairing Standing Lamp That Won't Turn On: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • Standard Standing or Upright Lamp that won't turn on.

    • First thing is first: Make sure that it isn't simply the halogen lamp that is blown. Check the lamp for any black burn marks or a discontinuity in the lighting wire inside the lamp.

  2. Repairing Standing Lamp That Won't Turn On: step 2, image 1 of 2 Repairing Standing Lamp That Won't Turn On: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • Before you do anything, always unplug electronic devices before tampering with them. Especially devices that have exposed 120V leads!

  3. Repairing Standing Lamp That Won't Turn On: step 3, image 1 of 3 Repairing Standing Lamp That Won't Turn On: step 3, image 2 of 3 Repairing Standing Lamp That Won't Turn On: step 3, image 3 of 3
    • Remove the cone-shaped top from the lamp, which most likely includes the metal grate covering the halogen lamp.

    • My lamp has 3 "indents" (red circle) that slide into paths on the cone (red square). To remove the cone, twist the cone in the clockwise direction (while viewing from the shaft side of the lamp).

    • Chances are, if you have the problem that this lamp had, the cone will already be loose or not connected to the lamp. The cone is what presses down on the safety switch.

  4. Repairing Standing Lamp That Won't Turn On: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • You can test the safety switch (green circle) at this point. Plug the lamp in and while pushing the safety switch all the way down, click through the on settings on the side of the shaft.

    • If the lamp turns on while your pushing the safety switch in, and turns off when you let go, thats your problem!

    • You can put the cone back on *properly* so that the switch is pressed down while the cone is on, or use some tape (electrical or duct tape maybe?) to secure the switch down permanently.

    • If this was not your issue, then you may be able to fix it with the next steps.

  5. Repairing Standing Lamp That Won't Turn On: step 5, image 1 of 2 Repairing Standing Lamp That Won't Turn On: step 5, image 2 of 2
    • Remove the screws in the mounting brackets that secure the glass cover.

    • Remove the halogen lamp and the screws securing the metal heat shield below the lamp.

    • It's recommended to use a clean cloth to remove the halogen lamp, as fingerprints and oils can reduce the lifetime of the lamp

    • It is unlikely, but the safety switch (red square) may be completely broken and not making contact. If you have a multimeter that can measure conduction, touch the metal contacts that the two wires are going to and press the switch in to see if it makes contact.

    • If the switch doesn't work, you can remove this from the unit and connect the two wires via a wire nut or solder (and some sort of wire insulator, like heat shrink).

    • Caution: The next step is dangerous!

    • If you have a multimeter capable of testing an AC 120Vrms signal, you can check the voltage across the two Lamp leads (green squares). Be sure to press the safety switch down and cycle through the on settings while testing, but DO NOT touch the leads with your hands, and use only 1 hand if possible to reduce the possibility of a fatal injury if an incident occurs.

    • If there is no voltage across the two leads then there is a break in the wire somewhere, or perhaps your outlet is dead. Test the outlet with a known working electronic device. Or trace the wire to find the break.


To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

12 other people completed this guide.


Very useful information.

ronloveflying - Reply

I have a halogen floor lamp that turns on however the low setting doesn't work. It only works on the high setting.

Would I go about fixing it the same way?

Thanks for any help!

Laura Ostrem - Reply

Boom worked like a charm !!!

christian Wall - Reply

Great instructions! Clear and easy to understand. Thank you!

J. D. - Reply

Solved a mystery for me! I’ve replaced switches in a number of older halogen torchieres, had never encountered the safety switch before. Thank you!

Amber - Reply

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