Ikea lamp? Non-Ikea shade? Problem solved in $3.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Now, I did quite a bit of research online about this, trying to find an easy solution, a simple little gizmo that solves all the world's problems (ok, just the shade issue).  I couldn't find anything.

All right, wait, sorry, let me start from the beginning.

A few years ago, I'd say maybe 2005 or so, I purchased this floor lamp at Ikea, the Orgel.  Money was tight so I kind of looked at it as a place holder lamp until I could afford a nicer one someday.  In all honesty, it's a pretty decent looking, simple and straightforward lamp that I grew attached to.

Zip ahead to 2014 and guess what floor lamp we have:  the Orgel, heh.


What's amazing about it is that it has survived several moves with its paper shade intact.  Until this summer.  A sneaky fly slipped indoors and in an effort to exact revenge, Mike accidentally swatted the paper shade.  It's ok, I wasn't even remotely upset.  I had been wanting to change out that shade for, well, since I got the lamp.

The accidental tear.
A couple months ago I was over at Target when I saw this shade.*  I stopped in my tracks because I thought it was damn super duper cool.  I saw the price, hemmed and hawed.  Not that it was hugely expensive but I wasn't eager to spend $25 on a lamp shade.


I picked it up, put it down.  Stood there.  Shifted around.  Grabbed the cart, let go of the cart.  Picked up the shade, put it down.

"You'll be sorry you walked away from this if you don't buy it today.   Cork lamp shade will haunt your days and nights.  You will be besieged.  You will not sleep."

Ok, yes brain, fine, I know you're right.  If anything it's returnable, I countered.

Got home, all excited to unite lamp with damn super duper cool cork shade when gasp, crap!, that's right.  Ikea sockets are sized differently and only take Ikea shades.  Doh!  Crap.  Tears.  Ok, no tears but close.

So back to where I began above.

I commenced a quest to solve the problem, determined to get that cork shade on there, a problem that I surely am not alone in.  And trust me, I did lots of investigation.  No one, no site, no where, nothing proffered a solution.

Why not just get a new freakin' lamp already?, you're wondering at this point.  Because this one still works just fine, it's innocuous enough in its corner, I'm not up for floor lamp shopping/spending and the cork shade is damn super duper cool.

Then, finally, it hit me.  Just a regular pull-chain socket.  Yup.  That's all I needed.

The next Menards trip resulted in said $3 socket solution.

New socket and extra pull chain, ya know, just in case.
My first mild panic came because I had wrapped the cord in twine.  Had I left enough cord untwined?  I fretted for several weeks until I had a chance to work on this.


Thankfully I wasn't a complete bozo and didn't twine up the whole cord.  After unplugging the lamp (yeah, very important to do when you're messing with wiring -- unplug lamp), I set to work.

First task at hand:  removing the old Ikea socket.

Original Ikea socket.  Tooooo big, so sad.
Not as easy as I was hoping.

After pulling the wiring up a bit at the top, I made sure the knot in the wires stayed as is as I did not want them to get sucked into the vacuous lamp pole.


I removed the screw at the base.


I was hoping the whole thing would ya know, just naturally, just twist, just twist right off like a good boy socket.  Ugh.

No such luck.

Out came the tools.  After wrapping the lamp pole in fabric, I used pliers to steady the pole with one hand and a channel lock* to wreeennnccchhhhh ugh, the other, ugh, grrr way.  Nothin'.  Not moving.

I gave up on the fabric wrap, knowing full well the pliers would scratch up the pole.


Aaannddd ugh, it's not....oh sh*t.  Crap.  I broke the socket.  I knew I was in it to win it at this point and there was no turning back.

I tried and tried and tried to unscrew the socket.  Shy of choking the lamp, I ended up breaking off the socket in little pieces, cracking the darn thing up, and crushing the screw base of it until it popped free.  Likely not the right way to go about this but hey, it was not budging and I was not relenting.

As you can see, scratched pole from pliers.  That's ok, it's hidden by the shade.
Battle of wills: Becky, 1; socket 0.  After that, the rest of the process was cake!

I threaded the wires through the new socket base and screwed that on.  Easily.  Easily, dammit!


I re-knotted the wires within the base so they wouldn't ever slip down if they ever became detached from the socket.

Next up was wiring the socket.  Bend one exposed wire in a U shape then cup it around the loosened screw.  Tighten screw.  Repeat with other wire, then cram the socket into the base.  Ok, don't cram it, but get it on there.  It'll help to pull the cord from the other end at the lamp base too.


Slide on the cover and then voila, you've got your new socket on your old Ikea lamp that will accept any ol' darn lampshade you want now, sans an Ikea shade.  The possibilities are endless, the shade world is your oyster now!  Enjoy, my friends.


I slipped on the shade, screwed in our spiffy energy saving LED bulb and ahhhhhh......



Damn super duper cool cork lampshade.
I will say the shade sits a little loose and any slight bump will cause it to go out of level which why I was hoping to find another screw ring like the old socket.  I did locate some but it just seemed excessive to spend $20 or so on a socket alone.

Old Ikea Orgel lamp, brand new spiffy shade!
Just in case, I left the plastic wrapping on the shade.  In case of what?, you ask.  I wanted to see how much light it put off once it got dark outside.  The paper shade was translucent and put out some light.  This cork shade is much more opaque.  I also wanted to make sure Mike didn't absolutely hate it.


Once evening rolled around, I discovered it puts out less light than the paper shade but I do quite like the dimmer-ness of it and the shade itself.  I think this shade has found its new home.

Mission accomplished!  Yay!!  Now get out there and rewire your Ikea lamps!

*The lampshade and channel locks are affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!!

You Might Also Like

0 comments