Why my touch-lamp won’t turn off

I have a bedside lamp that does the cool off-low-medium-high cycle thing. Or did, that is. Recently, the bulb in my lamp burnt out, so I bought a replacement. When I put it in, though, it wouldn’t cycle. I could feel the faint fuzziness of the lamp registering my body’s capacitance, but the light was unmoved; it just stayed permanently on. Perplexed, I thought maybe I’d bought the wrong kind of bulb, so I bought some more. Same result. It seemed too much of a coincidence that it would stop working right when I needed a new bulb, but then I found this interesting tidbit, from a FAQ on touch lamp problems:

These are susceptible to damage from voltage surges or just plain old random failures. In addition, the current surge that often results at the instant an incandescent bulb burns out (the bright flash) may blow the thyristor in the electronics module. If the lamp is stuck on, the thyristor is probably shorted.

My thyristor is shorted!

So, what’s a thyristor? One definition:

  • A semiconductor used as a gate circuit. The solid state equivalent of a thyratron.

  • But what’s a thyratron? Wikipedia to the rescue:

    A thyratron is a type of gas filled tube used as a high energy electrical switch. Triode, Tetrode and Pentode variations of the thyratron have been manufactured in the past, though most are of the triode design. Gases used include mercury vapor, xenon, neon, and (in special high-voltage applications or applications requiring very short switching times) hydrogen.

    So a thyristor does the same thing, without the gases. What’s actually in a touch lamp is a triac, composed of two thyristors.

    But anyway, the unfortunate upshot is that the lamp is now non-touch-sensitive. Apparently I can buy a plugin touch-sensitive box to restore that functionality, or, of course, I could just buy a new lamp. And track its usage so I can estimate when the bulb is about to die and swap it before the cataclysmic “bright flash” kills that lamp, too. Maybe a lamp with a manual switch isn’t looking so bad now.

    Update (Feb. 13, 2011): I have successfully fixed the lamp! Thanks to Cakky_blue, below, who suggested exactly the right fix.

    66 Comments
    49 of 56 people learned something from this entry.

    1. jim said,

      September 15, 2007 at 7:37 am

      (Learned something new!)

      Have you taken the lamp apart to see if you could replace the thyristor? (The part should be about less than a $1. And you’d get to solder!)

    2. wkiri said,

      September 15, 2007 at 12:24 pm

      I thought about it, as the same FAQ also notes:

      The specific part can be replaced but to be sure it is bad, some testing will be needed and it is probably soldered in place. However, if you have repaired an ordinary lamp, you will be able to replace the entire module fairly easily.

      With unbounded time, I’d be willing to venture into an experimental lamp-repair… for now, I’ll probably make do with a different lamp I have (with a manual switch). :)

    3. Andy said,

      October 8, 2007 at 3:08 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      Yeah, but you’d get to say you replaced the thyristor on your lamp. That’s got to be worth some geek cred.

      Maybe you could go with a touch-sensitive lamp with a compact fluorescent bulb. Incandescents are so last century.

    4. jen said,

      October 23, 2007 at 8:32 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      Definitely learned something new! Stumbled across your blog when I was searching on how to repair my broken touch lamp….all the information I needed in one place (thank you!)

      Able to find triacs on eBay though ($7 for 10 w/shipping), and it didn’t take more than 10-15 minutes to heat up the soldering iron and replace the old one. Works like a charm; until the next time a bulb blows, I guess :)

    5. anonymous said,

      June 19, 2008 at 7:21 am

      (Knew it already.)

      @ Andy:
      Compact Fluorescent bulbs would last much much longer, but they REALLY don’t like being used in applications with adjustable power. I know they can’t be used with a dimmer switch, and I believe the touch sensitive lamps will also fail if they try to force the bulb to different levels of brightness.

    6. Anon-chan said,

      June 19, 2008 at 10:26 am

      (Learned something new!)

      Actually, though most standard fluorescent bulbs don’t work well with these appliances, there are fluorescent bulbs designed for multiple wattages. We had a home-made adjustable lamp with 3 wattage settings and we used a normal fluorescent bulb with it and it no-likey. But then we stuck an adjustable one in and it worked just fine.

      Though this is just my personal experience.

    7. BethL said,

      September 6, 2008 at 9:44 am

      (Learned something new!)

      Thanks for posting this! I came across this site looking for just such an explanation.

    8. EricG said,

      December 6, 2008 at 8:44 am

      (Learned something new!)

      Thanks for the post. It was helpful. Does anyone have a circuit diagram for a touch sensitive lamp?

    9. Cakky_blue said,

      December 28, 2008 at 9:09 pm

      Photos showing fix:
      http://www.letsfixit.co.uk/html/lamps_faq.html

    10. stephen justesen said,

      April 2, 2009 at 10:54 am

      (Learned something new!)

      So now here’s my problem. I bought some hanging touch lamps but didn’t realize they were touch dimmers when I bought them and they hang above my head so I can’t reach them. Is there anyway to disable the dimmer so it’s just a regular lamp fixutre?

      Thanks in advance.

    11. Claudine said,

      May 26, 2009 at 2:23 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      I came online to check out this exact situation. Thanks for the info and for the clearly worded post. Time for me to buy a new lamp.

    12. Kayte said,

      June 28, 2009 at 6:52 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      My own touch lamp just blew up. I adore the thing (I am a loser, yes XD) and was horrified, so I looked it up… and this was my exact problem! Will definitely be checking into this!

    13. What I Learned Today » Blog Archive » Who reads this blog said,

      July 24, 2009 at 2:48 pm

      [...] Why my touch-lamp won’t turn off [...]

    14. Blenda said,

      August 14, 2009 at 2:42 pm

      I just replaced the part in my lamp last week. I have actually done it twice because both of my living room lamps went out. It is very easy to do and you don’t even have to solder. The part costs about $14 (you can probably find it cheaper, I got mine at a specialty lamp store) and you just take out the old one, keeping up with which wire goes where because sometimes the colors are different, and put the new one in. Just match up the wires, apply the wire nut to each pair, and attach the ground where the other one came from and you are all done. 15 minute job at the most.

    15. Carolyn said,

      September 17, 2009 at 10:05 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      My touch lamp would not go off so I researched and found a new three way switch. I stripped the old wires, attached it to the new part (each color coded wire with its matching color) I was so proud of my self. I plugged it in and the new part blew. I mean actually blew the black plastic protective cover off the component board. It fried it. What did I do wrong. My lamp was missing one blub. Would that have been it.? My new part also had a yellow wire and my lamp had a green on so I attached those two together. The red, black and white all had matching counterparts. Any advice would be appreciated.

    16. Mark Novaky said,

      December 15, 2009 at 2:12 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      I have owned LITERALLY 4-5 touch lamps and this bulb failure causing lamp failure has happened on EVERY SINGLE one of them. I consider this a design failure as a momentary arc when the bulb dies happens practically EVERY TIME the bulb fails.

    17. Mary said,

      December 27, 2009 at 8:09 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      When my bulb burned out, I replaced it with a compact flourescent but it wouldn’t dim. Today I bought a dimmable compact flourescent but it also didn’t dim. Replaced it with an old fashioned bulb & still nothing. Your post was the first I came across when trying to figure this out. I’ll have to check into replacing that part but for now, I’ll keep a tissue nearby and just loosen the bulb to turn it out.

    18. Jess said,

      January 23, 2010 at 10:18 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      Had to chuckle at this, the guy at the specialty lamp store had to “remind” me that it’s not the bulb that controls the dimming – I too had purchased new bulbs for what would have been my third time (slightly different kinds each time), thinking that would fix the problem. I’m blonde, so that doesn’t help lol. The lamp guy told me pretty much the same thing you suggest in your blog, but I came home anyways and googled it, and yours was the first blog that came up – and it’s all true ;) Gonna go out and buy the part Blenda mentions above.

    19. Joan said,

      January 29, 2010 at 3:40 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      After reading Carolyn’s problem there is no way I will take the lamp apart. The lamp we had was alright until my husband switched his light on. He had a normal switch on light They were both plugged into the same extension. My light came on & would not go off after he put his light off. I gave him our other touch light but unfortunately he dropped it. I changed the bulb & after a very few seconds the bulb was so hot I thought it to be dangerous.Was it & what would have happened if I had left it on? My light has so far seemed to be working fine now that it is no longer connected to the other light. I just hope it continues to work otherwise I think it will just have to go,like the other.. into the bin. I hate to waste things but what else can I do.

    20. Anne said,

      February 22, 2010 at 7:14 am

      (Learned something new!)

      I suspected it was a terminal problem. In Australia, where I live, we don’t touch the insides of electrical appliances, as the current is so powerful. Your explanation was clear and comprehensive, so I almost felt I could change my thyristor. My solution will be to go shopping. However, what I learnt was that the internet continues to be so useful in so many different ways, providing access to solutions for diverse problems. Thanks to those who share their expertise freely.

    21. Erika said,

      March 3, 2010 at 10:46 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      Thanks so much for posting this! My bulb blew out in exactly the same way you described (bright flash — changed lightbulb and it stayed on). It was just a cheap five buck lamp, so I’m not quite up to soldering just yet — I just plugged it into a on/off power strip. But now I know for when I do have a more expensive lamp!

    22. David said,

      March 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      Thanks! Not sure it’s worth the hassle — I paid a dollar for it at a gareage sale about two years ago. I think I’ll go with Erika’s suggestion of a power strip.

    23. Jorge Chazo said,

      March 30, 2010 at 11:58 am

      (Learned something new!)

      Thanks for this post. I was ready to throw out my mom’s lamp until I came across this. We opted to remove the thyristor and put in an inline switch instead. Thanks.

    24. Kansas_Country_Princess said,

      April 4, 2010 at 9:14 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      Had the same issue, thanks so much for a great blog! Hoping to fix my adored touch lamp!

    25. Kevin said,

      April 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      I was not aware touch sensors do not work well with fluorescent lights because of the variable power. We do sell these sensor for $4.99.
      http://www.etouchlamps.com

    26. amie said,

      June 11, 2010 at 11:46 am

      (Learned something new!)

      Thank you so much. I had the same problem with my touch lamp (as the original post) and I was going to go buy different bulbs. Ugh, how frustrating because I too really like my touch lamp. I can only plug and unplug it for the on and off function.

    27. Janine said,

      July 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      Thanks so much to those of you who share your expertise. I am a 76 year old woman who lives alone and I have a pair of these lamps in my bedroom but only one went out. I’m going to change the bulb in the still working lamp right now.
      The bad one I will take to a lamp repair place and if it’s not too expensive I’ll get it fixed. If not worth the cost, then I will make do with only one lamp in the bedroom until the other one quits, too. When that happens I guess it will be time to get new lamps.

    28. matthew said,

      July 17, 2010 at 2:11 am

      (Knew it already.)

      I have a touch lamp which I wish to be able to turn on automatically on a wall switch. At the moment the only way to turn on the lamp is by physically touching it somewhere after power is connected to it. This is there anyway I can achieve my goal of having it so that it automatically comes on when power is connected and also having the ability to dim it via touching it afterwards.

    29. Trina said,

      August 7, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      Hmmm, I just bought this lamp yesterday and have a CFL in it. Sure enough, it won’t turn off. I just wanted a cool lookin’ trouble-free lamp. Looks like this technology isn’t it.

    30. MACA said,

      September 11, 2010 at 5:40 pm

      (Knew it already.)

      I stumbled over this list of postings while trying to find again, the place that was selling replacement dimmers for something like $5 . Shipping was something like $6 for the whole order. So, I figured I will get 4 of these to have as spares in the future… In the meantime I upgraded from Netscape to Fox and managed to lose all my bookmarks and now I cannot find the place online…
      Any hardware stores such as Home Depot , Lowe’s or Ace have these for sale ranging from $10 US and up. There are several options available.
      There are the hard wired variety, usually hidden in the lamp base, then there are the socket bulb type that can transform any lamp in a touch dimmer and also there is a wall socket type that does the same thing. There is also a remote controlled version that is housed in the wall switch or wall socket and has a small remote. Take a look online also, the same options are available, however the shipping usually kills the deal. You may be better off to buy locally…That is why buying four or more at a time made sense since the shipping was the same for one or fifty, in my case :)
      Since I seem to not be able to find the place online anymore (maybe they are sold out or gone out of business altogether) I am also looking into replacing the triacs myself. I am an experienced hobbyist so that some soldering is not a problem for me. The parts are not expensive (somewhere around $3 or less) however the shipping usually ruins the deal. Also there the spare time factor. Then there is the part about replacing the part with the same part or equivalent and that is possible only when you can identify the markings. Sometimes the markings are not even there as the factories in China buy them in huge quantity and the markings sometimes add to the cost. I would not recommend buying just any thyristor and just swapping them as there are many power options depending on the applications.
      After the fact, One effective way to safeguard the lamps is to have them connected to power through a quality power strip, equipped with a surge protector. The kind used to connect computers and other pricey household electronics to power. They will prevent the headaches we seem to all be having presently, hehehe.
      I knew all this, and still did not do it, despite the fact that I own a room full of electronics and have dozens of these strips that I could have used. This is rather late info as all the people reading these posts (me included) all ended here after the burnout :) However it will prevent a future problem on a future lamp…
      A note on the: “Light bulb burn out and then the lamp has gone out too” scenario. That is, just a result of using really cheap components and thyristors that are rated too close to the bulb wattage in order to save a penny. Mine went out after about 10 years of use and it survived maybe three bulb changes.
      As a side note, I have two of these identical lamps one went out and about two months later the second one. I guess that they are just old and sometimes the many thousands of on and off cycles wears the junctions off. Also the parts nearby such as condensers and resistors age, and contribute to the breakdown due to them not protecting the thyristors any more and exposing them to voltage fluctuations. Sometimes when one component part burns out, it will take others with it and upon inspection they do not look burnt or show signs of damage. They will heat out though and smell like heated Bakelite or plastic.
      Only a meter will tell what is still OK.
      I will probably replace the whole box as soon as I figure out where to get a deal. Even at around $10 a piece still beats buying a whole lamp and it will save time troubleshooting individual components
      I have noticed that these lamps seem to have gone out of fashion as places such as Wall-mart, HD and Lowe’s hardly have a selection of these lamps. They used to be dirt cheap and now they tend to be on the pricey side.
      Again repair makes more sense especially nowadays.
      I just hope that the new replacement units will last another 10 years as manufacturers have cut quality drastically in order to save money, in some cases less than one penny.

      Good luck to us all,

      P.S. I have noticed some people posting problems with Fluorescent bulbs not dimming. NONE Of the lamps are designed to dim these bulbs as they require resistance coming from the bulb filament. Fluorescent bulbs work through discharge of electricity in gas and work totally different than incandescent bulbs. If you put a dimmer on these you will probably damage the Fluorescent bulbs which have electronic circuitry in the base that requires a certain amount of electricity and do not tolerate fluctuation well. There are Fluorescent bulbs that dim and also dimmers for these also. They do not mix. As of now after all my wandering on the WEB I have not seen any retrofit kits for the touch lamps that use filament bulbs. They probably make them somewhere but the cost probably makes the swap pointless. We are here after all, because we are all CHEAP and try to fix out own stuff, and if possibly for free :)

      For all the DISCO era people owning these Lamps, the Thyristors were the main parts that were driving the coloured lights that were pulsating in unison with the music rhythm. They were really beefy and still went out

      Cheers, MAC

    31. Nov said,

      September 20, 2010 at 7:32 am

      (Learned something new!)

      Yesterday I attended a House and Content Sale and got so side tracked that I forgot to test both Lamps before leaving the sale. I managed to haggle and got the lamps for 75% of list price. Here’s the thing, one lamp was switched on while the other was sitting on the other side of the dresser unplugged with the outlet hidden behind the dresser. Assuming that both were in working order I took both lamps to a secure place for safekeeping. To my dismay, when I arrived home later in the evening and tried switching the lights on, one was clearly defective. Aesthically quite beautiful but that does not help. I guess I will have to learn to replace the thyristors. Learned something new. Thanks
      Nov.

    32. dDon Goodman said,

      September 25, 2010 at 10:05 am

      (Knew it already.)

      What I discovered

      After several years of changing 10 dollar touch switches every time a bulb burnt out I added a 3 dollar two amp in-line fuse holder now when a bulb blows I just replace the .50cent fuse and the light is on.

    33. monte martin said,

      December 9, 2010 at 11:17 am

      (Learned something new!)

      you can also buy an adapter for $20 at home depot that turns any lamp into a touch pad tri light. you just plug the adapter into the wall and the lamp into the adapter. it has a 10 foot thin wire with the pad on the end. i double sided taped it to the head board of me bedand you cant even see it

    34. What I Learned Today » Blog Archive » Desoldering a bad triac said,

      February 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm

      [...] time ago, I wrote about the demise of my touch-lamp. After the bulb burnt out, the lamp no longer responded to touch. A bit of research online [...]

    35. What I Learned Today » Blog Archive » I fixed my touch-lamp! said,

      February 13, 2011 at 8:41 pm

      [...] a coil of silver solder from Fry’s yesterday, I was all set to make my attempt at replacing the bad triac that rendered my touch-lamp useless. I’d previously desoldered the bad triac and removed it, so all I needed to do tonight was [...]

    36. jamie said,

      March 9, 2011 at 11:06 am

      (Learned something new!)

      Who knew such conversations could develop over a touch-lamp malfunction! I was in tears laughing because I was in the same boat as almost everybody here!! Apparently we need some kind of support group…LOL!!! What’s even more awesome is that a 76 year old woman, on her own, is surfin the web for an answer…and got it!!! Now the question becomes, do I break down and buy the thyristor or chuck out the cheap, aging, lamp?! Heck, I’ve already invested this much time in READING about fixing it! I should do that lamp right!!! It’s been soo good to me and my children for so long now!!!

    37. Paulette said,

      March 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      Thanks so much for the information. My lamp won’t dim after I changed the bulb and now the only way to turn it off is to unplug it. I didn’t really think I would find an answer to the problem online but decided to give it a shot. My first google click had the answer! I don’t have the equipment to solder so I guess I will take it to the lamp repairer–or maybe not. I like the idea of saying my thyristor is shorted!

    38. Gloria, Tolkien, and Indigo said,

      April 20, 2011 at 8:03 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      Hi there. You just delighted my nine year old twin boys and me. We were worried our touch on lamp was unusable, but now we’re all going to fix it together! Totally cool!

    39. Martin Poole said,

      July 13, 2011 at 11:43 am

      (Learned something new!)

      Thanks very much! I learned how to change the triac. I’ve done it and the lamp now works again! The bulb does seem to flicker very slightly but it does work. Any idea why I might have the flicker?

    40. Sonya said,

      August 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      Don’t you just love Google, where you can type a question ” my touch lamp’s globe blew, now it won’t work”/ and you get all this information, amazing. I wonder if there is some kind of conspiracy going with the lamp makers out there…we all fall in love with our matching touch lamps, globe blows, and guess what, unless we are licenced Electricians, off we go shopping for new ones. I will buy a “proper” lamp today, and not have to suffer again.

    41. Carla said,

      September 8, 2011 at 1:47 am

      (Learned something new!)

      My touch lamp has started turning itself on and going through the dim/bright/brighter sequence randomly. I will change the bulb.

    42. shelley said,

      September 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      OK SO .. if i have inexspensive little touch lights.. and the bulb goes. it should stll just take a reg bulb? I tried that and it got hot and woudnt’ go off.. does this mean i either toss the whole thing or fix it as you have all explained ? ( thats not going to happen )…..

    43. HelenR said,

      October 17, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      Thanks for this! Our pair of lamps are 4 years old and, despite bulb changes, this has never happened before! I’ve ordered two transistors on Ebay (one for spare) and will be borrowing hubby’s soldering iron to make the repair :-)

    44. Chris said,

      November 27, 2011 at 2:58 am

      (Learned something new!)

      a very helpful blog post. thanks for this. just now need to decide whether I want to bin the lamp or repair it.

    45. Paul said,

      January 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      We’ve had three of these lamps. First bulb blew about 2 years ago. Unit stopped working. Really pretty as ornaments even though they don’t work, so decided not to throw them away. Now we are down to just one lamp working after second unit bulb blew, thought I’d try and find a cheap fix. Thank you so much for this!

    46. glenn said,

      February 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      can someone give me specs on the thrysters or some kind of an identifier so i can call around to lcocate some. thanks

    47. uri said,

      March 22, 2012 at 9:30 am

      (Learned something new!)

      Great stuff. This of course is my exact problem. Lamp blew, replaced it, new lamp always on, return lamp, google. I’ve got a soldering gun unopened, and it will now be unopened soon ! I Was looking forward to this day. Now, to see if I can go get this part from a supply house, as I am to impatient to wait !

    48. Mary said,

      March 25, 2012 at 6:26 am

      (Learned something new!)

      We just bought a new custom wall unit with touch dimable lighting. When the plate is touched, the unit turns on dim, then proceeds by itself to med then high. When touched to turn off, the unit turns off, then turns itself back on and goes to high. A wireless router is on top of this cabinet. Is that our problem?

    49. Mary said,

      March 25, 2012 at 9:11 am

      We turned the router off and then the lights worked fine… any way to shield the switch without moving the router and rewiring the entire entertainment unit????? We tried putting heavy aluminum foil under the router. It seemed to allow the lights to work properly until we turned on the TV and the router sent out a signal.

    50. Mary said,

      March 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      We plugged the cabinet lights into a surge protector…no more wireless router interference.

    51. Sylvia said,

      April 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      we thought ours went out because of the surge protector going out. replaced surge protector, light bulb was out in lamp, (very likely due to the surge protector failure). replaced bulb, it was “stuck’ on, here I am! thanks, will send a link to the mr.

    52. Tony Davis said,

      May 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      (Knew it already.)

      Hi, I am glad that all of you reading this blog, have got something from MY original article on fixing touch-lamps (I see that some posts have a link to my LAMPS page). It is rather weird that this blog gets a higher ranking in Google than my original article on this, going back to around 2005. I think the newer term for the controlling semi-conductor is a TRIAC, the term THYRISTOR is now going out of use, as they tended to control the current on one direction only, but a TRIAC is a BI-DIRECTIONAL device, ideally suited to A/C applications like dimming and power controllers. Those of you who are able to obtain the energy C rated lamps (e.g. candle lamps with G9 Tungsten capsules INSIDE the main candle envelope) should find that these types tend NOT to fail and draw a large plasma-arc current, as the high-pressure halogen/xenon mixture tends to prevent this, so should NOT destroy a TRIAC (unless you have used a lower current handling device, like a BT134). It is this high current during the few milliseconds when the filament parts, that will destroy the TRIAC – it has NOTHING to do with spikes and transients coming INTO the lamp – it is just the failure-mode of the bulb itself doing the damage! Hope this helps, Tony Davis, LETSFIXIT.CO.UK.

    53. Glenna said,

      August 28, 2012 at 6:47 am

      (Learned something new!)

      Fascinating stuff, but I don’t think I’m up for this repair. Maybe I’ll just head to buy another lamp…
      But thanks for all the great info!

    54. EDWARD said,

      September 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      MY LAMPS HAVE THE ADD ON TOUCH ADAPTORS AND ALL JUST STARTED WITH THIS FLICKERING PROBLEM. BY COINCIDENCE IT STARTED
      WHEN I BUNDLED WITH MY TIME WARNER PEOPLE. THEY DENY THAT THIS COULD BE CAUSED BY THE MODULE BOX THAT WAS INSTALLED TO CONTROL THE TV,PHONES AND INTERNET. ANY HELP OUT THERE?

    55. Fraser said,

      September 19, 2012 at 9:05 am

      (Learned something new!)

      The link everyone was using http://letsfixit.co.uk/html/lamps_faq.html is gone =(

    56. Kiri said,

      September 19, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Here is a snapshot from the Internet Archive:

      http://web.archive.org/web/20101126071038/http://letsfixit.co.uk/html/lamps_faq.html

    57. Mike said,

      October 1, 2012 at 6:01 am

      (Learned something new!)

      Might have to give this a go however I’m thinking of swapping my faulty touch lamp(same prob as everyone else) with my wife’s. Reason being my daughter just bought a new kitten with a very bloody cheeky personality. He is also very intelligent. Guess what? He worked out how to annoy us at 4:30
      am each morning when he is starting to feel a bit peckish. He jumps onto my wife’s bed side table and taps on the light with his paw!!! Fixing my lamp will mean less sleep, and swapping will thwart him for a while so give us back our mornings, but this will annoy my wife who likes her touch lamp cos she reads a lot.
      Any suggestions??????????!!

    58. Joy Lingerfelt said,

      November 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      (Knew it already.)

      My bulbs havn’t blown on my tap lamp , just can’t get this to work in MOST of the outlets in my home. Works fine in wall outlet in the garage. All outlets work for other appliances, lamps, etc. But these lamps wont work in outlet in B/Room, or Kitchen, or Living room…
      WHAT do I change for that? (It really does it’s thing correctly in some of my homes’ outlets, and at my office.)

    59. MaltIsGood said,

      February 8, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      You are awesome. Thank you for that information,

    60. Wender said,

      April 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      (Knew it already.)

      Same as the lady before me. Will work sometimes if i hold onto something metal.
      My bulbs havn’t blown on my tap lamp , just can’t get this to work in MOST of the outlets in my home. Works fine in wall outlet in the garage. All outlets work for other appliances, lamps, etc. But these lamps wont work in outlet in B/Room, or Kitchen, or Living room…
      WHAT do I change for that? (It really does it’s thing correctly in some of my homes’ outlets, and at my office.)

    61. Sarah said,

      May 14, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      thank you i was having the same problem and this explained everything! i found a repair part on ebay for $7.50 with free shipping, you can probably find similar ones also.

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/TOUCH-LAMP-SENSOR-REPLACEMENT-100-WATT-120-VOLT-TOUCHLAMP-REBUILD-REPAIR-/350728361370?pt=Lamps_US&hash=item51a90a159a

    62. Marci said,

      September 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      This is the second touch-lamp that has blown on me in about 15 years. After reading this, makes me miss my Dad even more. Before he passed, he loved using solder and soldering iron, troubleshooting and fixing electronic things. He could’ve easily fixed it in a matter of minutes just tinkering on Saturday afternoon…

    63. Steve said,

      October 7, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      (Learned something new!)

      I really enjoyed reading all these, but I am asking now why is my problem different to everybody else’s? My bulb was blown and after replacing everything worked fine for about two years when it started going off and doesn’t remain on after a minute or so…. I bought another more expensive lamp – not knowing about a possible repair – and since I don’t own a solder I don’t want to replace the TRIAC but would be happy to buy a switch for it. Would it be safe to bridge the chords around the TRIAC?

    64. Kevin Shaw said,

      April 24, 2014 at 6:33 am

      (Learned something new!)

      I can answer a few of your questions. Touch lamps are highly susceptible to power surges. Also if a touch lamp gets knocked over many times it will blow the sensor. Our experience is that when replacing the sensor make sure to match the watch of the older sensor. OK Lighting is the largest seller of touch lamps in the U.S. They use a 100 watt sensor. There are 120 watt sensors and 150 watt sensors out there. If using a OK Lighting sensor in a lamp that had a 150 watt sensor the problem is it is wired differently by that manufacturer. In an OK Lighting lamp the white wire from the sensor attaches to the black wires from the base. The red wire would then attach to the white wires from the lamp and one of the wires from the cord. But other manufactures reverse this and if hooked up wrong the sensor blows immediately. The wattage of a sensor is on the plastic casing of the sensor. You may need a bright light or magnifying glass to read it. Hope this helps.

    65. Oliver said,

      September 23, 2014 at 2:02 am

      (Learned something new!)

      Hi All,

      I have found the guide again on the lets fix it website – http://letsfixit.co.uk/989/how-do-i-fix-a-touch-lamp/ also found http://letsfixit.co.uk/lamps-faq/

    66. Claire said,

      October 7, 2014 at 2:13 am

      (Learned something new!)

      OMG I’m crying with laughter…!! Never been so entertained trying to find out a wee bit of info… Thank you EVERYONE who has posted snippets xxx yeah my lamp is stuck on… Yeah, there’s no way I’m pulling it apart.. Yeah, gonna keep plugging it it manually when I need it LOL !!!! Xxxxx

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