What is up with my lamp?
June 8, 2007 1:45 PM   Subscribe

I have a table lamp that takes a three-way bulb. The lamp does not have a standard switch; rather, you adjust the intensity of the light and turn the lamp on or off by tapping the metal base one, two, or three times. Recently the lamp's bulb burned out and I replaced it with the same kind of three-way bulb that was in there before. But now tapping the base produces no effect - the lamp stays on its brightest setting and can only be turned on and off by plugging it in or unplugging it. What happened, and can it be fixed? I've only had this lamp for about six months, and it wasn't cheap. I've tried various different bulbs, but nothing seems to work.
posted by zembla3 to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
I had the same problem with the lamp in my office. I have absolutely no explanation for you, but I tried everything for over a year. Eventually, it just stopped working completely.

Does it have a warranty?
posted by desuetude at 1:59 PM on June 8, 2007

i had a tapping lamp also that stopped working at the same time the bulb went out. i complained to the manufacturer and they took it back. they wanted to ship me another but i insisted on a refund instead.
posted by luriete at 2:11 PM on June 8, 2007

It sounds like the lamp has shorted out. Likely, it happened if you screwed in the bulb while it was plugged in. If you were touching it while screwing it in, it could have been like you were continually fliping the switch and have burned out the relay.

There, that sounds reasonable with absolutely no electrical training to back it up.
posted by slavlin at 2:17 PM on June 8, 2007

Sounds to me like the electronics in the lamp is dead.

According to a post over at an electronics repair group, the switch module in a touch lamp can easily be damaged when the light bulb burns out. It wouldn't be something you did, rather the bulb itself shorting when it burned out.

I would say that your options are to return it to the store it was purchased from, get a replacement from the manufacturer under warranty, or take it to a lamp repair shop and get an estimate.
posted by exphysicist345 at 3:10 PM on June 8, 2007

We always called those "touch lamps."

You're sure you got the correct wattage bulb?
posted by IndigoRain at 3:34 PM on June 8, 2007

Second the correct wattage response.

Also, the electronics could have burned out. You could get a regular 3-way socket and rewire around the electronics.
posted by MtDewd at 6:07 PM on June 8, 2007

I have a touch lamp that takes a regular "one-way" bulb, not the three-way kind. Have you tried that, just in case your last bulb was not what you thought it was?
posted by Exchequer at 6:21 PM on June 8, 2007

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