How to Wire a Light Bulb Holder

Light bulb holders don’t only hold light bulbs in place. They also provide an electrical connection. Depending on the device, a switch may be built into the light socket. Whether it’s referred to as a light socket, bulb holder, lamp fitting, or another name, it may be found in different shapes and sizes.

Each bulb holder is designed to accommodate a specific bulb size. We’ll look at a few of these, because the process may vary based on the product. But first, here’s a general overview of how to wire a light bulb holder.

Wiring a Light Bulb Holder

When doing any wiring work, it’s important to be extremely careful. There’s always a risk of shocks or burns. If you’re uncomfortable or uncertain about handling this task, contact a professional electrician. Nevertheless, the process typically goes as follows:

  • Connect the Holder to the Fitting: As you attach the lamp fitting, pull the thread through. There’s a screw at the bottom of the holder; tighten it to lock the part in place.
  • Attach the Wires: On a light bulb holder, there’s usually a brown, live wire, and a blue, neutral wire. Insert these wires into their respective connections. An ES or E27 holder will also have a green and yellow Earth wire.
  • Snap the Connection Unit into Place: The connection unit snaps into the upper part of the light bulb holder. If there is resistance, move the part in the opposite direction or make sure the screw is tight enough.
  • Complete the Assembly: Assemble the rest of the parts that were included in the kit. All parts should be oriented in the proper direction, whether screwed or snapped in.

Types of Lamp Holders

While they usually have similar wiring configurations, light bulb holders have different designs. Here are a few examples of holders you may encounter:

  • Batten Lamp Holders: These screw into place and use either Edison screw or bayonet cap mounts. They can fit vertically onto a door or wall fitting.
  • Table Lamp Holders: Are oriented upright and can incorporate any major type of mount, and often include switches.
  • Bottle Lamp Holders: The cable and switch are threaded through a hole, which must be drilled at the base of an empty bottle. Then, the cable extends up to the bulb holder, which fits in the bottle’s neck.
  • Pendant Light Fittings: Designed for suspended ceiling lamps, these hang from a cord or cable; the bulb pushes or screws in from below.

Lamp Holder Types/Sizes

How the bulb is attached to the holder is an important consideration. The two must match. Therefore, you need to know the type of base. A bayonet cap has opposing prongs that slot into the holder. An Edison screw is threaded and more common, while a GU base has two protruding prongs and a circular head that twists and locks in place. An R-type base uses recessed contact points and ceramic tips.

The most common lamp holder sizes include E14, or small Edison screw (SES) (the pear-shaped bulb and holder have 14mm dimensions). An E40 holder has a 40mm socket also known as a Goliath Edison Screw (GES), while an E27 holder features a 27mm socket and is used for indoor and outdoor lighting. A B15 holder features a bayonet cap design.

Lastly, the lamp holder mount is what makes the final connection. There are push-fit mounts in which you insert the bulb, align the prongs, and twist it in place. Snap-fit mounts use downward prongs to push the bulb in. For a threaded screw fit mount, insert the bulb by twisting it clockwise.

Schedule Electrical Service from Black Hills

At Black Hills Home Services, we provide all types of electrical work in Olympia and surrounding areas. Our professionals are licensed to provide residential electrical repair, maintenance, and installation and know how to wire a light bulb holder. In addition to lighting, we can do rewiring, electrical panel repair, and generator installation. To schedule service, call 888-530-7677.