How to replace your bankers lamp shade - The Bankers Lamp (2023)


One of the few downsides of having a bankers lamp is that the glass shade can break if you are unlucky and tip it over. This is a real pain as a bankers lamp with a broken shade is not worth having. Many simply throw the lamp away and get a new one, however, this is not necessary. Replacing the glass shade is actually quite easy, and with some guidance, you can easily do it at home. In this article, I will list everything you need to replace the glass shade and give you a step-by-step process on how to do it!

Important before you start:

This guide is directed at the more modern versions of bankers lamps that are sold today, not antique emeralite lamps. In addition, there might be some variations in the design of your bankers lamp which makes this guide not directly applicable.

The biggest one is to check whether your lamp has a set screw on the back end of the socket (where the light bulbgoes, see photo).

If your lamp has it, the socket most likely is attachedlike a screw and you can remove it by turning it. If it doesn’t, the socket might be attached with an adhesive/glue, making the job much harder.

Note that some sockets don’t have a set screw, but are still attached like a screw. To get a feel for what type of socket your lamp has, try turning it a bit to get a feel if its movable or completely firm. Keep in mind that the socket might be screwed on pretty tight.

How to replace your bankers lamp shade - The Bankers Lamp (1)

If you suspect that the socket in your lamp is attached with an adhesive, and you bought it for less than 40-50 bucks, you might be better off buying a new lamp, as it complicates the process, and might require you to buy a new socket if the old one breaks when removing it, which might cause the price of repairing the lamp to equal the price of a new one.

(Video) How to replace lampshade for bankers lamp

What you need

There’s really not that many tools you need to replace your broken shade. There might be variations in the design of your bankers lamp which require additional tools, but the essentials in this guide are:

Glass shade

Trying to fix the broken shade is often not worth trying, so the first thing you need is a new glass shade. You might find replacement shades in lamp stores or in other retailers that sell bankers lamps, but you can easily find replacements in different colors on amazon in the table below.

Before getting a new shade make sure you measure the dimensions of your old shade (height, depth, and width). The most important is the width between the holes in the shade (measured on the outside), as you don’t want to get a shade that is too wide or narrow.

If you don’t have the shade, you can measure the distance between the arms of the stand/base that holds the glass shade, however, it will not be as accurate


If you are planning to fix anything in your home, a set of screwdrivers is a must. And you will most likely need one when detaching the lamp socket of your bankers lamp, one of the steps to replace the shade.

The size and type (flat or star) of screwdriver needed varies with what kind of socket your lamp is equipped with.

If you don’t have a set of screwdrivers at home, you can borrow one from your friends or family, or get a set for under 20 bucks at your local hardware store or amazon. Just make sure you have one that is small enough as the screws on the socket can be rather small.

If you want to get your own set of screwdrivers, I recommend this set on amazon from craftsman, which is everything you need.

Rubber Grommets

These are the small rubber thingies that line the holes in the shade and prevents the glass from being in contact with the base. If you get a new shade, it most likely comes without these, but if you have the old/broken shade you can simply detach the ones on that one and put them on the new one.

(Video) Endacott Lighting: Banker's Lamp Repair

If you do don’t have them you need to get some, as attaching the shade without them can cause the glass to break. Direct metal-to-glass contact is not a good combination.

You can get them at your local hardware store, or you can order them online, just make sure they are made of soft rubber and are of the right size. 1/2 inch grommets like these should fitmost shades.

Needle nose plier:

This one is not a must but will surely make your job easier as you need to handle some wiring when removing and re-attaching the lamp socket. So if you have one at home, use it, if you don’t have it, borrow one. If you really want one of your own, get one at your local hardware store, or from amazon, like this bestseller from Stanley.

If you have all the tools necessary, you can move on to the actual process of replacing the shade. A useful tip before getting started is to do it on a bench/table with enough space and put a white/bright towel underneath to make the surface softer, as well as making it easier to keep track of your parts.

The lamp socket is what holds the light bulb, and in your bankers lamp it has to be removed before you can remove the shade. These sockets usually come in 3 pieces, a 2 piece socket shell, and a single inner piece.

There might be some variation depending on the socket in your lamp, but on newer ones, the outermost part of the socket shell can usually be detached by turning it (like a screw). It goes without saying that you should remove the light bulb before this step :P.

The outermost piece might be hard to remove if it is attached firmly, but it should come off by applying some gentle force.

If your lamp has an older or vintage type socket, the outermost piece of the socket shell might not be screwed on, but attached with fittings, which are seen as small indentations. If this is the case with your lamp you can simply pull it off by applying gentle force while wiggling it.

How to replace your bankers lamp shade - The Bankers Lamp (2)
(Video) Lamp Repairs - How to Rewire, Switch Replacement & Underwriter's Knot

Removing the first piece will reveal the inner piece which is the part you screw the light bulb into. This is also the piece from which the pull chain switch comes out if your lamp is equipped with that. This is the piece that is connected to the lamp’s wiring.

There are 2 wires connected;

  • the hot/power wire, whose coating is often black or red, which is attached under the brass/gold colored screw.
  • The neutral/common wire, whose coating is usually white, is attached to the silver colored screw

If your wiring doesn’t have colors, you can feel the rubber linings and find the one that is ribbed, this is the neutral/common.

How to replace your bankers lamp shade - The Bankers Lamp (3)

To access these screws and wiring easily, you can loosen the set screw which is located on the back end of the innermost socket piece with your screwdriver, which allows you to rotate the socket. In addition, you can pull the inner piece slightly outwards, as much as the wiring allows.

If your socket does not have a set screw, it might be that the socket is attached with an adhesive rather than as a screw, in which case it makes removing the socket much harder. You can try to detach it by screwing it back and forth’s, breaking the adhesive material. This might, however, break the socket, meaning you have to replace it.

Note or write down which lead goes where and loosen the screws with your screwdriver until you can detach the wires, which allows you to remove the inner piece.

Once you have loosened the set screw at the base of the socket, it should allow you to remove it from the base/stand. After the socket, your lamp might have an additional retainer which you also have to remove.

On the opposite side of the shade, there is a nut which you can remove by turning it, keeping in mind that it might be fastened pretty tight (in which case a tool might come in handy). When doing so make sure you hold onto the shade so it doesn’t tip downwards.

(Video) bankers lamp video HD

At this point the shade is loose, and all you have to do is remove the shade from the pipe that sticks through the hole in the shade on the side of the socket. Be CAREFUL as you don’t want to be too rough, which can break the glass and cause you to cut your fingers/hands.

If you have the grommets from the broken shade, simply remove them and put them on the new shade, or use the ones you bought. Then carefully introduce your new shade to the base/stand, by threading it onto the pipe at the side of the socket.

Next, align the hole on the opposite side. During this step, you might have to carefully bend the stand/base to get the shade in place. The brass/metal pipes are usually soft enough to allow slight bending, but be careful not to use too much force so you bend them permanently.

If your lamps stand/base is more firm, you might have to apply some force making it a bit harder.

Once the shade is in the correct position, fasten it with the nuts/retainers on both sides. When fastening, you want them to be finger tight, so the shade doesn’t slip. Be careful not to tighten them too hard as this might put pressure on the glass and cause it to break/crack.

If you’ve made it this far you are on the home stretch, which is to reattach the socket. There are just a few things to keep in mind while doing this.

Start off by reattaching the innermost piece of the socket shell to the stand/base. Do not fasten the set screw, but keep it loose so that you can turn the socket.

Now you have to reattach the inner piece to the electric wires. Before attaching them, twist the ends and slightly curve them so you can hook them around the screw.

Attach the hot (black or red) wire to the gold/brass screw, and the common (white) wire to the silver screw. This is where the needle nose plier might come in handy, especially if you don’t have much wiring to work with as you can hold the wire in place while fastening the screw with the screwdriver.

(Video) White Glass Bankers Lamp Shade Replacement Cover, 8 2/3" Width (22cm)(White)

All you have to do now is to reattach the outermost piece of the socket shell and fasten the set screw. Keep in mind that you want to have the pull chain pointed downwards before fastening the set screw so that you don’t have the pull-chain hanging at an angle.

If you have successfully completed the 4th step, you should be set to screw in the light bulb and make the lamp shine again. If you are a bit of a tech guy, you might want to check the lamp for shorts at this point. You can do so by using a multimeter.

If you have any comments or questions regarding this guide, or if there is any additional information you think people should know about when replacing their shade on a bankers lamp, please leave a comment in the comment section below.


How do you replace a lamp shade? ›

Loosen the mounting screws with your screwdriver until the lampshade comes free. Carefully place the old lampshade down nearby and take your new lampshade up the stepladder. Put the new lampshade in place and tighten the mounting screws to hold it in place. Replace the bulb.

What is a bankers lamp made of? ›

A simple stylish light made in solid brass with an adjustable arm to position the light. Bankers lamps are still popular today and with all they have to offer it is easy to see why this iconic design classic has stood the test of time.

What are the parts of a lamp shade called? ›

The Parts of a Lamp Shade
  • Lampshade Frame Forms the Shape.
  • Lampshade Fabric Adds Style.
  • The Lampshade Lining Affects the Light.
  • The Fitter Matters Most.
4 Jan 2022

What style is a bankers lamp? ›

The banker's lamp has its origins in the United States with the introduction of the Emeralite. This is a style of electric desk or table lamp characterized by a brass stand, green glass lamp shade and pull-chain switch (though modern versions may make use of alternate switch types).

Why do they call it a bankers lamp? ›

Because many bankers who often work late at night like and use this kind of lamp, it is also called "Green Bankers Lamp". The boom of the first "banker lamp" was upright, and later a curved boom was designed.

How do you use lamp shade clips? ›

As the name suggests, clip-on lamp shades are designed to clip directly onto a standard or flame type light bulb. They consist of a wire assembly secured snugly around the light bulb. Clip-on shades come with an adapter that makes each lamp shade easy to remove.

What are the 3 types of lampshades? ›

The three most common types of lamp shade assemblies are: spider, uno and clip on.

Do you remove the plastic on a new lamp shade? ›

The wrapping simply protects the lampshade from being damaged or soiled before it is sold. It should be removed before use. Otherwise, the plastic could shrink and push the shade out of shape, or the heat of the lightbulb could melt the wrapping onto the shade.

What are the bendy lamps called? ›

A gooseneck lamp is a type of light fixture in which a lamp or lightbulb is attached to a flexible, adjustable shaft known as a "gooseneck" to allow the user to position the light source without moving the fixture or item to be illuminated.

What is an old fashioned lamp called? ›

A kerosene lamp (also known as a paraffin lamp in some countries) is a type of lighting device that uses kerosene as a fuel. Kerosene lamps have a wick or mantle as light source, protected by a glass chimney or globe; lamps may be used on a table, or hand-held lanterns may be used for portable lighting.

What oil was used in medieval lamps? ›

Along with candles and candlesticks, these metal lamps were the most popular type of medieval lighting. Medieval oil lamps used lower quality olive oil as fuel.

Do all lamp shades fit all lamps? ›

Types of Lamp Shade Fitters

Fitters are not interchangeable, so be sure to use a shade with the correct fitter for your lamp. There are the three common fitters: Spider, Clip-On, and Uno. The spider lamp shade is the most common type of fitter for table and floor lamp shades.

What are the two types of lamp shades? ›

Bell: This elegant skirt-shaped cone has a wide brim at the bottom of its curved sides. This shade is typically used for traditional and classic decor. Drum: A drum shade has a wide cylindrical shape with tall sides and wide rims of equal size, allowing light to flow upward and downward equally.

What is the screw on top of a lamp shade called? ›

Finials, while not technically a part of the shade, are a crucial addition for a shade that uses a spider fitter. The finial is the piece that screws onto the top of the harp and tightens the shade in place. Finials are often decorative and distinctive, allowing you to accentuate your lamp's design and finish the look.

Why do bankers lamps have green shades? ›

Why banker's lamps are green. Banker's lamps were supposedly designed with comfort in mind: their rounded green shades are meant to be easy on the eyes. That's how they were advertised in the 1930s anyway, when they garnered a wider appeal.

What are the four types of lamps? ›

There are 7 types of light sources in lamps as mentioned below.
  • Incandescent: Incandescent lamps have bulbs containing a tungsten filament. ...
  • Halogen: ...
  • Fluorescent: ...
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamp: ...
  • Neon Lamps: ...
  • High-intensity Discharge: ...
  • LED Lamps:

How do you know if a lamp is vintage? ›

Examine Decals and Signs of Aging

If the metal is shiny, the glass is pristine, and the lamp generally looks newer overall, it might be a reproduction. Vintage lamps will show typical signs of aging, such as patina on the metal, discoloration, or cracks in the glass.

Why do lawyers have green lamps? ›

It was given the green shade largely due to the belief that green light was soothing, caused less eye strain, and therefore improved productivity.

What is lamp slang for? ›

to hit somebody very hard. lamp somebody The guy lamped me. lamp somebody something I'd have lamped her one!

Why library lamps are green? ›

Due to its popularity among the upper class, and the belief that the green shade was psychologically soothing and caused less eyestrain, they were fitted/introduced there in large numbers. With time, they became so common that they essentially became omnipresent with these buildings.

What is a gimbal fitting on a lampshade? ›

Shade carrier or gimbal. A shade carrier (otherwise know as a gimbal or gimble) is used to connect a lampshade to a lamp holder (the bit on the base or lamp stand that holds the lampshade and bulb in place).

How do you apply bias tape to a lampshade? ›

Gently push the bias tape down over the rings, starting at the inside seams. Repeat on the other side of the lampshade. 11. Starting at the inside seam, gently tuck the bias tape under the ring using the finishing tool until you reach the seam.

What is the rule for lampshades? ›

The shade should be twice as wide as the lamp base, and one third of the total height of the lamp. So for a 6-inch lamp base, the shade should be at least 12 inches wide. And if the total height of the lamp (including the bulb and harp) is 24 inches, the shade should be 8 inches tall.

How do I know what type of lamp shade I need? ›

To choose the right lamp shade width, measure your lamp base and multiply by two. For a round base, measure straight across; measure diagonally for a square base. The widest part of your shade should be at least a half-inch wider than the widest part of your base on each side.

What does a Type B lamp look like? ›

Type B Light Bulb

The bulb itself is generally narrow and bullet-shaped or flame-shaped. This style of bulb is most popular for decorative purposes, such as in candelabra-style lighting fixtures.

What is the plastic inside a lampshade called? ›

What's Adhesive Styrene? Adhesive Styrene is a light, yet sturdy and durable, translucent polystyrene plastic sheet. It's the material that lines the interior of professionally-made lampshades.

Does Mod Podge work on lamp shade? ›

Mod Podge perfectly bonds the new fabric to the existing canvas-like lamp shade, but I still feel like I have a brand new lamp! Learn how to make this craft at home below.

What is the plastic used on lampshades? ›

The typical plastic types often used for lamp shades include: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) - Less durable compared to other types of plastics, but very economical. High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) - Very durable and resistant to strong chemicals.

What is a TikTok lamp? ›

What are TikTok lights? TikTok lights are any fixtures that personalities on the app use for enhanced video lighting. They can help minimize shadows, add special effects, or showcase certain items.

What are spider lamps? ›

The “Spider lamp” is a nickname that refers to ceiling lamp 2358 with eight arms, ceiling lamp 2356 with six arms and ceiling lamp 2353 with three arms.

What is a donkey lamp? ›

The donkey lamp is a weapon in Dead Rising 2, Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, Dead Rising 2: Case West, and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record.

What is the rarest lamp? ›

Pink Lotus Lamp Fetches $2.8 Million - Most Expensive Lamp The most expensive lamp in the world the Pink Lotus sold at Christie's Auction House in New York, on December 12,1997 for an unbelievable price of $2.8 million. It is believed to be the only known example in existence.

What makes an antique lamp valuable? ›

The world's most valuable antique lamps are more than well-designed light fixtures. They are pieces of art and history created by the world's finest innovators and craftsmen. Many antique lamps exist as one of a few or the only one of their kind, making them highly sought-after as rare collectibles.

Do old lamps have value? ›

Edison and old Weston bulbs can be worth thousands of dollars. A lampshade made of iridescent Favrile glass, detailed glass mosaics and certain fabrics and parchments can also add to the lamp's value. A valuable antique lamp is quite a find.

What is the cleanest burning oil for lamps? ›

Paraffin oil is easily the better choice for indoor lamps due to its clear, odorless, and cleaner burn.

Will olive oil burn in a lamp? ›

Unlike kerosene, olive oil won't ignite if the flame drops down into the oil — in fact, it will smother the flame. It's quite amazing that olive oil will burn at all. Unlike kerosene or paraffin oil, there are no fumes to burn. If the lamp is tipped, the oil will smother the flame in an olive oil lamp.

What can I use instead of lamp oil? ›

Olive Oil: An odorless, smokeless renewable fuel that is a popular alternative to kerosene or lamp oil.

Should lampshade be wider than lamp? ›

Three things to remember...

The width of the lampshade (diameter at the bottom) should be roughly equal to the height of the lamp base. The height of the lampshade should be about two thirds the height of the lamp base. The lampshade should be the wider than the widest part of the lamp base.

Can a lamp shade be bigger than the table? ›

Typically, your table lamp should be no more than 1 ½ times the height of the table it will set on and the lamp shade should never be larger than the table.

Are lamp shade fittings universal? ›

In most cases, the type of fitter is not interchangeable, so be sure to match the shade attachment to a compatible lamp base.

What does spider mean on a lampshade? ›

A: spider refers to the cross bar configuration at the top of the shade, which requires a harp fixture rising from the base of the bulb to the top, upon which a screw-on finial holds the whole shade together.

What is the most common type of lamp called? ›

Incandescent: These are the most commonly used type of bulb and are usually the least expensive. They emit a warm light, can be used with dimmers, and usually last up to a year – longer than halogen lightbulbs, but not as long as CFL or LED lightbulbs. They are also not as energy-efficient as other lighbulb types.

What is the metal piece on a lamp shade called? ›

Fitter – a metal frame that attaches the lampshade to the lamp. The most common types of fitter are as follows: Washer – a small circle with three arms reaching out to the top of the lampshade.

What does the finial screw into? ›

What is a finial used for? A finial is used to add a decorative touch to the end of a curtain rod. It can also be used as a way to keep the curtains from sliding off the end of the rod. Finials are the decorative end pieces that fit into the ends of the drapery rod to give it a finished, ornamental look.

What are the three types of lamp shades? ›

The three most common types of lamp shade assemblies are: spider, uno and clip on.

How do lamp shade carriers work? ›

The shade carrier is used to connect lampshades manufactured with Duplex rings to lamp holders and control the height between. The height of the shade can then be adjusted relative to the lamp holder. Shades that use this system have many advantages over fixed, fitted frames.

What is a gimbal fitting lampshade? ›

Shade carrier or gimbal. A shade carrier (otherwise know as a gimbal or gimble) is used to connect a lampshade to a lamp holder (the bit on the base or lamp stand that holds the lampshade and bulb in place).

Why are old library lamps green? ›

Due to its popularity among the upper class, and the belief that the green shade was psychologically soothing and caused less eyestrain, they were fitted/introduced there in large numbers. With time, they became so common that they essentially became omnipresent with these buildings.

Who uses an Aldis lamp? ›

Aldis Lamps are typically positioned on the bridge wing of maritime vessels. They signal Morse code messages via flashing light and are still used to this day as way of communication between ships, both warfighting and merchant.

What are green lamps used for? ›

Today, green light therapy has a wide variety of potential uses based on early research into its potential contributions to better sleep, pain relief, depression, migraine relief, and skin improvements.

What color lampshade gives the most light? ›

White shades are best at lighting an entire room, while darker ones tend to funnel the light and make a more dramatic statement.

How do you install a shade carrier? ›

The shade carrier attaches to the lamp base and is secured in place using the threaded ring, which you'll find around the light bulb holder. The lower of the two duplex rings, then simply sits on top of the shade carrier.

How does a lamp shade harp work? ›

Harps are flexible, often U-shaped parts that fit over a lamp's light bulb, simultaneously protecting the bulb and providing the support or attachment piece for the lampshade. Most often, a harp's base – the harp saddle – is attached to the lamp beneath the socket.

What are the four types of lamp holder? ›

  • The four main types of lamp holder (left to right): B15 (SBC), B22d (BC), E14 (SES) and E27 (ES)
  • The four main types of light bulb cap sizes (left to right): B15 (SBC), B22d (BC), E14 (SES) and E27 (ES)
  • The three main fitting options (left to right): threaded, cord grip and hooked.
12 Nov 2016

What is a gimble fitting? ›

The lamp shade carrier (also known as a lamp shade support or gimble) is designed for the purpose of holding the lamp shade in place when the lamp shade in question has the large duplex 11 cm ring fitting.

What is a Gimballed mount? ›

A gimbal mount has axes of rotation which intersect at the center front surface of the optic. When the mount is adjusted, only the beam's angle changes, not its length. In contrast, a non-gimbal mount will shorten or lengthen a beam path as angle is adjusted.

What is an uno fitting on a lamp? ›

An UNO fitter is a large threaded ring in the middle of the fabric shades top tripod. It is designed to thread onto UNO sockets. UNO sockets have the same matching thread on their socket shell. The most common application for this type of shade and holder is the bridge arm floor lamp.


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