How To Use an Uno Shade with a Harp & Finial Lamp

updated May 29, 2023
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Changing up a lampshade can be a quick and easy way to transform the look of a room, but finding the perfect lampshade can be a challenge. IKEA offers a wonderful selection of lampshades at reasonable prices, but they have uno fittings. Uno fittings are a large threaded ring in the middle of the fabric shades top tripod. According to Flip The Switch blog, uno fitters are commonly found on small and medium shades, and less frequently on large and over-sized shades.

Many lamps, especially older ones, feature traditional harp and finial fittings, which are a great way to complete the look of your lamp and new shade. Finials are used to secure your lampshade to the lamp. They range from strictly functional, such as a brass or nickel sphere, to very whimsical. You can change out the actual sockets of your lamp to uno sockets, but if you can’t find uno sockets or just want a simpler solution, then read on!

1 & 2. This vintage lamp has a great shape, but the pleated shade is seriously out of date, not to mention tattered and grubby. A quick trip to a discount store at the mall turned up a new more modern drum shade but the uno fitting wasn’t a match for this harp and finial lamp.

3. Unscrew the finial and then squeeze the harp to remove it. Unscrew the on/off switch, then unscrew the actual brass socket from the lamp base.

4. Pop the socket itself apart. If you can’t get it to come apart by hand, use the edge of a dinner knife or letter opener to pop off the bottom.

5. Remove the top portion of the socket to reveal wire connections. Note which wire connects to which screw, then unscrew them in order to release the socket. Slide the bottom portion of the socket (the cup) off the wire.

6. Thread the wire through the ring of the uno shade and then through the socket cup. Screw the socket cup onto the exposed threaded rod in the base of the lamp.

7. Reconnect the wiring, making sure to use an underwriter’s knot for safety. If you need a refresher on tying an underwriter’s knot, check out this great diagram from Ready Made.

8. Slide the brass sleeve back onto the socket and pop it into the socket cup. Screw the on/off switch back into place.

9. Depending on the width of the base of your harp, you may or may not find your shade is wobbly. My uno ring wedges tightly into the harp base, but if necessary you can add a couple of rubber gaskets or pieces of thick felt (like the pads you use on the bottom of chair legs) to eliminate the wiggle room.

10. The finished lamp works much better for my space and gives off better light. All in all, well worth the 20 50 minutes of labor in order to make an inexpensive lampshade work on my existing lamp.

Images: Colleen Quinn