The Clever $20 Hack Everyone Should Know for Transforming Thrifted Lamps

published Apr 7, 2024
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Colorful living room with red sofa, patterned throw pillows, large windows, pink, white, chartreuse, and lavender walls,  wood accent chair with shag throw, wood coffee table with books and colorful design objets

Modern, battery-operated LED lamps can instantly brighten up your space — no cords or nearby outlets required — resulting in more convenient, renter-friendly fixtures. That said, there’s still something so thrilling about finding a stunning vintage or thrifted lamp, which typically isn’t cordless or portable. If you want the best of both worlds, though, content creator Alissa Steinbrugge of Pop of Color Project has a super simple lighting hack for transforming regular lamps into cordless designs, allowing you to turn on old or nonfunctional thrifted fixtures with the tap of a button.

In an Instagram post, Steinbrugge shows a secondhand table lamp that she thrifted for $3 but didn’t work. To restore the piece, she first cut the lamp’s cord off completely with wire cutters. She then screwed one of Amazon’s BLUEYE rechargeable light bulbs into the socket to function as a battery-operated light source. The top of these bulbs are removable, so you can easily recharge with a USB cord, plus they include a remote control to toggle between various colors and brightness levels. And that’s all this easy hack involves!

Of course, safety comes first when re-creating this idea. If your lamp has a bulb in it already, make sure it’s off and has cooled down before removing it. As for cutting the cord, make sure the lamp is unplugged to help prevent a fire and electrical shock too. Some designs won’t allow for it, but when possible, consider removing the cord altogether instead of snipping with wire cutters. 

Ultimately, this cordless lighting trick will only set you back about $20 for an individual battery-operated bulb. Plus, it allows you to upcycle any broken or extremely dated lamps you may have found at thrift shops or estate sales and like the look of, even if they don’t work. It’s also perfect if your home lacks accessible outlets, or you don’t want to hardwire a specific light fixture because there’s no electrical wiring present in a particular spot.