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Bulb Holder

This web page describes what a bulb holder is and what can go wrong with a bulb holder.


A bulb holder is often called a lamp holder.


What Is A Bulb (Lamp) Holder?

A bulb holder is a device that holds a bulb. The bulb holder is where the bulb fits.


The image below shows a bulb holder from a ceiling light.

Ceiling light bulb holder


The bulb fits into the bulb holder, the bulb holder ‘holds’ the bulb.


The bulb holder contains the electrical connection from the supply to the bulb. The metal end of the bulb comes into contact with the supply when the bulb is screwed into the bulb holder.


How the bulb connects to the electrical supply is shown in the image below.

Ceiling bulb holder labelled


The image below shows 3 different types of electrical contacts.

Ceiling bulb holder showing electrical contacts


The electrical contacts are inside the bulb holder at the top of the bulb holder.


The different types of bulb holder electrical contact will ‘match’ the electrical contact on the bulb.


The screw fitting in the image would have a bulb holder with a single electrical contact – the right hand electrical contact.


The electrical contact is usually made from copper.

What Can Go Wrong With A Bulb (Lamp) Holder?

Turn the supply off before working on exposed voltages within the bulb holder.


  • Loose wires in the bulb holder.
    • Turn the supply off to the bulb holder, reconnect the wires.
  • Supply cable damaged.
    • Check the supply cable to the bulb holder – is it damaged? If the cable to the bulb holder is damaged remove the power and mend, or replace, the supply cable.
  • Electrical contacts ‘oxidised’.
    • Oxidisation of the electrical contacts stops electrical contact between the bulb holder and the bulb. Remove power and use a screwdriver to clean the contacts – scrape the oxidisation off. See image below.

Bulb holder oxidised contacts


Judge Electrical Limited
15 Mulberry Court, Huntington, York, YO32 9TU
Telephone 01904 764845 (Landline), 07919 033113 Mobile)
Email info@judgeelectrical.co.uk
VAT No. 852917405. Company Number 6359328