How to Connect the Harp on a Lamp

Things You\’ll Need

  • Lampshade

  • Finial

... If you can see the lamp\’s switch, install a shorter harp.

If you light your home with lamps, at some point you'll need to install a harp. The harp is the metal yoke that connects the lampshade to the lamp. New lamps ship with the harps detached. Responsible movers remove both harps and shades before packing your lamps. You may need a shorter or taller harp if you replace the shade on an existing lamp. Switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs may require wider harps. The process is quick. You don't need any electrical knowledge or special skills to connect the harp to a lamp.

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Step 1

Unplug the lamp from the electrical outlet and unscrew the light bulb. Place the lamp on a level surface.

Step 2

Raise the harp's two sliding cylinders, called ferrules, to reveal the notched ends of the harp base. Hold the ferrules in the raised position while squeezing the base of the harp together. Insert the notched ends of the harp into the corresponding C-shaped channels of the saddle, which is the U-shaped piece mounted just below the lamp socket. Release the harp.

Step 3

Straighten the harp if it's sitting crooked. Slide the ferrules down over the ends of the saddle to lock the harp into position. Twist the plate at the top of the harp until the threaded stem stands upright.

Step 4

Hold the lampshade right side up. Locate the lampshade's fitter, which is a metal disk with radiating spokes and a hole in the center. Place the fitter over the harp's threaded stem. Screw a lamp finial clockwise onto the stem to hold the lampshade in place. Straighten the shade if needed.


If you can see the harp, saddle, socket or switch peeking out from the bottom of the lampshade, you need a shorter harp. If the shade covers too much of the lamp base, try a taller harp.

If you're replacing an existing harp with a new one, the new harp's ferrules are occasionally too small to fit over the ends of the existing socket saddle. Sometimes the ferrules fit but the harp wobbles. In either case, insert the harp into the saddle but don't lower the ferrules. Crimp the C-shaped channels of the saddle with a pair of pliers to reduce their size.