Restore: Anglepoise Lamp

A long time coming but here’s the Anglepoise Lamp I restored over the summer.

Not a restoration as such, Anglepoise mainly a new wire, a black 3 corded felted wire and a good clean up with the polish, all the parts were removed and cleaned throughly, removing all rust from the springs with time a the good ol’ tin of WD40. The paintwork is yet to be resprayed, chances are it will be left in its current state, not risk removing the original paint, as the paint is only slightly chipped, and doesn’t degraded the overall design.

It now has a earth wire so it should be slightly safer than how it was when I bought it.

New thumb screw on the right, and overall adjustment has allowed for a low energy bulb to be used, the extra weight, pushes the shade down, so everything needs to be tighten up tighter. Using a low energy bulb, reduces the temperature making it much more useful if I’m reading in bed, without burning my head!

New rubber grommets, the old ones had degraded so much that they broke apart on removal


27 thoughts on “Restore: Anglepoise Lamp

  1. Hi Matts,

    fantastic job on the restored 1227… thank you for making our products last longer.

    Feel free to contact us should you ever need any support.

    Tha Anglepoise team

    – follow @anglepoise360 on twitter –

  2. Hi Matt,
    I’ve have a black anglepoise 1227, was just going to rewire like you have done; but my paint work is a lot worse than your’s with large patches missing.

    In your research did you find out the best way to respray?



  3. Hello, thanks for the comment, this is the advise I have given previously. I haven’t yet had a chance to respray an Anglepoise, but this is my knowledge of spraying metals in the past. Obviously choose your colour carefully, particularly if you are trying to be sympathetic to the Anglepoise tradition. I would always choose a paint that is as close to the original as possible, saying that now is the chance to create a unique lamp.

    Usually you would use normal paint stripper to remove the first coat of paint, then a mixture of fine wire wool and wet/dry paper until you get to the bare metal. The metal needs to be wiped down with white sprit to remove any grease, at this stage its a good idea to wear gloves so you don’t touch it as it will effect the paint.
    You can either spray (my preferred choice) it or brush the paint on, if spraying I would use a standard grey base coat primer (found at any Car shop i.e. Halfords) follow instructions on the can, then spray with the colour of your choice. You can also use a clear lacquer at this stage, you would need to do some more research on this.
    Brushing on is a touch easier, but may not get a truly flat coat. Look for metal paints in B&Q etc. Hammerite is quite expensive but works well. In both cases hand the lamp with string so it stands freely to dry.

    Anglepoise lamps can be fully disassembled with relative ease, so you can avoid painting bits you don’t want doing such as the springs.

    Obviously try it on a small area before you start the main part, just in case.

    Hope this helps, if you have any more questions post another comment and please let me know how you get on.


  4. Don’t know about you, but I found the grommets a pigs ear, can’t get the wire through when they are in place & can’t get them in place when the wire is already through!

  5. When I did this one I found the old grommets were very brittle so I decided to bin them. I’ve seen quite a few people commenting on their troubles, you have to be very careful with which wire you choose. This one was a three-core twisted wire, but the earth stops before the first hole, connected near the springs, so only two wires pass through.
    The best way seems to feed it through everything, so the grommets are loose, then push them in with the small screw driver.

    Have you tried respraying yet?

  6. Hi there,
    I was wondering if it would be possible to provide one-to-one training on anglepoise restoration? I’m a student and I recently purchased a vintage Anglepoise Type75 for a bargain on eBay, however I did not expect the restoration quote to cost that much. Am going to attempt in restoring it myself to bring the costs down. any help and advise would be appreciated?

  7. Sorry for the delay in replying, as a student I’m in the same position as you, have you got any photos of the Anglepoise? I can have a look and see what the best way to do it would be, Obviously if there is any damage it will cost a bit more. Restored Anglepoise tend to to go for very high prices, but you can get one in fairly good condition for a decent price if you keep checking.

  8. For anyone interested, I’v just set up a blog-site about the 1227 Anglepoise with its history, links and a guide to roughly dating you lamp. its

  9. Firstly great site! ive been addicted to Anglepoise lamps for a few years now!! and always wanted to get a detailed breakdown of the types via the website but found it to be quite vague still, maybe they could publish you information on their site to inform the world.

    I enjoy restoring these lamps, mainly stripping them down and polishing them back to a mirror shine, someone commented a while ago about getting the rubber grommits back into the small cable holes; my dad taught me a trick:
    – put grommits over cable and continue threading through the lamp (pulling it through via some thin string helps)
    – use vasoline or simply some spit to lube up the grommit and then you can wiggle it into place with your hands, possibly use a small wooden paint brush end so it doesnt damage the paint ect

    …hope it helps. Long live the Anglepoise:)
    Im always on the look out for lamps in need of restoration so feel free to email if anyone has them for sale in UK.

  10. Hey Matt, great site. Nice to see other people are still passionate about anglepoise as much as I am. It started out a few years ago but I spent lots of time restoring anglepoise lamps for friends/clients whilst not at uni studying for my architecture diploma.

    I have published a small book which people can order via Blurb about a full-restoration of an anglepoise I did for a client a few years ago. Nice little book which can be purchased if people are interested? called “Anglepoise” via Blurb, has full preview too.

    I also have a few rare anglepoise all polished and some still needing full- restoration if people are interested buying? Email me for full-details of what I currently have for sale.

    all the best,

    Robert Cole

  11. Hi!
    My 1227 on/off push switch has seized up.
    I have tried to unscrew the light bulb holder both inside and outside the lampshade, but I cannot twist either part open.
    Any ideas?

  12. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for this post! I am trying to restore a Type 90 that I was lucky to find in a skip a few years ago without knowing what it was – it is a relief to see other people working through the same project!

    I see you’ve posted more recently about one you were going to repaint.. mine has a few too many chips in it but in disassembling the thing I am struggling to take out the four pins that attach the two side pieces on the lower arm to the springs and the base fork. I see there’s an item on called a “pin punch” which I guess is for putting them in? Did you manage to remove these pins? Any advice on how to do it?

    Kind regards

  13. I had a similar problem with one of mine, fortunately the inside ring became brittle and I managed to break it off and replace it with a new one from another standard bulb holder.

    If you can’t do that I’m not sure what to recommend other than breaking it off other than some a tiny bit of liquid lubricant and some perseverance.

  14. Hello Richard,

    Thanks for reading my blog, I’ve tended to leave them in, always a bit weary that I’ll bend the aluminium arms getting out. It’s not a problem if you take some time masking them off before spraying.

    I know this isn’t much help if you still want to remove them, I’m not going to have much time for a while to have a look into it, but please let me know how you get on.

    Thanks again,

  15. Nice work! I have a mystery which i’m hoping someone may be able solve. The mystery of missing spacer on my anglepoise. A lamp I restored recently has no spacer on the lower arms up from the main hinge towards the upper hinge.

    I have photos which will help explain what I mean.

  16. love these lamps and all this information – one of my trolley light lamps has the reverse problem to that experienced with the heavier lamp bulb pushing it down – the lamp doesn’t stay in position when i push it down it slowly rises upwards and i would appreciate any tips to remedy this – there are lots of screws etc and i don’t know whether any of these should be tightened or loosened? hope you can advise many thanks

  17. love these lamps and all this information – one of my trolley light lamps has the reverse problem to that experienced with the heavier lamp bulb pushing it down – the lamp doesn’t stay in position when i push it down it slowly rises upwards and i would appreciate any tips to remedy this – there are lots of screws etc and i don’t know whether any of these should be tightened or loosened? hope you can advise many thanks

  18. Val, have a few answers for your trolley anglepoise problem that you can try:
    1. Move the springs onto another of the location points, there should be 3 holes that the spring holders can be located in, the further/lower these are the tighter or looser the spring and lamp will be.
    2. Tighten up the knurled nut on the RHS of the lamp, half way up at the back hinge
    3. make sure all general nuts are tight but do not over tighten as you will probably snap the nut and thread off together as most parts were brass then chromed and are actually quite soft.
    Use x2 sets of socket sets if needed to tighten nuts correctly
    4. Dont use new eco bulbs; sounds obvious but these bulbs are much much heavier and thus will not keep your lamp balanced. They were never designed to take such weight in the shade and this is a common problem. I buy bulbs from Tesco that look like old school filaments but have a halogen filament inside, about £3 each. They have a few wattage options.

    I have restored many anglepoise lamps over the years so any further problems, please feel free to email me. Take a look at my new website devoted to anglepoise restoration:


  19. Hi.
    I have recently dug out my old black 1227 Anglepoise from the loft, cleaned and rewired it with new twisted 3 core flex. This sits nicely on the desk at home and is great for putting light exactly where you need it. On the question of bulbs, raised by Val and answered by Rob, I recently found some small, 3W (equivalent to a standard 20W), LED opaque golf ball type bulbs with a standard bayonet fitting in Poundland that for my purpose fit the bill. The bulbs are branded “Electrek”. After fitting,I found that the the arms and shade of the lamp balance well whatever the angle of the lamp (presumably because of the smaller size of the bulb), the bulb runs virtually cold and casts a good mellow light. Just thought I would share this in case anyone is looking for a good alternative to a standard filament bulb.

    Best wishes


  20. Thank you for sharing, a lot has changed since I posted that article, particularly on the LED front.
    I’m currently restoring another lamp, I will have a look at these.

    It would be good if you could share some images, always nice to see old lamps cleaned up and in use.

  21. Hi Matts.
    Will do my best with the images and will post as soon as I can. My lamp has still got the original paint with a few blemishes so not perfect, but I don’t want to strip or re-paint it as I quite like the way it is. I would probably date it as one of the 1960’s models. Just a quick question whilst I’m thinking, do you happen to know the thread size for the tensioning nut on the 1227 model? The nut was missing on my lamp so I have put a temp one on for show, but this is larger in diameter than an original and does not fully tighten along the thread. I have fleshed the thread out with a couple of very small washers so that I can get some tension on the arms. With regards to the bulbs, the ones from Poundland do seem quite a good substitute, and are worth a try for £1 each.

    Best wishes


  22. I’ve thought the same with a few of mine, where possible I keep the original paint. The last few I have chosen to buy lamps that have poor condition paintwork to restore.

    I don’t know the dimension off the top of my head unfortunately, I will try and measure and get back to you. In the mean time it’s worth having a look on eBay there are a few people that remake them close to the original spec for about £5.


  23. Geoff,
    The thread size is an old BA thread, i think 2BA but need to double check.
    You can find replacements on ebay made by this guy and I have bought many, great fit and good quality for the money:

    He only sells as he makes a batch run.

    Hope that helps, for any other enquiries please visit my website which I set up devoted to restoring original Anglepoise lamps. I also have various rare lamps for sale in current condition under the ‘contact’ page.

    Many thanks

  24. Hello Geoff

    Could you tell me the thread sizes for the above lamp as I may have to make some as they are very expensive the clamping screw and the small dome head nuts

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