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How To Hide Floor Lamp Cords?

Floor lamps make a great addition to a room – they’re functional since they can help to illuminate your space effectively, but they’re also attractive furniture items within themselves.

Except for one part – the cord. No matter how stylish a lamp’s design may be, the cord is an essential part that may spoil it if it isn’t properly hidden.

It can also be a trip hazard, which isn’t ideal.

So how do you hide the cord so that your beautiful lamp doesn’t have a trailing tail which looks unsightly and can cause danger?

The best way to hide floor lamp cords is to run them to the nearest wall and then run along the wall with a cable concealer. You can put thinner cables under carpets and rugs, but they can wear down over time. Shortening a lamp cord is a useful trick to minimize its impact.

In this guide, I’m going to help you make sure your floor lamp looks its best with a discreetly hidden cord, including tips on:

  • Hiding cords in the middle of a room
  • Hiding wires under carpets or rugs
  • Hiding cords for tripod lamps
  • Shortening a lamp’s cord

How To Hide Cords In The Middle Of The Room?

floor lamp next to a table with a cord running on the floor

When you have a floor lamp that’s situated in the middle of the room – whether it’s against a wall but in the middle away from plugs or literally in the middle of a room because it’s beside furniture – finding a way of plugging it in without leaving a trailing cord is your priority.

There are two main principles to keeping the cord as neat as possible:

  • Use other furniture to obscure the cable.
  • Get the cable to the nearest wall as quickly and directly as possible.

You want to make sure that the least amount of cord is exposed on the actual floor, so you should be running it directly to the wall, even if there’s no plug nearby.

So if there is any furniture you can run the cable underneath – side tables, sofas, and so on – then do this first.

But aim to make a bee-line for the closest wall.

Once the cable is at the wall, you can then use cable concealer (Amazon) to run it all the way along the wall to the plug without it being seen.

The concealer can then be painted to match the wall, so it almost completely blends in.

Cable concealers are usually self-adhesive, but some may need screwing in, so choose the right one for you.

Attach it to the wall keeping it as low as possible.

Always run it at right angles if you need to change height – don’t chart a diagonal line to the plug, it won’t look neat.

Once the cable runs to the plug, in a concealer channel, you can paint it to match the wall so it almost completely blends in.

If the room has wallpaper, you could try to paper over it, but it’ll be difficult if it is patterned.

Painting it to match the dominant color of the paper is an easier option.

Can I Put Wiring Under Carpets And Rugs?

sofa with floor lamp next to it

You can run wires for floor lamps underneath rugs or even carpets if you can. But you should be careful doing so.

You want to ensure the cable doesn’t undergo too much wear and tear from people stepping on it.

Wires are durable but not invincible, and the rubbing of various feet could break down the cable over time.

That doesn’t just mean it’ll stop working – as the wiring wears down, the current may not be transmitted properly, and you could get a build-up of heat, which becomes a fire hazard.

Choosing floor lamps with thinner cables is better if you run them under the carpet.

For a start, they’re less likely to appear as a lump, but the pressure from walking over them will be lessened on the wire if it has a lower profile.

So there’ll be less wear over time.

If you’re running cable under a carpet or a rug, still follow the same principles of getting it to the wall as quickly as possible and then running it to the outlet.

This will minimize the amount of walking on the cable.

You should tape it down too, under the carpet, so it doesn’t move.

Otherwise, if the cable can be kicked/rubbed out of position, it could tug on the lamp and pull it over.

How To Hide A Cord On A Tripod Floor Lamp?

 Wooden oversize lamp standing in the bright dining room with wire wrapped around the leg

When you have a tripod floor lamp, the cable will often hang loose from the bulb fixture, spoiling the look a little.

Some lamps may already have the cable attached to a leg, but if not, you can do this yourself – you can tape it to a leg until it reaches the floor and then use the tricks to hide the rest of the cable.

Another option is to wrap the cable around a leg, which doesn’t look clean.

It’s better to position the lamp where it will live, run the cable down the back side of a leg where it isn’t visible, and use regular small pieces of tape to hold it in place.

What Kind Of Tape Should I Use To Conceal Cords?

That’s two suggestions I’ve given so far where you should use tape to help keep the cable in place – either under flooring or down a tripod lamp leg.

You should also tape the cable in other places, such as a sofa leg, if it helps hide it.

So which tape should you use?

You can use scotch tape/sellotape, but it’s not the strongest.

The fact that it’s clear is useful, but it is generally relatively thin, so it won’t cover the cable in most cases.

Avoid using duct tape, which is designed for a more permanent application.

It’ll certainly hold the cable in place, but it’ll be difficult to remove. 

Gorilla tape is similar; it contains a rubber-based adhesive that is heavily concentrated, so it will stick to the wire and damage it if you try to remove it later.

The best balance is a gaffer tape (Amazon), which is strong but doesn’t leave a residue.

It’ll keep the cable in place but can be removed if needed.

Can I Shorten A Floor Lamp Cord?

pliers cut the cord

Hiding a floor lamp cord is much easier when the cable is the correct length to reach the outlet. When you have an excess line, you need to find somewhere neat to store it.

The easiest way to do that is to use a cable shortener (Amazon) where you wrap the excess around it.

But that still doesn’t look too neat.

If you want to do it properly, you can shorten the cord by cutting it.

 

You can do this at the bulb end or the plug end. That’s up to you.

Obviously, the cord should not be plugged in when you do this.

If you’re shortening it at the plug, check whether the plug can be removed. You’ll need to buy another plug to use if it can’t.

If you want to shorten it at the bulb end, unscrew the fixture, and you should be able to either pull or unscrew the wired part away from the lamp holder.

Once that’s done, unscrew the wire from the terminals, and you’re ready to start.

Either method will cut the cable to remove a section, strip back some of the wire, and then reconnect it to the plug or the bulb fixture, depending on which side you cut.

This video takes you through it step-by-step:

Be warned – if you decide to cut the cord to shorten it, you’ll end any warranty on the lamp.

You must also ensure that your new connections are solid.

If you don’t properly connect the wire to the terminals on the plug or the bulb fixture, you may cause arcing, which could become a fire hazard.

Also, make sure you leave enough cord – measure twice!

If you cut it too short, or you later decide to move the lamp further from the outlet, you’ll need to solder a new, longer wire connection, adding more complications.

Final Words

There are many ways you can hide cords for floor lamps, but the best way is to generally make sure you run it to the closest wall and then use concealer to hide it from there.

This not only looks best, but it also keeps any trip risk to a minimum.

How have you hidden your floor lamp cords? Have you been confident enough to shorten the cord yourself?