How to Add a Reading Lamp to a Metal Bed Headboard

What You'll Need
Vertically-mounted lamp with power cord
Power drill
Metal drill bit
Nuts and bolts
Tape measure
Masking tape
Safety glasses

Rather than buy a clip-on lamp and fasten it to your metal bed headboard to fall or be knocked off at various times, you can instead install a reading lamp directly to the headboard. This type of lamp will not only look nicer, it will be secure. No matter what type or color of metal your bed headboard is, you can find a relatively small lamp to install on to it. Assuming that you'll be drilling vertically into your headboard, find a lamp that can be wall-mounted. Otherwise you will have to modify the stand and base of the lamp in order for it to work. Ideally, you buy a wall lamp meant for vertical installation.

Step 1: Position of Lamp

Before you drill, find the right position for the lamp on your headboard. Take into consideration proximity to a power outlet, if you sleep alone or with your spouse or partner and the desired height of the lamp. Once you settle on the right spot, take a small bit of masking tape and stick it to the headboard directly below where you'll install it so you can remember its position. 

Step 2: Determine the Right-Size Drill Bit

Wall-mounted lamps usually have a vertically-positioned mounting plate into which the bolts insert. Over the mounting plate a decorative cover fits into place. Determine which metal drill bit you need to make the right size holes for the mounting bolts. Note the position of the mounting holes relative to each other in order to drill accurately. You have to also decide about the power cord. You may be able to drape it over the back of the headboard, or, if it runs through the lamp stand, drilling a large enough hole into the headboard through which to feed the cord is another option, although drilling that size of hole may be problematic.

Step 3: Drill the Holes

Attach the right drill bit to the power drill and make sure you have accurate marks on the headboard indicating where to drill. The type of metal will dictate the type of bit you use. Softer metal should be drilled at a medium pace while harder metals require faster drilling. Wear safety glasses as you drill. Use a new bit so you make as clean a hole as possible. 

Step 4: Install Lamp

With the holes drilled, now position the lamp on the headboard and insert the mounting bolts. Use bolts so you can fasten them from the backside with lock nuts. Once mounted, slide the decorative cover into place over the mounting plate. Determine a course for the power cord, whether you go over the headboard or let it dangle between it and the mattress. Wall-mounted lamps are often hardwired. Look into your options for lamps. One with a power cord is necessary because you want no exposed wires, especially with a metal headboard. 

In just a few short steps, you can have a headboard-mounted reading lamp as opposed to a clip-on variety. It looks nicer and will be very secure on your metal headboard.