Can You Bring A Lamp On A Plane? (TSA Rules) 

Last Updated on July 30, 2022

The Transportation Security Administration are the folks that run airport security in the US and they don’t specifically mention lamps on their website.

So they are not on the list of prohibited items.

But this doesn’t mean that every lamp will be permitted on the plane. There are some lamps that may not be allowed in your carry-on luggage.

Here’s what the TSA told Rachel on Twitter:

Lamps aren’t specifically prohibited in carry-on bags. However, we suggest packing them in checked bags. They may be subject to additional screening or not allowed if they alarm during screening or pose other security concerns. The final decision rests with our checkpoint officers.

Here’s the deal. There’s nothing about a lamp in terms of the fact that it’s an electrical item or has a lightbulb that causes any security problems at the airport.

However, some lamps have weighted bases that mean they are heavy and you could whack someone over the head with them.

The wrong lamp could be used as a bludgeon and all weapons are prohibited from the airplane cabin.

This is why the TSA states that the final decision is taken by the TSA officer at the security checkpoint. They want to carry out a physical inspection of your individual lamp and if they think it could be used as a weapon they won’t let you take it on the plane.

Smaller lighter lamps will 100% be allowed on the the plane in your cabin baggage. Larger heavy lamps will only be permitted in checked baggage.

Still Unsure? Ask The TSA

If you have any questions about packing a lamp you can reach out the the TSA on Twitter. They usually get back to you quickly.

Rob asked about bringing a metal table lamp in his checked luggage:

Metal table lamps are allowed in checked baggage but remember that your airline probably has a weight limit or checked suitcases.

They told Eric that a disassembled floor lamp could be allowed in hand luggage:

But remember that the rule against bringing a weapon on the plane would still apply. So if part of your floor lamp was heavy and could be used as a club then you might not get it past airport security.

Gloria asked where she should pack this desk lamp:

The TSA replied that desk lamps are allowed in both carry-on and checked bags:

Ella wanted to bring a salt lamp on her flight in checked luggage:

Salt lamps are allowed in checked bags.

Jordan discovered that lava lamps must be packed in checked bags:

That’s because of the liquid inside the lamp. Liquids are restricted in hand luggage.

The Bottom Line

In general, you can pack most types of lamps in hand luggage or checked luggage.

But ask yourself…

If you were involved in a fight would you be happy to have this lamp in your hand? If yes then it might not be allowed into the cabin. If it would be useless in a fight then you’ll probably be able to bring it on the plane.

Does the lamp contain liquid like a lava lamp? That won’t be allowed in hand luggage.

If your lamp doesn’t make it past the airport security checkpoint you’ll need to decide whether to surrender your lamp to the TSA or return to your airline’s check-in-desk to check your suitcase.

If it’s a lamp you really don’t want to lose then it’s better to leave it at home or check your luggage.

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