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jweez 01-16-2010 12:41 AM

I'm attempting a home electrical project... is this destined to catch fire?
Hi there, I am attempting to create a simple DIY project in which I am trying to create a chandelier. I am essentially trying to get a basic lampholder and into it attach several double socket adapters to create a design that looks something like an atomic structure or a tree branch. It will contain somewhere around 8-10 bulbs total (I'm thinking about 10-15W each) coming from the single lampholder. Here is a picture of what I want to accomplish:

Using these:

Before I start worrying about the details of this project, is this a horrible idea? It scares the crap out of me to hook perhaps 20 of these together with knowing next to nothing about electricity and lighting. I saw one of these chandeliers in a store today so it seems like it's certainly executable.

So is this constructable in a manner that wont have a high probability of leaving my apartment in smoke and ashes?

Thanks in advance for your help!!

DownRiverGuy 01-16-2010 12:53 AM

Well you have two issues to address here... the electrical and physical characteristics of this... "custom light fixture" :thumbsup:

Lets say you go nuts and have 10, 15W CFLs. that's a load of 150watts

Most home/apartment circuits are 15A at 120V. So.... 150W / 120V = 1.25A.

Unless there is ALOT of other stuff on that breaker you will not trip it or cause a fire of anykind on the wire itself.

However I would verify that the socket you use (the base one this is all branched off) is rated for 150W or higher! If it isn't then it could overheat and that would be bad. :-x

Now the thing I'd be more concerned about...
Make sure that the base lamp holder is sturdy enough to hold all that weight. Most chandeliers have a secondary support separate from the wire. Be it a chain, air craft cable etc.

If this thing gets to be a few pounds you may want to find a way to mount aircraft cable to the support junction box along with the wire. But... you may not need it.

A cool little idea thou :thumbup:

Red Squirrel 01-16-2010 12:58 AM

Haha that is awesome. I'm curious to see more insight from other experts, I seriously want to try this now. I don't really have a place I could do it though. This could be neat with low wattage incads, on a dimmer.

Heck get colored bulbs for a cool Christmas effect.

jweez 01-16-2010 01:07 AM

Thanks so much for the reply!

It makes me feel much better to know there is very little chance of the chandelier catching fire if I do it right.

As far as the physical aspects go, I already picked out a fairly heavy duty chain from Home Depot as well as a bracket to mount it to the ceiling. I want to use the chain to connect from the bracket to the lampholder somehow. The chain supports a load of 340lbs so as long as I don't go TOO crazy with the number of bulbs I should just sneak in under that capacity :laughing:.

Since I don't have too much experience with electrical work I'm not too fond of having to wire up the lampholder myself. Ideally I would have liked to find one that was already wired but I'm having some issues finding precisely what I want.

I purchased some 18-2 clear lamp wire to use which seems like it should get the job done. As far as the lampholder goes I'm looking for something that is keyless (which I guess is a fancy way of saying doesn't have a switch on it) and will allow me to somehow attach the chain to it. Everything I've been seeing online and in the store is either something you mount directly to the ceiling or one that is typically used for a table-top lamp. Do you have any ideas of where I could look for something that would fit the description of what I'm looking for?

Also I noticed the double socket adapter is rated at 250V and 660W. The 660W is great but I wonder why the 250V? Most of the lampholders I see are 120V (which makes sense). Does that mean I'd also have to find a lampholder rated at 250V?

Thanks again so much for your help!

DownRiverGuy 01-16-2010 01:37 AM

250V is the MAX voltage the outlet can handle. Some bulbs are rated at 240V so the outlet is designed to handle either application. You will be at 120V and will be fine.

If i was doing this I'd look into something similar to these:



You may want to go to a lighting shop and see if they can get you something because even these items will not work for this exact application. The max wattage of the outlet is 60w and there is no secondary support.

So if you found a pendant mounting kit that was rated for 150W and was sturdy enough to handle the weight I'd say you would be set.

This what you're looking for or am I 100% off base here? :huh:

jweez 01-16-2010 01:46 AM

Thats EXACTLY what I need! Thanks for finding that! That would also prevent me from having to wire something up myself (which would be 100x safer). The only issue I can foresee is the 60W capacity, I just need to look around for something with a little bit bigger.

Two other quick questions for you...

1. I'm trying to find 10 or 15W spherical bulbs but they all seem to be too small to fit into a standard socket. Do you know anything about bulbs and if that's possible?

2. Is there any sort of adhesive I could apply to one of the adapters as I screw it into another? It seems like to ensure long-term safety it would be in my best interest to secure each socket to another. I just don't want to apply something that could potentially catch fire.

Thanks again!

DownRiverGuy 01-16-2010 01:59 AM

You're looking for a E26 screw type lamp.

While they don't kick out NEARLY as much light as I like the Ikea ones would be your best bet for this application:

Only downside with these guys is that they take awhile to get to full brightness (a few minutes).

I wouldn't use an adhesive on sockets. I would say you'd have a bigger risk putting in gobs of material in them as opposed to a loose connection!

If you feel that the adapters you purchased are too loose I would go to a electrical supply house and see if they carry any adapters. A different manufacture may have stricter tolerances.

Make sense?

jweez 01-16-2010 02:09 AM

Yeah that does make sense. I have the Leviton Double Socket Adapters they seem to be pretty decent quality so it shouldn't be a problem. I do really like those IKEA bulbs I'm going to look into whether or not the IKEA logo shows once screwed in all the way. I may take a drive down to IKEA tomorrow to see if they have any cheap pendants that would work for my application. I saw one or two online but both had the standard 60W capacity. I also tend to question the quality of the IKEA products they may be a little light-weight. Also their pendants might actually be the type that plug directly into a regular power outlet and not the kind you wire into the ceiling.

I just found this website that describes how to make one of these chandeliers...

They talk about using 40 25W bulbs however! That seemed absurd until I read that they somehow found a 1500W max cord, I just wish they gave the link to where they saw that...

DownRiverGuy 01-16-2010 02:25 AM

The cord would be the easy part. Finding a socket that could handle that current would be the hard part ;)

Let me know how it goes!

jweez 01-16-2010 02:28 AM

Will do, I'll be sure to post some pictures after I finish it. Thanks again for your help, it is greatly appreciated!

kbsparky 01-16-2010 01:57 PM

Burn, baby burn! :furious:

Yoyizit 01-16-2010 02:18 PM

The ratio of the surface area of your design to the total watts dissipated is greater than a 10w bulb and there is no flammable material in the vicinity and you have free air circulation which will give you convective heat loss.
You're good to go.

BTW, I got my socks wet at camp once so I wrapped them around a 60w incand. bulb to dry them.

Unfortunately there was then a commotion outside. People were swimming in water containing snapping turtles, so I forgot about my socks.

When I returned the lamp glass had lumps in it that weren't there before, and the socks were the texture of dry toast.
You need to keep free air circulation with these things.

Scuba_Dave 01-16-2010 02:32 PM

Directions on how to make one & a bigger pic
They do make 15w bulbs that fit in a normal socket
I have a bunch for my christmas decorations
They used 25w bulbs...25w * 40 = 1000 watts, that exceeds the rating of the normal plastic double bulbholder
They used ceramic holders

Yoyizit 01-16-2010 04:28 PM


Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave (Post 384006)
They used 25w bulbs...25w * 40 = 1000 watts, that exceeds the rating of the normal plastic double bulbholder
They used ceramic holders

Possibly because warm plastic holders don't have as much structural strength as ceramic holders. They're designed to hold the weight of just two bulbs.

If you want to stay with plastic you might need a metal structural skeleton.
Or just check that your creation doesn't sag over time.

Scuba_Dave 01-18-2010 08:27 PM

Another version
Maybe 130w CFL = 600w reg bulbs


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