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-   -   Simple installation of simple pull cord closet light ( 02-16-2008 06:59 PM

Simple installation of simple pull cord closet light
This should be something I can do, vs having a handyman or electrician do it. BUT I am scared of electricity (smart that way)...but let's see what you tell me.
I had some closet space created from cutting into walss of eaves. Great openings. Made into cedar closet and a storage/side attic.
Both have exposed wires from the outlets on the other side of the wall..on the finished side. I want to install a light, using the same junction boxes, and this light has a pulldown string. Is this something a handy-but electric shy person can do? should do?
I want to do before we finish off the walls with cedar am wishing to not have to wait for handyman or electrician.

JGarth 02-16-2008 07:35 PM


junkcollector 02-16-2008 09:05 PM

Buying a book on house wiring could be a start. One to look at is called "Wiring Simplified."

220/221 02-16-2008 11:26 PM

Black to the brass screw, white to the siver one.

It aint rocket surgery.:jester:

frenchelectrican 02-17-2008 12:02 AM

But NO bare bulb luminaires are allowed in cloth closet per NEC code requriement.

only allowed enclosed luminiares are allowed in cloth closet.

Merci, Marc

idoelectric 02-17-2008 12:22 AM

After reading your post, it may be a good idea to have someone (with some electrical know-how) perform this task for you. Although it's a pretty simple job to do for those with experience, it may be hazardous for those with no prior electrical knowledge and have greater chances of faulty wiring that could lead to other consequences. That doesn't make it impossible. You mentioned that you're scared of electricity which is more like your fear of the unknown. Take the time to educate yourself with self help books of residential wiring and get familiarized with the simple hand tools and materials required for the work. If you decide to have someone do it for you, be sure to watch how it's done.
You mentioned that you wanted to install a light with a pull string. If it's a keyless incadescent light fixture without any kind of globe to go over the bulb, these fixtures are no longer allowed to be installed in storage closets. Surface mounted and recessed light fixtures with bulbs completely enclosed and flourescent fixtures with lamps completely enclosed are allowed. 02-17-2008 06:49 AM

Thanks to all that responded
Except for the one who said 'its not rocket science', it appears most of you knowledgeable people, think I should call an electrician...even though it is relatively easy.
So, I'll be calling my handy man.
And I am concerned about the NEC rule about 'no uncovered bulb' in a closet is allowed.
As all of my closets in my old home, have these pull corded bulbs.
Most closets were added in 50's...some in the 80's though. Hummmm...
Thanks again.

idoelectric 02-17-2008 07:15 AM

See if you can find someone a friend or neighbor who has some electrical experience. Being a licensed master electrician, normally I would recommend hiring an electrician, but in your case, it may be expensive and it's easy enough for someone with some electrical experience. The electrical code is updated every3 years with new requirements and changes. When your house was wired it was ok for those fixtures in the closets at that time. 2005 codes does not allow those anymore. Surface mount has to be 12 inches away from nearest storage shelf, recessed and flourescent lights must be at least 6 inches from storage shelf. I would recommend nothing higher than a 60 watt bulb for closets. It wouldn't be a bad idea to change out your fixtures in other closets but not mandatory. For safety purposes only. Don't pay no mind to any offending comments by others. Some forget what's its like not to know how to do electrical work. Good Luck.

BigJimmy 02-17-2008 09:55 AM


Originally Posted by (Post 98609)
And I am concerned about the NEC rule about 'no uncovered bulb' in a closet is allowed. As all of my closets in my old home, have these pull corded bulbs. Most closets were added in 50's...some in the 80's though.

As was mentioned, the NEC changes every 3 years and what may have been legal last code cycle could become illegal in the following. That being said, previous work is grandfathered meaning you don't have to go back every 3 years and re-do things to bring them into current standards (in general, you do if you disturb or modify something that is affected).

I bought a 100-year old home. Since I have a fairly good understanding of the NEC (moreover the motivation behind many of the rules)and being an electrical professional, I have voluntarily replaced outdated wiring and brought other circuits/installations up to code where I didn't necessarily need to. But this is due to the fact that I read a lot of electrical trade magazines and other code related junk and in some cases, felt compelled to change things in the name of fire safety. After all, it's my family that sleeps under this roof!

In your specific case, I would retrofit the pull-code operated incandescent lamp holders in closets with flourescent strips. An incandescent converts approximately 10% of the enegy it consumes into visible light. The rest? You guessed it: heat. Flourescents are much more efficient and generate only a fraction of the heat compared to a normal bulb. Therein, you greatly reduce the chances of starting that nice, folded pile of wool sweaters into an inferno due to accidental contact with the bulb. Again, this is just my opinion but I don't think many people would argue against it being a smart one.

Good luck.

jwhite 02-17-2008 10:12 AM

Regardless of choice of light fixture there are requirements for minimum clearance from storage areas. As already noted you do not want your stored goods going up in flames.

On a side note, since the area is already torn up, why not go ahead and install a wall switch for the light.

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