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Old 07-07-2007, 09:58 AM   #1
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want to make ceiling light fixture into plug-in lamp


A total novice question -- I have a 20 year old fluorescent ceiling light fixture, which I would like to convert into a plug-in lamp (I'm a gardener and am looking for an inexpensive way to set up a grow station for seeds/plants). I'm looking at the fixture, and it has 8 wires that connect to the Ballast -- two red and two blue that run to the two lamps/bulbs, two yellow that run to the other end of the lamps/bulbs, and a white and a black that obviously connect to the power source. There is no ground wire, though the ground wire from the house wiring had connected to a screw on the fixture. The fixture is 120 volts, 60 Hz and houses two 40 watt flourescent bulbs.

The question is -- is converting this fixture into a plug in lamp as simple as taking a heavy gague cord+plug, and connecting white to white and black to black? Are there any safety concerns with doing this? Clearly, I don't want to burn my house down just to save a couple of bucks. On the other hand, it would be a great way to put an unused fixture back into productivity.

Thanks in advance
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Old 07-07-2007, 10:50 AM   #2
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Use sj cord with a stress relief plug attached through the knockout hole that the power entered and attach the ground wire from the cord to the metal housing with a small bolt and nut. And yeah black to black and white to white.

Last edited by MechanicalDVR; 07-07-2007 at 10:51 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-07-2007, 09:37 PM   #3
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want to make ceiling light fixture into plug-in lamp


Don't forget to use wire nuts on the connections and tape them also. Be sure the cord is protected where it exits the lamp housing and run the cord's ground to the metal chassis of the fixture.
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Old 07-07-2007, 10:34 PM   #4
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Don't forget to use wire nuts on the connections and tape them also. Be sure the cord is protected where it exits the lamp housing and run the cord's ground to the metal chassis of the fixture.
Why tape wire nuts? If they are installed properly that is kind of a waste of time and tape.
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:37 AM   #5
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Why tape wire nuts? If they are installed properly that is kind of a waste of time and tape.
I see it as an added form of safety. I have seen wirenuts come loose from vibration, hot - cold cycles. The cost of tape is nothing compared to the cost of a fire.
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:25 AM   #6
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want to make ceiling light fixture into plug-in lamp


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I see it as an added form of safety. I have seen wirenuts come loose from vibration, hot - cold cycles. The cost of tape is nothing compared to the cost of a fire.
I agree, however most electricians don't do this. I feel better when I do
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Old 07-08-2007, 12:40 PM   #7
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A properly installed wirenut does not need taping nor does doing so add any safety. IMO and the manufacturers opinion. An improperly installed wirenut also does not benefit from taping you are just hiding the improper install under tape.
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Old 01-31-2008, 03:30 PM   #8
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so is there no need to carry the ground wire of a hardwired lamp to a 3 prong plug then? i ask b/c i would like to change a pendant lamp that i purchased to a plug in type.
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Old 01-31-2008, 03:55 PM   #9
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A properly installed wirenut does not need taping nor does doing so add any safety. IMO and the manufacturers opinion. An improperly installed wirenut also does not benefit from taping you are just hiding the improper install under tape.
Exactly. When I see taped wirenuts, it suggests the work may be unreliable. Usually I pull the tape off and the wirenut comes with it.

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so is there no need to carry the ground wire of a hardwired lamp to a 3 prong plug then? i ask b/c i would like to change a pendant lamp that i purchased to a plug in type.
If the lighting fixture has a ground screw or provisions for grounding, you are required to use a 3 wire cord with a three prong plug. The green wire of the cord goes to the ground screw.
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