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Old 06-03-2011, 05:46 AM   #1
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Wiring up an overhead flourescent light fixture


I bought two light fixtures to go in my shop last night, but I'm not sure if they will work. The fixtures I bought have a physical receptacle plug coming out of them and are designed to be plugged in to a wall outlet. I don't know if they will work the way I was going to have the wiring done in my shop.

Here is a picture-



I don't know if I can just cut the plug heads off of the cords and they wire the romex directly to that using wire nuts, or if I have to open up the fixture to expose the bare wires, and the romex go in and wire nut there.

I know I could just replace my light box I have overhead with a receptacle box and stick a GFCI (has to be because it is a shop) in there to plug them in to, but I would rather not spend more money on another GFCI. I want to be able to direct wire the light fixture to the circuit.

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Old 06-03-2011, 05:56 AM   #2
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Wiring up an overhead flourescent light fixture


Cutting the plugs off would violate the UL listing. You can buy direct wire lights.

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Old 06-03-2011, 05:58 AM   #3
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Wiring up an overhead flourescent light fixture


Is there any way to just open the fixtures up to expose the wires on the inside and wire to those or do I need to take these back and get different direct wire ones?
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:25 AM   #4
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Wiring up an overhead flourescent light fixture


Put a receptacle in the junction box on the ceiling and plug them in.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:03 AM   #5
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Wiring up an overhead flourescent light fixture


I have several similar lights in my garage/workshop - I installed recepts at the ceiing and just plugged them in. Simple, and allows for easy changes down the road. It can be handy to have recepts on the ceiling. I also have reeled drops lights and other lights plugged into the outlets.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:19 AM   #6
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Wiring up an overhead flourescent light fixture


I don't want a plug. Should I just go back and get a direct wire fixture, or can I open this one up to run the circuit inside?
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:27 AM   #7
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Wiring up an overhead flourescent light fixture


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Originally Posted by J S Machine
I don't want a plug. Should I just go back and get a direct wire fixture, or can I open this one up to run the circuit inside?
Easier having the plug. Stick with simple, don't try to make it harder, especially in a garage.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:40 AM   #8
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Wiring up an overhead flourescent light fixture


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I don't want a plug. Should I just go back and get a direct wire fixture, or can I open this one up to run the circuit inside?
Get a new one.
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:10 AM   #9
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Wiring up an overhead flourescent light fixture


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Cutting the plugs off would violate the UL listing. You can buy direct wire lights.
Jim, this is your quote from another thread:

"Under the 2008 or later all receptacles in a garage require GFI protection, including the garage door opener receptacle. The GFI must be readily accessible so ceiling mounted is out."

My ceilings are 9 feet high, so I will not be able to reach them.

Does this mean that I will have to put in direct wire lights?

If I have to have GFCI throughout the shop, and a plug would be an option for these particular lights, I can't do that because it isn't accesible..correct?
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:43 AM   #10
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Wiring up an overhead flourescent light fixture


That means that you must be able to reach the reset buttons without a ladder. The GFI protection can be mounted on the wall for the ceiling receptacles.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:01 AM   #11
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Wiring up an overhead flourescent light fixture


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That means that you must be able to reach the reset buttons without a ladder. The GFI protection can be mounted on the wall for the ceiling receptacles.
That is how mine is wired, but my ceiling is only about 7' from the floor for the lights.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:47 PM   #12
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Wiring up an overhead flourescent light fixture


Well you didn't tell us it was a garage. All you said was shop. If you want to direct wire them then you need to bring them back and get the correct fixtures.
You could still plug them into a receptacle. If there is another receptacle on the same circuit that one could be the GFCI and protect the entire circuit.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:55 PM   #13
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Well you didn't tell us it was a garage. All you said was shop. If you want to direct wire them then you need to bring them back and get the correct fixtures.
You could still plug them into a receptacle. If there is another receptacle on the same circuit that one could be the GFCI and protect the entire circuit.
Just curious, what would be the difference between a garage or shop as far as code?

This is a small shop I'm building behind my house. it is big enough to be used for a garage, but that is not it's intended purpose. It will mainly be a storage / work shop.
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Old 06-03-2011, 04:00 PM   #14
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Wiring up an overhead flourescent light fixture


Nothing, they both fall under the same codes, but for fire codes they could be different in your area.

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