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Old 04-24-2019, 02:30 PM   #1
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Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug


I got a bunch of led lights, about 3" round and 3/4 - 1" deep (no brand name, assumably Chinese), from work for free. They were used in shelving so they have 2 wires (22AWG) and a connector that I want to take off. I want to wire them up to a plug like a lamp uses so that I can stick them under the cabinets to light up the kitchen counter when needed, in the garage under the cabinets to light up my bench, and to make something with a couple of the lights on it so that it can be used working on cars or somewhere beside the bench.

My questions are what would be the best way to wire 4-6 of them to one plug? I found a lamp plug kit that uses 16G wiring, can I just wire them together without having to worry about melting or anything? Any specific types of connectors that would be best, solder them straight in or whats the best way to go about it?

I'm not very knowledgeable about house wiring, I have done some wiring on cars. I'd love any tips or ideas on how to go about this, thanks in advance!
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:46 PM   #2
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Re: Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug


need to know the wattage of each fixture
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:04 PM   #3
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Re: Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug


Do the lights operate on 120VAC, or are they low voltage LED fixtures that require 12 or 24VDC?
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:24 PM   #4
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Re: Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug


I've attached pictures of the lights. I believe they're 12V, I cut off the connector and hooked the wires up to a battery for an electric weed whacker and it lit up. Also I have a couple extension cords I don't use that I may cut and use instead of buying a kit.
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Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug-img_8228.jpg   Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug-img_8227.jpg   Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug-img_8226.jpg  
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:30 PM   #5
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Re: Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug


If it lights up with a 12V battery, then you need a 12V LED power supply for it, called a LED Driver. Drivers come with varying power capacities, so you need to know something about how much current each unit requires and that will determine what capacity you need for the number of lights you want to connect.



You definitely don't want to connect these directly to 120VAC.
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Old 04-25-2019, 09:18 AM   #6
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Re: Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug


How were they powered at the office?
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Old 04-25-2019, 09:26 AM   #7
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Re: Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug


Is a constant current or constant voltage driver better for this? From what little research I've done it seems constant voltage is more common with under cabinet lights.

I'll try to get pictures of it, but they sit on a metal rack and on the back face of the shelf there are two little metal pins that plug into a socket of the rack thats attached to the wall. It's hard to explain but I will try to get pictures of the shelving and how it connects tonight when I work.

I don't have to throw out more shelves for a while but when I do I'm going to try to break them open and see what all is inside the shelving and maybe save the wiring that they used to connect all 3 to one source.
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:27 AM   #8
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I do not know how to tell which type lights you have, but if they worked on a battery maybe constant voltage. You do need an LED driver so you can connect them to household power.
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Old 04-25-2019, 02:41 PM   #9
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Re: Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug


Well I can't get anything form the lights with my multi meter. I've tried multiple different ways but can't get any readings from them.

Edit: I've attached some pictures. This is what I could get after wrapping the wires around the red and black leads of the DMM.
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Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug-img_8296.jpg   Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug-img_8295.jpg   Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug-img_8294.jpg  

Last edited by noidea1; 04-25-2019 at 02:47 PM. Reason: pics
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Old 04-25-2019, 05:34 PM   #10
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It is true that you cannot get a resistance reading(ohms) on a LED bulb like you can incandescent.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:40 PM   #11
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Re: Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug


So does that mean those readings are useless or false? Why can't I get a reading when I turn it to the "current" test? Also I wasn't able to get pics today, I'll try to get some soon. I also have 30 of these lights and only intend to use about 10-15 of them. May just test it out on one of them.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:58 PM   #12
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Re: Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug


Quote:
Originally Posted by noidea1 View Post
So does that mean those readings are useless or false? Why can't I get a reading when I turn it to the "current" test? Also I wasn't able to get pics today, I'll try to get some soon. I also have 30 of these lights and only intend to use about 10-15 of them. May just test it out on one of them.

A resistance test on a LED is pretty meaningless. I'm not sure why you're trying to measure that, but I'll guess you are trying the figure out the current draw.


The way to measure current is to put the meter in series with the LED. Connect one lead of the meter to one wire of the LED. Connect the other wire of the meter to one of the battery terminals. Then connect the other wire of the LED to the other battery terminal.



Your meter can only handle 200mA on the lower scale before it will blow the internal fuse. Since you don't know what the LED draws, you should use the 10A scale. So plug the leads to the meter into the 10A jack and the COM jack. If you get a reading of less than 200mA (e.g. 0.2), then it would be safe to use the 200mA scale.
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:46 PM   #13
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Re: Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiredindallas View Post
It is true that you cannot get a resistance reading(ohms) on a LED bulb like you can incandescent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RAL238 View Post
A resistance test on a LED is pretty meaningless. I'm not sure why you're trying to measure that, but I'll guess you are trying the figure out the current draw.
As others have indicated, you cannot measure the "resistance" of a LED with an ordinary multimetre - on the Ohms Scale.
The reason is that the device contains one (or more) diode(s) and if more than one diode is present they are probably in series.

Each diode has a forward "breakdown" voltage (Vf) below which no current will flow (i.e. It appears as an "open circuit" at voltages below Vf.)
For "white" LEDs this voltage is usually greater than 3 V and if there are two LEDs in series the forward breakdown voltage will be greater than 6 V etc.
When the supply voltage exceeds the Forward Voltage of the LED current will flow and this current must be limited so that it will not destroy the LED.

This may be accomplished by series resistance, or other means, built into the device
or
by using an appropriate "LED Driver" (which limits the current supplied). Since you are using a 12 V battery, the current limiting must be built into the device or it would have been destroyed already.

Since a multimeter of the type that you are using has a voltage supply of only about 3 V to test for resistance, you should see why it would read O/C when testing these LEDs.

RAL238 gave you the method of measuring the current drawn by any LED.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:05 AM   #14
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Re: Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug


hook the light up to a regulated 12v power supply,
measure the currant drawn with a meter,
then select your constant currant LED driver to suit.
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Old 04-26-2019, 03:06 PM   #15
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Re: Wiring lights to a 2 prong plug


So followed that procedure above and it read high 800s and then started to leak down, at high 700s I couldn't listen to the buzzer form the DMM anymore so I disconnected it.
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