wiring lights

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  #1  
Old 03-04-03, 09:34 PM
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spubin
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wiring lights

I am wiring a light for my bathroom. It will be on the wall above the mirror/sink.

It is a bar light. 7 bulbs, horizontally arranged, on a rectangular piece of wood 4"Wx39"Lx3"deep. Looks about like this:
_____________
[O O O O O O O]

A typical bathroom light, except I am making it myself.
First question. I am using bulb receptacles (not sure of proper term here). They are ceramic with two screws on the back of them, 1 gold and 1 silver. They fit snugly into each of the 7 holes in the wood frame.

I have three wires coming with power to this light fixture from a switch. Black, White, & Green. No wires to leave this light.

How do I connect all the receptacle screws?
What do I do about the ground? Green wire?

thanks
Jeff
 
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  #2  
Old 03-05-03, 01:18 AM
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RickJ6956
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Connect the white to the silver screws, the black to the brass and the ground to the (metal) box or to the mounting screws that you use to mount the board to the electrical box. If you have any metal parts on the fixture that aren't part of the sockets, they should also be grounded.

Coupla things to consider:
-- Those ceramic sockets can get very hot. You may find that they scorch the wood. Possible fire hazard. Better to mount them so they can breathe a bit.
-- What's covering the wiring on the back side of the wood? You can't leave it exposed. It's the same as hanging raw wires out of an electrical box. Dangerous -- especially above a sink! Maybe route a slot for the wires and cover the back with something that's non-conductive?
 
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Old 03-05-03, 05:42 AM
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spubin
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-- Those ceramic sockets can get very hot. You may find that they scorch the wood. Possible fire hazard.
Can anybody comment on possiblitity of fire hazard?

I will cover back of fixture with thin plywood backing. - Is this OK?

there is room between each bulb socket inside the wood box. Is this adequate for ventilation?
I can also make holes and open teh top of the box if needed for ventilation?


As for the wiring, just connect from screw 1 to screw 2 to screw 3 down the line- any pigtailing needed?

And the ground to the mounting screw, anchored in studs to hold the fixture?

please comment
thanks
 
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Old 03-05-03, 05:47 AM
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If you are making the fixture yourself, be sure and affix a UL label to it. Seriously, if a homemade light fixture caused a fire and burned your house down, I would wonder if your insurance company would pay. You could always take your fixture to UL and have them evaluate it for safety and affix a label - of course that would cost at least $1000.00. You might want to take a trip to Lowe's and examine a similar light fixture and see how it is constructed.
 
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Old 03-05-03, 06:06 AM
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I've never seen a vanity bar fixture with a wood back. Always stainless steel or galvanized sheet metal. The socket feet are usually riveted to the sheet metal to hold the socket in place and away from the backing. The fixtures with the wood faceplates generally have a metal cup that slides over the porcelain sockets to hold the wood faceplate in place. The cup also would provide protection to the wood from direct heat from the light bulbs. Not exactly sure, but the back of the wood faceplate may have a sheet metal inlay that would protect the wood from coming in direct contact with the sockets. UL would probably not approve of a wood fixture without the above protections. The wood would become so dry after being heated by the light bulbs that any loose connection and resulting arcing inside the fixture could easily set the wood afire.

Like I said, look at an approved fixture and note how the wood is protected. Use 16 or 18 guage stranded wire for wiring the sockets. You can either loop the wire across all of the sockets (no pigtailing required), or start from each end toward the middle so you will end up with (2) hots and (2) neutrals to connect to your house wiring.
 
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Old 03-05-03, 07:25 AM
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It doesnt mean your insurance wont pay if your house burns down from his fixture, but the UL listing is for sale. I saw this post last night but certainly had reservations about constructing this type of fixture. Especially since they make them like this so cheaply and they are tested and listed.
 
  #7  
Old 03-06-03, 05:44 AM
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RickJ6956
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sberry,
That was my first thought when I read the post -- and why I included the caveats.

We have a similar 3-bulb fixture in our Master bath. The actual fixture is a metal box 15" wide, 5 inches high and about 1/2" deep mounted in the traditional way to the electrical box. (NOT to the studs!) The sockets are surface-mounted, not recessed at all, and riveted to the front face of the box.

The 1/2" wood face is for decoration only. Holes are 2" diameter and have 1 1/2" diameter polished brass sleeves, leaving about 1/4" air space each between the socket, the sleeve, and the wood. The sleeves are mounted to the box, not the wood.

When the wood is in place, the sockets extend about halfway out from the front face of the wood. The sleeves extend out further to cover and decorate the sockets, but leave enough room to allow the clear "globe" bulbs to be tightened. The bulbs extend past the sleeves, so the heat is mostly well away from the unit.

The UL sticker is clearly visible on one side of the exposed part of the metal box.

Hope this helps.
 
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