Converting plug in light to hardwired with switch

Old 09-22-03, 09:51 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Converting plug in light to hardwired with switch

I'm wondering if it is possible/safe to take a wall-mounted swing arm reading light with a cord and plug and convert it to a hardwired version.

We've wired two 4" light boxes into the guesthouse we're building. We did not wire these boxes to a wall switch. I assumed we'd be able to find wall lights that were hardwire powered and switched at the light itself. I'm finding it very hard to locate such a light. will add a switch to any of their wall sconces, but these are pricey.

The alternative I'm considering is converting a plug-in wall lamp such as the one seen at to a hard wired version. This light only has power and neutral (black and white) wires -- no grounding wire. My light boxes have 12/2 routed to them. I was thinking of bringing the black & white wires from the cord inside the wall base, connecting them to my 12/2 wires, and then connecting my ground wire to a pigtail attached to a grounding screw which would be screwed into some hidden part of the metal wall base.

Is this a really bad idea, or could it work?

Thanks in advance for your help! Christina
Old 09-23-03, 06:44 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
It is almost never acceptable to convert a cord-and-plug device to hard-wired or vice versa, and certainly not safe in this case. Why not simply install a receptacle in that box you were thinking of using for hard wiring it?
Old 09-23-03, 05:12 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Hi John -

Thanks for your reply. The box is a 4" circular light box and a standard recepticle box wouldn't cover the hole in the drywall or the box that is sitting there right now. I have recepticles nearby, but want to leave them available for guest's electronics, although I could mount wall lamps over the 4" boxes (to cover the holes) and plub the lamps into the nearby recepticles... I just perfer the cleaner look of no cords.

I'll probably either buy the pricey switched/hardwired lights or plug the cheaper ones into the wall.

Thanks again, Christina
Old 09-23-03, 07:14 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
lowes has a few that are both cord or wall mount that have the switch not sure now much they are though
Old 09-24-03, 06:16 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Hi rickoh -

Thanks for the tip! If you happen to see a stock number on those, please send it along. We have one nearby and that could be a great option.

Best regards, Christina

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: