attaching outdoor light fixture to lamp wiring/switch


Old 11-05-06, 05:37 PM
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Question attaching outdoor light fixture to lamp wiring/switch

i have an outdoor, wall mountable light fixture that i'd like to put indoors. i wanted to attach the wiring from a lamp (with switch and plug - for wall) to it - but the wiring looks different. the outdoor light fixture has silver coloured wires and the lamp wiring is copper coloured. the outdoor fixture also has a separate copper ground wire?
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Old 11-05-06, 07:00 PM
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Thank you for at least using punctuation in your post. Please also use proper capitalization. You stand a much better chance of getting an answer when you make your post easier to read and when it looks like you care enough to type it properly.

In general, modifying lamp fixtures and using them in manner other than how they were intended to be used is not a good idea. While it can be done safely, it can also be done unsafely.

The wire from the outdoor fixture is most likely copper wire, tinned with solder to make it hold together and easier to use.

Go ahead and use this fixture indoors, but do it properly. Install a junction box and wire it the way it is supposed to be wired.
Old 11-06-06, 09:47 AM
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What you're planning to do is probably not 100% legal, but there's no reason it can't be done safely.

The bare copper wire indicates that this fixture is not double-insulated and requires a ground, so you MUST use a 3-prong plug, otherwise you create a shock-hazard. Aside from that, the wires should be the same regardless of color of the actual metal. Just nut black-to-black and white-to-white and you're OK.

You also must carefully match the size of the lamp to the cable so that you don't inadvertantly overload if- for example, if you use a lamp cord designed for a single max-40W bulb fixture and stick on a pair of 120W floodlights, you're creating an unsafe situation where the cord could quite literally catch fire.

The best approach here is to permanantly install the fixture on the wall- install an old work box and fish the appropriate sized cable (#14 or #12 depending on the breaker) to the nearest receptacle instead of trying to jerry-rig a plug. (FYI, to be legal here, you'd need to get a permit and have this inspected, which is usually pretty cheap, probably $25 for something this simple- AND you're covering your ass legally and not voiding your homeowner's insurance.)

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