Making an electrical socket from a light socket?


Old 07-20-07, 12:00 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1
Making an electrical socket from a light socket?


I'd like to install an electrical socket in a closet that has none. Right now, it's only got a pull-chain light socket. I'm probably going to end up drawing about 400 watts from the socket after I've install it.

One option, I suppose, is to use one of those light socket to electrical socket adapters, but they are kind of an eyesore, so I'd rather not.

I don't have much experience with electrical wiring. Is taking current from the light fixture an option? What is the safest way to install an outlet in this situation?

Thanks in advance for any responses!
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Old 07-20-07, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
400 watts is NOT insignificant and cannot be pulled through one of those light socket adapters. Further, a light socket adapter only provides two wire power. There would be no ground.

The proper solution is to place a receptacle where you need it. You may or may not be able to use the circuit that supplies the light, it depends on the present load on that circuit. 400 watts could push the circuit above it's maximum. Even if that circuit could support the load, there may very well be better options. If this closet shares a wall with another room and there is a receptacle already on the shared wall, that circuit might be a good choice. If there is an unfinished attic above or an unfinished basement below this closet then there are most certainly many options available, including a brand new circuit.

However, if this circuit is determined to be the best choice then you just need to figure out how to run wires to where you need them. This might be in the unfinished attic, or this might be using a wire mold type of product along the ceiling and wall of the closet.
Old 07-20-07, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 995
Ditto. Most of those cheap light fixtures are rated for a 60W bulb. Which means you can only pull 60W through that adapter; and, again, with no ground.

It's usually easier than you might think to install a receptacle where you need it. An experienced residential electrician should take a look at your situation and give you an estimate.

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