Changing old Fluorescent Shop light, but no outlet . . .

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  #1  
Old 06-06-14, 07:56 AM
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Changing old Fluorescent Shop light, but no outlet . . .

My workshop has an old fluorescent shop light -- probably made in the 1970s -- that is no longer working.

Replacing it appears to be simple job, but the age of the fixture has created a hiccup. It seems the new lights have a cord and plug, but there is no outlet in my ceiling to plug the light into. It is an exposed area of my drop ceiling, so my current light is powered through a wire that sort of screws into the fixture. My hope is that I could install a connector at the end of the existing wire so that the new fixture can just plug in. I've replaced light fixture before, but the idea of adding a connector to wiring would be a new one . . . Am I in over my head? Is there an easier or more obvious solution? Photos are attached.

My thanks in advance for any assistance.

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  #2  
Old 06-06-14, 09:23 AM
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1. Can you disassemble the new fixture and remove the cord and wire it up like your old one?

2. They do sell fluorescent shop light fixtures that do not have the cord, very similar to your old light.

3. You can get an electrical box. Mount it to the floor joists above and install a outlet & cover plate and plug your light in.
 
  #3  
Old 06-06-14, 09:27 AM
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Easiest thing to do is to get a plastic single gang box (metal or plastic) - if metal be sure it is grounded with the ground wire of the romex cable. Install the box on the floor joist above the light. Connect the wire that is now going into the light into a new receptacle (15amp rated if 15 amp breaker - 20 amp rated if 20 amp breaker). Put new receptacle in the box. Put on a receptacle plate. Plug your new light into receptacle. You are good to go. Just remember that the receptacle will be switched meaning the receptacle will only work when the light switch is on.
 
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Old 06-06-14, 09:52 AM
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Thank you both for your quick and helpful replies.

I did wonder if disassembling the new light would be an option, I may look into that, or expand my search beyond Home Depot to see if I can find a light more similar to mine. It's nice to know that style is still in existence.

If not, I'll try installing the gang box. We use a switch for the current light, so that is my preference anyway.

Thanks for your help!
 
  #5  
Old 07-12-14, 10:42 PM
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I'm curious, would the old installation be a code violation? Obviously it might depend on local code, but I'd think possible concerns could be the height of the NM cable and the fact that the fixture is hardwired, but chain mounted rather than permanently installed. I've heard before that fixtures that are chain-mounted should be plugged in while fixtures that are flush-mounted should be hardwired to meet code, but I don't know if either is always necessary.

Although by now the original poster has probably taken care of it, I don't see any reason why the fixture couldn't be repaired. If it's in poor condition it might be easier and less expensive to replace it altogether, but if it's just not working, it probably wouldn't take much to get it going again. Some cheap shoplights don't have interchangeable parts, but if it has replaceable sockets and a replaceable ballast, and it looks like the one depicted would, then it can probably be fixed. With a new electronic ballast & T8 lamps, it will be just as energy efficient as a brand new fixture.
 
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Old 07-13-14, 07:51 AM
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I don't see any reason why the fixture couldn't be repaired. If it's in poor condition it might be easier and less expensive to replace it altogether, but if it's just not working, it probably wouldn't take much to get it going again.
We don't know what was wrong with the fixture, but ballasts, lamps and lampholders are still available. A replacement ballast runs roughly $16 to $25, T12 lamps run rougly $3.50 each and lampholders could be as little as $4 or $5 each. A replacement fixture with electronic ballast for T8 lamps can be purchased for around $20 with all new parts, less lamps which are around $3.50 each at a big box store. Considering that 4 foot T12 lamps haven't been manufactured for a year and the cost will be going up as replacements are needed, I wouldn't even consider repairing that old fixture.
 
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