Hard Wire String Lights

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  #1  
Old 07-02-15, 11:58 AM
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Hard Wire String Lights

I almost don't want to ask this...

I'm putting up some year round 110v G40 string lights. I know I can leave them plugged into a GFCI outlet with a waterproof cover, but I'm curious to know if it's possible to hardwire them so they terminate inside an outdoor junction box (GFCI protected). I know UL goes out the door, but wouldn't it be similar to hard wiring a light fixture?

If I can do this, what's the best fitting to use to feed the light cord into the box?

I was also considering hard wiring a heavy duty electrical cord, plugging the lights into said cord and using a power cord protection box.

Feel free to respond "Danger! Danger!" if it's simply a horrible idea.
 
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Old 07-02-15, 02:01 PM
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You can't hardwire the type of cord used on string lights. You must allow the plug to remain as part of the run. The string cord may not be rated for sunlight exposure so leaving it up all year round may not be code worthy either. Why would you want to, anyway.
 
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Old 07-02-15, 02:12 PM
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It's ambient lighting in a semi covered light well. Think globe lights you see hanging over restaurant patios.
 
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Old 07-02-15, 05:32 PM
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That is called festoon lighting.

As Chandler mentioned, if the light come with a plug they are designed to be plugged in, not hard wired. There is no advantage to hard wiring and it would be a code violation.
 
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Old 07-02-15, 05:55 PM
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Festoon sounds so... festive!

Thanks for the info. After posting, I found a site that sells "commercial string lighting" wired with UV resistant 16 gauge meant to be hard wired, but it's super pricey.

I think I need to rethink my strategy.
 
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Old 07-02-15, 06:56 PM
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That is because they are made to be outside for a long time. Inexpensive ones are made for temporary use only.
 
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Old 07-02-15, 09:34 PM
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Those "expensive" strings are the ones you want. The cheaper ones rot away after a few months. Neither, however are designed to be hardwired.
 
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