Adding receptacle to a streetlamp


  #1  
Old 04-23-24, 11:46 AM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 75
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Adding receptacle to a streetlamp

My church parking lot has street lamps which i believe use sodium vapor bulbs - installed in 2008. At the bottom is a panel to access the wiring. Is it possible to add a receptacle here? I'm comfortable doing my own electrical around the house but would use a licensed electrician for this job. Not sure what voltage is being fed to the light.

Also it would be good if there is a way to have the option to turn off the light itself when the receptacle is in use, so the light is not drawing power and more is available for the receptacle.




 
  #2  
Old 04-23-24, 12:11 PM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,556
Upvotes: 0
Received 285 Upvotes on 260 Posts
Of course it would have to be 120 volts for an ordinary appliance ot device to be plugged into the receptacle you have installed.

Most likely several streetlights are on the same branch circuit..

 
  #3  
Old 04-23-24, 12:16 PM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 75
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Correct, so the first thing will be to check that.
 
  #4  
Old 04-23-24, 12:43 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,415
Received 4,049 Upvotes on 3,632 Posts
Your wiring looks to be red, blue and green.
If that is confirmed..... you have 240vac with ground and no neutral.
No 120v available.

Keep in mind that those wires are probably timer controlled.
If you have a small load you can install a 240v ----> 120v transformer.

I did this in two golf course parking lots for LED Christmas lights.
 
  #5  
Old 04-23-24, 05:17 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,389
Received 893 Upvotes on 754 Posts
If the poles are wired using conduit you may be able to pull in another 120 volt circuit

If the church has 3 phase on-site the voltage could also be 208v. Just something to consider if you do go the transformer route.

 
  #6  
Old 04-24-24, 08:22 AM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 75
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Definitely red blue and green wiring, so would need transformer to get to 120V. Problem is I will have a decent load on the receptacle, potentially 1500W for a bounce house blower motor. Not sure if that is too much.

Running a new line may be tricky since that light is not that close to the building.

May be a tougher project than I envisioned...
 
  #7  
Old 04-24-24, 10:21 AM
2
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA near Boston, MA
Posts: 2,317
Received 394 Upvotes on 343 Posts
Consider using a small generator for something temporary like a bouncy house. I have seen them at farmers' markets for coolers, etc. so they seem powerful enough and are fairly quiet.
 
  #8  
Old 04-24-24, 01:00 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,415
Received 4,049 Upvotes on 3,632 Posts
My neighbor rents them out with a small generator.

Are you renting it ?

1500 watts is a heavy load. You would probably have problems getting that much 120v power there even if you pulled a neutral wire. The lights would also be on compounding the current draw.

See if it could be setup for 240vac or can you rent a 240v blower.
It could then be connected directly and would only require 750 watts.


 
  #9  
Old 04-29-24, 08:03 AM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 75
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Electrician confirmed 240v with no neutral. Plan is to convert these over to LEDs @ 120v and then also add a receptacle at bottom of each one.

Any recommendations on LED conversion for these types of pole lights, and how much lighting that will provide vs. the current HPS lights? For the conversion we would rewire the housing and remove the ballast to allow for a direct LED bulb. If any suggestions pls offer.

thanks
 
  #10  
Old 04-29-24, 12:45 PM
2
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA near Boston, MA
Posts: 2,317
Received 394 Upvotes on 343 Posts
Compare lumen output of the new lamps to the old ones to determine if lighting levels are similar.

My initial thought was that LED lamps might not be available with a mogul base like the HPS lamps and for 120 volts. I see that they are available and compatible with 120-277 volts so if you find lamps with comparable lumen output you should be OK.
 
  #11  
Old 04-29-24, 05:08 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,389
Received 893 Upvotes on 754 Posts
There are many corncobs available with mogul bases. We mainly use corncob lamps from Keystone and have had very good luck with them.

Typically when I retrofit an existing pole head to use an LED corncob I get the largest corncob that will physically fit in the fixture. This is because the corncobs do not put out the same lumens as the same size Metal Halide or HPS lamp. If you want similar light output you need to replace the heads.

One issue with your plan is the pole lights would need to be on in order for the receptacles to work.
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 04-29-24 at 05:47 PM.
2john02458 voted this post useful.
  #12  
Old 04-30-24, 07:59 PM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 75
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
thanks very helpful. how easy is it to replace a head on an existing pole? does it need to be compatible (ie from the same manufacturer as the original head/pole?

I agree on the issue of the lights needing to be on for the receptacle to work. There are 5 pole lights on this circuit, so those would be taking a lot of the power (depending on LED wattage), leaving less for any of the receptacles. The only fix I can think of there is to put a switch on each pole that manually turns off the light, but leaves the receptacle powered.

Final question - right now these lights are run off of a timer box next to the electrical panel: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Intermat...kmDZhiOZxwQEwY

Is there anything better out there in terms of interface - e.g, wifi controlled so the timings can be easily adjusted from anywhere? And something that can handle several different circuits at once, since we have multiple sections of lights that operate on timers.
 
  #13  
Old 05-01-24, 04:22 AM
d_s_k's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Norway
Posts: 413
Received 22 Upvotes on 20 Posts
Hi from Norway, Here most equipment are made for 230V and pretty safe, so such equipment would be easy to use. American 240V outlet without neutral seems to be OK. Wiring like what you describe may be exposed for rain, or mechanical damage, and a GFCI -breaker in the pole may make it safer, and keep the poles working if something happens with the new equipment. I guess an outlet like this may do the job: https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-107-0...64&sr=8-4&th=1
 
  #14  
Old 05-01-24, 06:15 AM
T
Member
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: US
Posts: 1,233
Received 209 Upvotes on 183 Posts
The NEMA 6-20 receptacle configuration d_s_k linked to isn't used too often in the US. Hard to find anything with a 6-20 plug.

Petesamprs, you're going to need GFCI receptacles and an "in use" cover for each receptacle. Consider the cover when deciding on a mounting location,
https://up.codes/s/receptacles-in-damp-or-wet-locations

Keep us updated!
 
  #15  
Old 05-01-24, 04:26 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,415
Received 4,049 Upvotes on 3,632 Posts
Since the OP is not considering 240v equipment.... no 240v receptacle will be needed.

You don't have to use screw in LED replacements.
You can purchase what are called shoebox replacements.
You remove the guts of the fixture and mount the replacement to the existing housing.
They are basically a flat plate replacement.

You can use a standard weatherproof box attached directly to the wiring door.
A GFI receptacle and a plate.

The replacement LED units should be around 100 watts or less per pole.
If all lights are on one circuit... it would be pretty tough to split it up.
You could install a photocell on each pole.
 
  #16  
Old 05-01-24, 05:53 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,389
Received 893 Upvotes on 754 Posts
how easy is it to replace a head on an existing pole? does it need to be compatible (ie from the same manufacturer as the original head/pole?
It is fairly easy with the right tools. The pole does not need to be compatible. If the existing hole pattern does not match the new head/arm you just need to drill new holes as needed. Typically it takes me about a half hour to remove the existing head, drill new holes, and attach the new arm/head. It might take a DIYer longer.

​​​​​​​Is there anything better out there in terms of interface - e.g, wifi controlled so the timings can be easily adjusted from anywhere?
I like photocells. They adjust automatically with the change in daylight. We also put in a bypass switch so that the lights can be turned on during the day for testing/maintenance.

For 5 pole lights running at 120 volts and assuming that you will likely not get anything bigger than a 60ish watt cob LED lamp in the fixtures, you're looking at about 300 watts. (Plus or minus for voltage drop) That still leaves enough ampacity on the circuit to run one 1500 watt load. (Plus or minus for voltage drop)
 
  #17  
Old 05-03-24, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1,059
Received 80 Upvotes on 75 Posts
The NEMA 6-20 receptacle configuration d_s_k linked to isn't used too often in the US. Hard to find anything with a 6-20 plug.
Not really hard to find stuff with a NEMA 6-20 configuration as most 25,000BTU AC units use a NEMA 6-20P and the 18,000 BTU units that have electric heat strips use them also.

Also any LED garbage that is installed will not last nearly as long as good 'ol reliable HID fixtures with a magnetic ballast.
 
 

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