Wiring a mason jar chandelier


Old 07-26-14, 06:53 PM
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Wiring a mason jar chandelier

I'm making a 12 bulb (40 watt each) mason jar light fixture. I'm using rayon covered 18 gauge wiring that will run from an old piece of barnwood down about 4 feet to a socket enclosed in a mason jar. There will be 12 of these run up through the barn wood.

I need to connect all 12 of these together before I connect to the junction box. I'm thinking of using circuit grounding bars to help me connect all the wires. I'm thinking I'll connect six sockets to a set of bars on one end of the light and six sockets to a set of bars on the other end of the light. Then I will join these two sets together at the junction box.

I have a few questions about this because I want to do it right.

1) Can I use a circuit bar that is also called a grounding bus bar for this purpose?
2) Can I attach this bar to the back of the barn wood directly or does it has to have insulation between it and the wood? I'll separate the hot bar from the neutral bar by about 3 inches so I'm not worried about arcing.
3) When I run the connecting wire from each bus bar to the junction box is 18 gauge sufficient or should I drop down to 14 or so.

My other option is to just use wire nuts. I think I can connect up to 5-6 in a single properly sized nut. I'm just thinking the bus bar makes for a more polished end result.

Any advice will be taken well...
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Old 07-26-14, 07:13 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Light fixtures (luminaries) are required to be listed. You can not legally just make one and install it in your home.
Old 07-27-14, 12:36 PM
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Light fixtures (luminaries) are required to be listed. You can not legally just make one and install it in your home.
TI...I'm not so sure that's true. Custom lamps and chandeliers are made and used all the time. Just saw a home improvement show where they had artisans blowing fancy glass shades and wiring them up for hanging pendants. I highly doubt they submitted the entire fixture for UL testing. Of course the sockets and wiring was all UL listed and rated for the correct use, so whats the problem? I even made some swag lamps from scratch back in the 70's for use in a couple of places I lived.

I did some looking and I see that even in some other discussions on Pro sites, there is some disagreement. I did see one person that said an inspector would never issue a CoO, but I find that difficult to believe. If the wire, plug (if used), lamp socket, and other hardware are all approved and assembled in a quality manner, I doubt anyone would look twice. I mean, is every lampshade UL tested? What about the lamps you see made by woodturners and sold in craft shows and the like? How about those fancy one off creations made from antlers or old wagon wheels?

Of course, building your own stove might be a little iffy...lol.

As to Tyhandys original question...NO, I would not use any sort of bussbar. That would leave exposed hot connections which are not allowed. You can put 3-4 wires together with a wirenut and then use a larger gauge wire to carry to the other sets of wires for the final connection.
Old 07-27-14, 04:54 PM
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UL listing is not required, and only means anything if selling lamps. There are many electrical items that do not carry the UL label or any label for that matter (ie...China made Xmas lights). I'm not sure if a municipality has the power to enforce a UL label in local housing. I do believe that all electrical item must meet National Electric codes, but I doubt UL is required. If I'm wrong please correct me.
Old 07-30-14, 11:55 AM
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So I'm going with wire nuts and I'll use 14 gauge to connect them together and to the fixture. Thanks.
Old 07-30-14, 01:02 PM
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Best if you do all the connections from the bulb holders in a small plastic project box* to keep it neat. Then run #16 lamp cord to your house connection. Be sure that all of the bulb holder shells are hooked to white and tabs to black.

*Or a plastic pill bottle.
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