Coonverting a lamp into a ceiling fixture.

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by DebbieG, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. Dec 13, 2008 #1

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

    Resourceful Designer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    I found the perfect lighting for a room I'm making over......only problem....it's a lamp. I can just convert it by splicing the wire right? I don't have it yet, but it has a good solid square base that I am going to have to drill a hole through to attach it to the ceiling. I should still be able to easily distinguish the hot wire right? Is it the one on the side of the larger prong?:confused:
    Also...what do I do about the ground wire, since I'm sure the current fixture has one, but the lamp will not.
    I've installed many ceiling fixtures, but never with a lamp!
    I'm signing off for the night, and hope to wake up to some good advice and the go ahead to run out and get the lamp.....big sale tomorrow!
    Thanks!
     
  2. Dec 13, 2008 #2

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    Housebroken Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,502
    Likes Received:
    267
    They sell lamp rewire kits at the electrical stores. See if you can remove parts of the lamp to get to the socket area for a switch out. That is the safe way to do it.
    Bring the lamp with you, they will help you out.:)
     
  3. Dec 13, 2008 #3

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

    Lic.Electrical Contractor

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    44
    Can I assume you mean table lamp???

    Unless the lamp is completely redesigned with the proper canopy and mounting, AND grounding, there is no way you'd be bale to do this legally and safely.

    As Inspector said, a real lighting store is the only place that would have what you need if it is even feasible to do it.
     
  4. Dec 15, 2008 #4

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

    Resourceful Designer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    I went and bought the lamp and took it with me to Home Depot. Both of the guys in the electrical department agreed that it wasn't necessary to change out the wires. They said to split the wire and attach the ribbed side (with the wider prong) to the white wire and it should be fine. I asked "what about the ground wire that is surely in the box to the the light I am replacing?". One of them said there shouldn't be one....I have changed many light fixtures, and if I am not mistaken, there has always been one. Am I wrong, or is he? The home was built in 66 if that helps. (If there is a ground...can I just leave the ground wire wrapped aroung the green screw on the canopy bracket ? I am drilling a hole through the metal base of the lamp and have a "lock up kit" that is used to attach the glass to most hanging fixtures. I am threading a steel nipple through the brace in the ceiling, down through the lamp base, and holding it up with the "lock kit". (I also plan on installing a dimmer switch to this. Is there anything else I need to worry about with that?) Thanks in advance.
     
  5. Dec 15, 2008 #5

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,990
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hello Debbie:
    You are well on your way. You have the correct materials to do the job and I don't think you will have any problem at all. Merry Christmas!
    Glenn
     
  6. Dec 15, 2008 #6

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

    Resourceful Designer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Glenn,

    I think so too. I wish you had answered my questions reguarding the ground wire.
    I am still working on coverting the lamp (shortening it to not hang so low), so haven't gotten to the wiring yet but still would like to know what to do if there is a ground wire in the existing box, but there is not one on the lamp. If there is none in the ceiling, is that ok, and would it be a code violation for it to not have one?
    (Anyone answering...please read my two previous posts...thanks!)
     
  7. Dec 15, 2008 #7

    Kerrylib

    Kerrylib

    Kerrylib

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    First off, I'm not an electrician so this is just my opinion.

    If the fixture is metal, it should very well be grounded.

    To do that, leave the ground wire attached inside the box. drill a hole in the bottom of the fixture where it will seat over the box and attach a ground wire (use a green grounding screw from store or from old receptacle). There should be a ground wire coming into the box. That should be attached to the back of the box. You should also have the body of the fixture bonded to ground.

    Anything metal in an electrical system should be grounded. That way it won't just get energized in case of a short. The short will have a path to ground. Say the box in the ceiling is not grounded, and you have a metal fixture attached to it. If the hot wire shorts to the fixture, it is not going to necessisarily blow the circuit, or trip anything like an arc fault breaker. A GFI MIGHT trip in this situation. Then again it might not. The light will quite likely work just like you want it to and look great and get lots of comments. It will however be just like having a bare hot wire sitting up there on the ceiling. Should someone decide to wipe off some dust, change the bulb, etc. If the circuit is not off it will zap them.
     
  8. Dec 15, 2008 #8

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,990
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hello Debbie:
    If there is a bare or green wire in the ceiling box you could drill a 1/8" hole in the metal base of the lamp and use a short sheet metal screw to anchor the wire to the fixture. Be sure all your metal parts have continuit with (are attached to) the base.
    Glenn
     
  9. Dec 16, 2008 #9

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

    Resourceful Designer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok....you guys have me concerned now. I can't believe the guys at Home Depot weren't concerned ( they saw the lamp).....and didn't even think the box would have a ground wire in the first place......(I thought that was odd since I think that every fixture I've changed has had one. )
    If I drill another hole...it would show. Does it have to be screwed into the base or can I somehow attach it to the top of the nipple that I have already drilled to run through the lamp?
    Also...Glenn...what do you mean "be sure all my metal parts have "continuit" (are attached to) the base. Could someone give me an example of when they wouldn't be? Not sure I understand.......I plan on installing this before I go to work at 2pm tomorrow...someone please advise. It does have a pull chain to turn on....but so does a ceiling fan, which is what I am removing....is that a concern?

    Thanks so much to everyone....I"ll add photos if I can figure out how...assuming this all works out!
     
  10. Dec 16, 2008 #10

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

    Resourceful Designer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    If anyone is on right now that can answer the above questions I still have, please do!
    I am getting ready to in a couple of hours and want to do it right the first time.

    Thank you!
     
  11. Dec 16, 2008 #11

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,990
    Likes Received:
    4
    Sorry Debbie:
    I misspelled the word. It should be continuity (continous unity) or all metal parts are in direct contact with the base. The pipe nipple should have you fixed on that.
    Yes you may connect the ground wire to the nipple, just wrap it around the nipple clockwise and screw the nut onto it.
    Home Depot says, "you can do it, we can help" but that doesn't mean they know all about it. The guy probably never worked on a newer house that has ground wires. No, the pull chain doesn't hurt anything.
    Glenn
     
  12. Mar 23, 2010 #12

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

    DebbieG

    Resourceful Designer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Decided to come back to post photo of finished project. (The lamp did end up having a ground wire screwed into the inside of base, so it made this much easier than I was anticipating with my previous posts). I'm so glad I did this! It's a great focal point in the room and I get a lot of compliments on it because it's so different and unexpected. I have it on a dimmer and it gives a nice soft glow, or floods the room with light, depending on what I need at the time.
    (Ignore the awful curtains in the background! Those have since been changed...maybe I'll come back and post a picture of the whole room, as well as a b4 picture of the lamp soon).
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Mar 23, 2010 #13

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    10,811
    Likes Received:
    1,433
    Debbie, that light turned out really nice, welcome back and yes we'd like to see more pics.
     

Share This Page