Light socket to 3 pin plug conversion - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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First off, when it comes to wiring I consider myself slightly above average in knowledge, most of my wiring knowledge is in computer though. I'm going to ceiling mount my BenQ W1070 there is an unused light socket close by were it will be mounted.

How difficult of a project is it to convert a light socket to a 3pin plugin socket? I tried Googleing it but that mainly came back with hardware results.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 09:39 AM
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I'm no electrician, but I think it would *work*. Meaning there are the wires you'd need to connect. I mean they sell those cheap little screw in adapters. And there's gotta be a ground wire up in there somewheres. smile.gif

But I don't know about code and whatnot. I'd wonder if it's a no-no to have a receptacle on a lighting circuit? Maybe that's always how it's done, I don't know. eek.gif
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post #3 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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From my research I think it's okay, Lowes and Home Depot sell kits for it anyhoo. I won't be using the light and the socket.. the socket will completely replace the light fixture which currently houses 3 light bulbs.
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 09:49 AM
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Should be pretty easy to pull out the light and put in an outlet.

By a "light socket" do you mean one of these?

Is the ceiling finished or not?

Maybe send a picture so we know just what we are dealing with...

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post #5 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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It's like this: Amazon Link

I can't find a picture with the cover off. Inside there are 3 light sockets at an angle. I plan on removing the entire fixture and replacing it with a 3 prong socket.

When I get home I'll post a pic with the cover off.
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 12:45 PM
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Ah, one of those. Should be an easy replacement.

If the box is a standard 1 gang rectangular then it's super easy. If it's a 4" round box then the hardest part will be finding the adapter or cover plate to allow you to put in an outlet.

Don't forget to remove the switch itself from the circuit. You don't want someone cutting off the projector's power when fiddling for a light switch in the dark.

I would just go into your local HD/Lowes electrical aisle and find someone to help you. Or try a local electrical supply house.

You could try something like this... although I've got to believe there are cheaper options out there.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Raco-Round-Nonmetallic-Cover-Assembly-Kit-6260/203638693#.UgvPK2Rga3k

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post #7 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 03:48 PM
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I think you'll be fine. Electricians usually don't put different gauge wire in for outlet versus lighting circuits, so that won't be an issue, but you'll need to check if/how the lighting fixture was grounded and make sure that you preserve the grounding capabilities with the new outlet. I'd also do a quick check of what other loads there are on the circuit, just to make sure you aren't subjecting the PJ to sharing with something 'spikey'. The link you provided to the light fitting shows it is rated for 2 x 60w bulbs, so you can be reasonably certain that the circuit can handle at least a 1 amp load, but again, check what else is on the circuit and do a quick addition to see if you're anywhere near to the fuse's capacity. And as already mentioned, you'll need to disable the existing wall switch.

I'm not sure if it is an actual code violation, but our city inspectors frown on mixing outlet and lighting fixtures on the same circuit, but from an electrical perspective I really can't see why this is a problem.
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Day View Post


How difficult of a project is it to convert a light socket to a 3pin plugin socket?
You won't know until you remove the fixture. There are screw in adapters to convert to 2-prong, but not 3-prong, at least that I have seen, because there is no way to get to the ground.

If there is an equipment grounding conductor, it is pretty straight forward. Electrically, it is just a matter of connecting the three wires appropriately. Mechanically, it is something else. The fixture is probably mounted to a 3" or 4" round or octagonal box. If it is deep enought, it may be possible to mount a single or duplex receptacle it it. But you may be limited to a metal plate. There might be plastic plates available, but I don't know where. It is possible you may have to replace the box. There will be some repair to ceiling. Worst case would be a pancake box attached to a ceiling joist. You will have to move the box to one side or the other of the joist to get enough depth. Installing the new box itself is simple, use an appropriate old work box.

If there is no equipment grounding conductor, you will either have to rewire or install a GFCI receptacle to be able to use 3-prong plugs. With the GFCI receptacle, you still won't have a ground, but it will be safe. Don't know how the projector will like it, though.
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-15-2013, 03:47 PM
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I had a similar situation. My light box was round and it was about 3 feet from where I wanted to mount the projector. I ran new romex from the round box to a location closer to the projector mount. Put in an "old work" rectangular box right by the projector mount, then installed a round blank on the round light box. Hook up 3 wires on each end and call it good.

And yes, you have to remove the light switch.
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post #10 of 23 Old 08-16-2013, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Day View Post

First off, when it comes to wiring I consider myself slightly above average in knowledge, most of my wiring knowledge is in computer though. I'm going to ceiling mount my BenQ W1070 there is an unused light socket close by were it will be mounted.

How difficult of a project is it to convert a light socket to a 3pin plugin socket? I tried Googleing it but that mainly came back with hardware results.

Thanks!

What do you mean by a "3pin plugin socket"?

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #11 of 23 Old 08-16-2013, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcwilt View Post

What do you mean by a "3pin plugin socket"?

This:

|.....|

...o
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post #12 of 23 Old 08-16-2013, 08:01 AM
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A grounded outlet - well why didn't you just say so. smile.gif

Replacing a light fixture with a grounded outlet in any reasonably new home is a piece of cake.

A ceiling light fixture is usually mounted to a round box, whereas outlets are usually mounted into rectangular boxes but you should be able to find a round cover for fitting an outlet to a round box.

If the fixture is controlled by a switch you may want to take that out of the circuit as projectors often need to have power on for awhile when you turn the projector off as there are cooling fans that run for a short time.

I installed a UPS for my projector to insure that even in the case of a power loss the projector can be turned off and allowed to complete its shutdown procedure.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #13 of 23 Old 08-16-2013, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the proper terminology, now I won't sound like quite as big of a newby when I walk into Ace Hardware this weekend smile.gif

I have a friend who as put in a few grounded outlets in his own home who is going to help me out. My man-cave is in a basement with no windows so I really don't care how professional this job ends up looking as long as the projector works and doesn't blow up (2 great goals to have eh?). The wife and I have an agreement, she doesn't decorate or complain about the cleanliness of my man-cave and I let her decorate the rest of the house however she sees fit <-- secret to a good marriage!

I'll update this after we are done Saturday. I might even post some pics in case someone else needs to do this in the future.
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post #14 of 23 Old 08-16-2013, 08:47 AM
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I think the correct term is probably receptacle but if you go into any supply house and ask for a grounded outlet they will know what you mean.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #15 of 23 Old 08-16-2013, 10:20 AM
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I'll contribute a dollar towards a fund if you go into Ace and ask for a "3-prong plugin thingy" wink.gif
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post #16 of 23 Old 08-16-2013, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post

I'll contribute a dollar towards a fund if you go into Ace and ask for a "3-prong plugin thingy" wink.gif

Yeah, but the scary/sad thing is that we'd all know what he was talking about! [okay, apart from fcwilt.... smile.gif ]
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post #17 of 23 Old 08-16-2013, 11:07 AM
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As long as the light fixture isn't on a 3-way or 4-way switch!!!

Anyone want to diagram a 4-way switch to light fixture?
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post #18 of 23 Old 08-18-2013, 04:59 AM
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Anyone want to diagram a 4-way switch to light fixture?

Please elaborate.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #19 of 23 Old 08-18-2013, 11:59 AM
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post #20 of 23 Old 08-18-2013, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Update if anyone is interested:

I removed the light fixture and there was one of those electrical boxes above it, and it was already grounded. I undid the wires for the light, screwed them into the socket I got and blammo I was off and running.

Projector is now ceiling mounted and hasn't blown up or burst into flames yet smile.gif
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post #21 of 23 Old 08-18-2013, 09:06 PM
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And you are not drooling from any electrical shocks?

Sounds good.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #22 of 23 Old 08-19-2013, 08:30 AM
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Good to hear! i've opened lights and found some weird stuff before. eek.gif
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post #23 of 23 Old 08-19-2013, 02:32 PM
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NickTheGreat: You're modesty is refreshing. wink.gif

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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