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Q: Basement Lighting: Convert lamp socket into receptacle ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Question  
Subject: Basement Lighting: Convert lamp socket into receptacle
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: wataru210-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 15 Jul 2006 11:37 PDT
Expires: 14 Aug 2006 11:37 PDT
Question ID: 746611
I am moving into a new construction home.  I am interested in using
the basement of this house as a mini-warehouse to carry inventory for
a business that I run from the house.

The builder has installed standard lamp sockets onto the wooden beams
running across the ceiling.  The space is approximately 35ft x 50ft. 
Currently, I think there are about 8 lamp sockets distributed.  As you
can imagine, the lighting isn't quite sufficient to do anything more
than finding your way around.

My desire is to improve the lighting in the basement with the most
minimal amount of work.  I consulted a representative at Lowe's about
this, and he told me that there are adapters that can be simply be
plugged into the lamp socket, and easily connect that to a receptacle.
 He stated to me that each lamp socket I have in my basement, I can
convert all those into receptacles very easy.  After doing so, I can
purchase long flourscent lights and hang them from the ceiling,
plugging each one into the outlets in the receptacle.

Given that I have 8 lamp sockets, it would give me 16 outlets, for a
max of 16 flourescent lights I can use in the basement.

I would like to know specifically what tools, hardware pieces, I can
use to accomplish what the Lowe's representative explained to me.  For
all tools and hardware pieces, I would like to see links to the Lowe's
or HomeDepot website.  Any links to websites with pictures explaining
the process would be appreciated also.

Just as a note, I have close to know knowledge about Electrical. 
Therefore, if this installation is going to be way beyond my skill
level, that feedback would be appreciated as well.

Thank you very much in advance.

Request for Question Clarification by sublime1-ga on 15 Jul 2006 14:31 PDT
wataru210...

What the guy is suggesting takes almost no skills. You just need
to purchase some socket-to-plug adapters to screw into your light
sockets, such as these:
http://electrical.hardwarestore.com/12-34-outlet-adapters/plug-base-234666.aspx

Those don't have a hole for the ground plug of a 3-pronged plug 
that will probably come with your fluorescent light fixtures, 
but you may be able to find 3-pronged socket-to-plug adapters
at Home Depot (they don't list everything they carry online, so
I couldn't locate these adapters at their website, but I'd bet
they carry them).

If you can't find 3-pronged socket-to-plug adapters, you can buy
the 2-pronged shown above and use a 3 to 2 pronged plug adapter:
http://electrical.hardwarestore.com/12-34-outlet-adapters/grounding-adapter-230854.aspx

You can also get adapters with two outlets for every light socket:
http://www.twacomm.com/catalog/model_1403.htm?sid=DFABBDA459CDF6C8F2A42136F3CDAE8F


Then you just need to buy hanging fluorescent fixtures and attach
them to beams in the ceiling. Metal screw-in hooks would work fine.
Just screw them securely into wooden beams in the ceiling:
http://www.stanleyhardware.com/default.asp?TYPE=CATEGORY&CATEGORY=HDW+ROUND+SCREW+HOOK

And here's a usable fluorescent fixture:
http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/pg_diy.jsp?CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=Products_2%2fLighting+%26+Fans%2fFluorescent+Lighting%2fTroffers,+Strips+%26+Shop+Lights&BV_SessionID=@@@@1329308625.1152998504@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccgladdifmijhjmcgelceffdfgidgll.0&MID=9876

It isn't clear from that page whether that fixture has a plug
or just wires, but I'm almost positive you can find one that 
will just plug into the adapters you install. If not, you'd
have to add a plug to the wires, but I doubt it would be 
necessary.

Then you need two 40W fluorescent bulbs for each fixture you 
purchase.

That's it!

I won't post this as an official answer until you verify that
it satisfies your needs...let me know...

sublime1-ga

Request for Question Clarification by sublime1-ga on 15 Jul 2006 14:36 PDT
Oops! That link for the fluorescent fixture at Home Depot doesn't
take you to the precise fixture. You'll have to click on the link
to Fluorescent Lighting (23) on the left and scroll down to see
the one with the chains: "Lithonia Lighting Diamond Plate Utility
Light".

Clarification of Question by wataru210-ga on 15 Jul 2006 20:18 PDT
Thanks sublime1.
Your answer is what I was looking for.
Sounds very much like what the Lowe's guy was talking about.
At this difficulty level, it sounds like even I may be able to attempt it.
The next question is what type of lighting to get.
Would you happen to know whats better between T8 and T12 flourescent bulbs?
Answer  
Subject: Re: Basement Lighting: Convert lamp socket into receptacle
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 15 Jul 2006 23:28 PDT
 
wataru210...

Thanks for confirming my input as your answer. I'll repost it here
for the sake of future readers and add some footnotes addressing
your additional question about T8 vs T12:

------------------------------------------------------------------

What the guy is suggesting takes almost no skills. You just need
to purchase some socket-to-plug adapters to screw into your light
sockets, such as these:
http://electrical.hardwarestore.com/12-34-outlet-adapters/plug-base-234666.aspx

Those don't have a hole for the ground plug of a 3-pronged plug 
that will probably come with your fluorescent light fixtures, 
but you may be able to find 3-pronged socket-to-plug adapters
at Home Depot (they don't list everything they carry online, so
I couldn't locate these adapters at their website, but I'd bet
they carry them).

If you can't find 3-pronged socket-to-plug adapters, you can buy
the 2-pronged shown above and use a 3 to 2 pronged plug adapter:
http://electrical.hardwarestore.com/12-34-outlet-adapters/grounding-adapter-230854.aspx

You can also get adapters with two outlets for every light socket:
http://www.twacomm.com/catalog/model_1403.htm?sid=DFABBDA459CDF6C8F2A42136F3CDAE8F


Then you just need to buy hanging fluorescent fixtures and attach
them to beams in the ceiling. Metal screw-in hooks would work fine.
Just screw them securely into wooden beams in the ceiling:
http://www.stanleyhardware.com/default.asp?TYPE=CATEGORY&CATEGORY=HDW+ROUND+SCREW+HOOK

And here's a usable fluorescent fixture:
http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/pg_diy.jsp?CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=Products_2%2fLighting+%26+Fans%2fFluorescent+Lighting%2fTroffers,+Strips+%26+Shop+Lights&BV_SessionID=@@@@1329308625.1152998504@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccgladdifmijhjmcgelceffdfgidgll.0&MID=9876

It isn't clear from that page whether that fixture has a plug
or just wires, but I'm almost positive you can find one that 
will just plug into the adapters you install. If not, you'd
have to add a plug to the wires, but I doubt it would be 
necessary.

Then you need two 40W fluorescent bulbs for each fixture you 
purchase.

That's it!

------------------------------------------------------------------

As for T8 vs T12, in addition to canadianhelper-ga's comment, it's
pretty much a toss-up unless you're looking to raise plants, or want
to approximate sunlight. 

Per this post by watergal on GardenWeb:

"T8 is a bit more efficient and contains less hazardous waste to
 pollute the environment when it's time to throw away the bulbs.
 T8 can use an electronic ballast, which doesn't make that humming
 noise - annoying in a living area, doesn't matter much if you're
 growing in the basement or garage or a place where noise won't
 bother you. T8 fixtures and bulbs will likely cost a bit more
 than T12, but not always.

 To start seeds, it doesn't matter. Go cheap. Cool white will
 probably be cheapest. A mix of half cool and half warm white
 resembles daylight and is nicer to live with. (If you might
 use the bulbs later for flowering houseplants, you'll want
 the mixture.)

 A four foot shop light uses four foot bulbs, which are 40 watts.
 T8 bulbs actually are 32 watts but put out approximately the
 same amount of light."
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lights/msg0218374920915.html?11

For your situation, I think it will ultimately depend on whether
you can find a fluorescent fixture with an electronic ballast
that's as easy to install as the hanging ones. My guess is that
the typical hanging fixture is going to have the older style
ballast and the electronic ballasts will be available on fixtures
that require more skills to install (wiring, ceiling mounting, etc.).

If anything isn't clear, let me know...

sublime1-ga


Additional information may be found from an exploration of
the links resulting from the Google searches outlined below.

Searches done, via Google:

lamp socket outlet convert
://www.google.com/search?q=lamp+socket+outlet+convert

lampholder to grounded outlet
://www.google.com/search?q=lampholder+to+grounded+outlet

grounded plug base adapter
://www.google.com/search?q=grounded+plug+base+adapter

screw hooks
://www.google.com/search?q=screw+hooks

"T8 or T12"
://www.google.com/search?q=%22T8+or+T12%22
Comments  
Subject: Re: Basement Lighting: Convert lamp socket into receptacle
From: canadianhelper-ga on 15 Jul 2006 21:25 PDT
 
Typical diameters are T12 (1" or 38 mm) for residential bulbs with
old magnetic ballasts, T8 (1 in or 25 mm) for commercial energy-saving
lamps with electronic ballasts, and T5 (5?8" or 16 mm) for very small
lamps which may even operate from a battery-powered device.

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