Some imagination and pestering questions at my local hardware store led me to find out- it’s a 3-4 minute job, once you get the hang of it, to convert a light fixture from needing to be hardwired to simply plugging in. And you just need one, $1 part! This invites all sorts of fun- once the plug is added a chandelier can go anywhere an extension cord can.
Here’s an illustrated tutorial on how to add a plug to a hardwired light fixture.
- 1 x “Dead Front Type 2-Wire Polarized Plug” (aka regular 2-prong plug) for only $1 from Amazon!
- Residential Straight Blade Two Pole Three Wire (aka, grounded 3 prong plug) for about $5.
I’ve not been able to find this item at Lowes or Home Depot but you might try a local Ace Hardware. Ace’s are locally owned and better staffed than the big box stores, so always my first stop, their part number for this item is SA540BKCC10.
CAUTION: If at any point these instructions seem unclear or don’t adequately address the particularities of your light fixture, stop and consult an electrician or otherwise qualified individual. Electricity is dangerous!
- Screwdriver (They make it easy, this plug works with flat or phillips)
- Wire Strippers (optional! The wires will likely already be stripped. And if you don’t have wire strippers, you can strip wires *carefully* with a pair of scissors)
Step One: separate the two strands of wire that come from the two separate sections of the cord. A household light fixture should already have these wires exposed, but if they seem too short or frayed, you can strip the coating farther back and trim the frayed wires.
Now, replace the center yellow portion (pushing it completely in, until the black and yellow front are flush) and you’re done!
It’s that easy to turn a hardwired light fixture into a lamp that can be used any dry, safe spot that an extension cord can reach! You can even use a Wireless Wall Switch to turn the plugged-in lamp on and off from a doorway or nightstand. (This is how I light my living room- see my article on how I installed a chandelier in my living room with no overhead light and how I added a chandelier with a wall switch to my Seattle apartment!)