Converting wall scone to plug-in ?

I live in an apartment and sick of tripping over wires and having to live with dimly lit rooms. I live in a bright light that comes from above me. Fixing anything to the ceiling is out- as I live in one of those apartments with popcorn ceiling.
So I bought a couple of wall scones. I would like to know what I need to get this done.
The wall scone has three wires and the home depot guys gave me a 16 guage wire and a heavy duty plug- the plug is big and butt ugly :) . What are the things I need to be aware of before I attach the wall scones wires to the 16 ga wire and the plug ? I understand that the danger is more the otherway around when converting a lamp with zip wires into a light fixture because the wires will be inside the wall and all that.
I am going to mount the scones directly 5-6 feet above the socket and attach the wires to the wall with those things you get from ikea to coer the ugly wires.
Thanks Anita
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OK...let's deal with each issue individually:
1) What you have is a sconce. A scone is a baked thing popular in the British Isles and in trendy coffee joints here in the states. Attaching a scone to the wall will attract ants, and it produces little or no light. Great snack, though.
2) The wire and plug provided by the Home Depot guys is fine, but clumsy and ugly for your purpose. For all intents and purposes, you're wiring a lamp. Go back to HD and look for the lamp extention cords whose plugs (at the wall end) are flat. You've probably seen them. Buy the shortest cords you can find, one for each sconce. You're going to cut off the female plug, and save enough wire (and the male end which plugs into the wall) to reach from the sconce to the plug, without any excess reaching the floor where it'll get snagged by your foot or the vacuum cleaner.
3) Your sconces have one of two wiring situations: They either have a short length of wire permanently installed, or they have screws to which YOU can attach wires. The extension cords I mentioned have stranded wire (many little wires twisted to make one bundle), so it is not appropriate or safe to attach them to screws, or to other wires using anything but crimp connectors. Wire nuts are bad,too. Onward:
4) At HD, find crimp connectors and crimping tools in the electrical department. Crimping tools range in price from ten bucks up into the $50-$60 range. If you have strong hands and intend to work on wiring only occasionally, the cheaper tool is fine. Otherwise, buy the fancier one, which has a gear mechanism that makes the squeezing easier.
5) If the sconces have some wire already attached, you need what's called "butt connectors", or sometimes "barrel connectors". It's a soft plastic tube with a metal sleeve inside. You strip the wire, twist the strands tightly, insert it into one side of the connector, and squeeze it with the crimping tool. The goal is to have a short enough length of bare wire so all of it goes into the metal sleeve, and none of it is outside of the sleeve. Someone at the store can show you what I mean.
6) If the sconces have screws for attaching the wires, you'll buy connectors designed to slip around the shaft of the screws, and the same crimping tool mentioned earlier. One type is U-shaped, for screws you cannot remove completely. Another is a closed ring. You remove the screws, slip them through the rings, and reinstall the screws.
You'll probably find a complete kit containing assorted crimps along with a tool. Sometimes these kits contain crimps whose quality isn't up to that of the individual ones you can buy by the bag. With one type, the plastic sleeve is translucent. These sleeves are softer and are far less likely to crack at extreme temperatures. The lousy kind have brittle, opaque plastic and will eventually cause trouble. Spend the extra money for the better ones, even if it means bypassing the "complete kit". And, if you think this whole crimping thing is cool, you'll find plenty of uses for it in the future, so pick up the better tool.
Someone either here or at the store may tell you that crimp connectors are not allowed for house wiring by local electrical codes (regulations). They're right, in most cases, but not to worry. I wouldn't recommend using them in a wall box where you can't see them, unless you've had lots of practice with a crimping tool. But, these connectors are used extensively in environments like boats where they're subjected to ridiculous levels of moisture and vibration, and they hold up beautifully if used right. Go for it.
-Doug

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Thanks for your reply.

cant argue with that. :)

Mine have a hot neutral and gnd WIRES. How does a crimp connector look ? The lamp has the hot and neutral wires ending in an elongated thimble like plastic thing. I can unscrew the wires from it and reinsert it into the thimble thingie along with my wires. Is this a crimp connector ?

My situation.

Got it. All the ones I found on the internet look kind of heavy duty. hopefully there is something in homedepot for me. I get a sneaky feeling that I am interrupting all important work whenever I ask them anything... so I'd like to know beforehand and be very business like.
The lamp had a ground and the extension cord wire just has two wires what do I do with the ground wire ? Any problems if it touches the back surface of the lamp which is used to mount it on the wall ? Can I just tape it to the wall plate holding the lamp ?
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safe
Look here: http://www.panduit.com/products/Products.asp?param 3&ig_idH4 Those are ring connectors. The colors indicate what size wire to use them with. Your most likely choice will be blue, although it's always good to have some yellows & reds in your tool box, too. Butt/barrel connectors & others use the same color codes. See the darkness inside the yellow one in the picture? That's where the metal begins.
These are fork connectors, used when you can't remove the screw to which you're attaching the wire: http://www.panduit.com/products/Products.asp?param 6&ig_idA5
These are butt connectors, for connecting the ends of two wires: http://www.panduit.com/products/Products.asp?param 1&ig_id87 If the wires are of two different sizes, there are ways of dealing with it if you don't want to buy connectors designed for the purpose. You can double over the smaller wire, for instance, to make it fatter.

The thimble thingie is called a wire nut. They come in various sizes and materials and are quite secure when used correctly, and in the right applications. But, they are not safe for use with stranded wire, which is what you'll find in the typical lamp or light-duty extension cord. Save them, though. They may come in handy at some point.

called
Go back and look for the colors you saw on the web links I provided. No matter how "heavy duty" they look, they are correct. And, if you can't find someone helpful, ask for the manager. You could also go to Radio Shack, by the way, but I'm not sure of the quality of the crimp connectors they're selling.

Cut off any exposed metal conductor and wrap the end with black ELECTRICAL TAPE. Not masking tape, not scotch tape. Tuck it neatly behind the sconce. And just to be clear, you should be using the black & white wires, and tucking the green.
Now, look here: http://www.panduit.com/products/browse2.asp?classlevel $3 Those are cable ties. If you want to bundle or tie wires, or attach them to other surfaces, this is the manly-man cool way to do it. Home Depot carries them. The smaller ones are about twice as wide as a toothpick. You should have that size and two steps larger. They only need to be snug to do the job - not so tight that they begin to dig into the wire's insulation. HD carries some huge ones which come in very handy around the house and garden. The police use them as handcuffs - they're that strong.
If all this is confusing, drop me an email directly and I'll give you my phone number. Maybe we can clear up all your questions in 2 minutes.
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Thanks for your reply.

cant argue with that. :)

Mine have a hot neutral and gnd WIRES. How does a crimp connector look ? The lamp has the hot and neutral wires ending in an elongated thimble like plastic thing. I can unscrew the wires from it and reinsert it into the thimble thingie along with my wires. Is this a crimp connector ?

My situation.

Got it. All the ones I found on the internet look kind of heavy duty. hopefully there is something in homedepot for me. I get a sneaky feeling that I am interrupting all important work whenever I ask them anything... so I'd like to know beforehand The lamp had a ground and the extension cord wire just has two wires what do I do with the ground wire ? Any problems if it touches the back surface of the lamp which is used to mount it on the wall ? Can I just tape it to the wall plate holding the lamp ?
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On 5 Jul 2004 20:55:43 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (anita) wrote:

Get somebody to wire them for you...someone who knows what they're doin'.
Then watch what they do...and do it yourself the NEXT time.
If you burn the place down, you'll get plenty of light...but only the one time!
Have a nice week...
Trent
What do you call a smart blonde? A golden retriever.
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