Running wires...

I just bought some small reading lights that I'd like to install over my bed and I was hoping to run the wire (single wire for power) behind the wall down to a power outlet at the baseboard. My concern is that the power wire is very thin and I'm wondering if this is a potential fire hazard; any ideas on that? My overall plan is to drill a small hole just behind the light and let the wire dangle behind the wall, it would come out near the baseboard where it will be connected to a surge protector connected to a standard power outlet. Any issues with that plan? Thanks, Dan
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In the U.S. the NEC prohibits running lamp cord in walls, however metal and plastic sleeves are made that attach to the wall surface for you to run the zip cord inside of

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Any good examples of this? I'm looking for the cleanest display I can get... are there many options of these sleeves?
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If you don't want hanging wires, put an old-work box the appropriate distance off the floor, and either mount an wall reading lamp with the pivot arms, or a recessed clock outlet that you can tuck the excess cord into, and hang the lamps you bought from the hanger screw.
Wall mounted bed lamps were dirt-common in the 50s and 60s. Some motels still have them.
aem sends....
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offhand I don't know of any, but these are often sold with-for swing arm fixtures sold at lighting stores. I've seen them in brass and white plastic

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"Wiremold" plastic raceway available at Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. Sticks to the wall, wires run inside the raceway. Comes in metal too; I used the metal stuff to mount a ceiling light over the basement steps - attic access was too difficult.
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bed reading lights are severe fire hazards. all that nice fuffy bed linens close by nice lint that burns easy close by nice hot lights, now add the light getting bumped:(
Is this a light that attaches to the bed frame? like headboard?
in any case you should never run plastic covered wires like light cords thru walls.
they can be damaged easy and start fires fast.
if its a low voltage lamp it MIGHT be ok, but I dont recommend it.
I suggest you return the light.
Of course this after helping a friend and his wife gut their home after a bed lamp did $130,000 damage to their house
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Thanks for the advise, I think you guys have convinced me to stay away from this solution and go with the sleeve! Although, one question that I have from the previous reply: you said to never run a plastic coded cord through a wall, is that true in the case of power cords for TV's and computers and things like component cables for DVD players etc..? Thanks, Dan
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Those types of things are low or no voltage and if done properly the outer casing of the wire will not give off toxic smoke if burned. Its called Plenum rated or some such thing. They are fine.
Its the lamp cord with AC electric that should not be used.
See my other reply for another option.
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No wrote:

Power cords should never be run through walls, floors, ceilings, drop ceilings.
Signal wiring is not only low voltage, it is limited power and designed to not produce enough heat to start a fire. This includes phone, loudspeaker, cable, doorbell and various computer signal cables. These can be run through walls, floors, etc. "Lamp cord" can be used for these low voltage runs.
Plenum cables are designed for plenums - drop ceilings used as air returns - to not give much smoke if in a fire. Plenum cable is irrelevant in a house - there is plenty of other material to generate smoke.
bud--
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I have to agree with;

Note the point being 'power cords'; in this case being the wiring to devices that can be plugged in to a source of AC voltage (typically in North America that's 115 volts from a wall outlet; in Europe and elsewhere, perhaps 230 volts).

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Put a compace florescent bulb in it and there is no fire hazzard. Rather then run the lamp cord to the basement, run romex to the bedroom and just put a thin surface mounted box on the exterior of the baseboard. Then permanently wire it in the basement to the nearest light or outlet. You wont see the outlet under the bed. This way it's all legal.
wrote:

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Damaged wires are more of a shock hazard than a fire hazard but it depends on the location and kind of abuse.
To have a shock hazard all you need is some bare wire showing. To make that into a fire hazard, you need that bare wire (actually the hot and ground or hot and neutral) to come in contact with something moderately resistive so the current can be turned into lots of heat or have it contact something metal (low resistive) so that sparks land on combustable materials (before the breaker trips)
Your plan sounds fine unless the wall is insulated or covered in paneling such that many nails protrude into the wall cavity. It might be a bit more asthetic than a hanging wire.
you can get surface mount conduit for that as well. Save you from putting a hole in the wall but you still have a track on the surface to look at.

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Is the wire/cord even listed to be covered up? Most are not, they are intended to be exposed.
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I doubt this is up to code to be covered so I'll either have to put a cut in box in or have it exposed. I just wish there were better options out there for exposed wires, it just looks so much better when hiddent behind the wall. Any ideas on my other cables like TV power cables and component cables for satelite receivers and such? I also have a home entertainment system I'm considering and would like to put those wires in wall as well... any issues with those "heavier duty" type cables?
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Do not run any flexible cords into wall, ceiling, or floor cavities if you want your electrical system to be safe and code compliant. Electrical systems have enough hazards without creating unnecessary ones.
Don Young

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I don't understand quite what you are thinking of doing for your "other cables like TV power cables and component cables...". Your TV has a plug, right? The plug fits into an outlet on the wall, yes? Were you thinking of cutting the plug off, running the power cord into the wall, then splicing it into the home's electrical system? I can't imagine this is what you are thinking -- it is very very wrong, dangerous, and seems obviously stupid too (how would you move or unplug the TV for repairs, cleaning, selling your house, etc?).
If you have mess of wires running from your entertainment center to outlets and cable TV jacks elsewhere in the room, then you can remedy it by just installing outlets and cable TV jacks nearer to your entertainment center. Just install the outlets (or have them installed by an electrician) directly behind the entertainment center, use some twisties to bunch up the extra lengths of cords, plug them in, and forget about them.
As a basic rule of thumb: no cable of any kind should ever pass through a finished wall (ie. from inside the wall to inside the living space). Instead, the cable inside the wall always ends at some kind of outlet or jack mounted on the wall. An exception is half-ass cable TV coaxial installations, and half-ass phone installations.
As for your nighttime reading lights, either mount a box in the wall where you want the light to be (using normal romex inside the wall), fix the light right to the box, and make the connection inside. Or, use a simple plastic sleeve of some kind to make the dangling cord look nicer. And in both cases, make sure the light is fixed securely to the wall.
-Kevin
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Dan - The best solution would be to mount the fixture permanently. This would involve installing a box to mount the fixture on, a wall switch if desired and running romex wire in the wall from an appropriate connecting point.
The light you bought may or may not support this type of install. If not, and you do not just want to plug it in as is, then you may want to get a different light.
You could also just install an outlet high up on the wall. The electrical code does not specify the location of the outlets in a room if I remember correctly.
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