How to Wire Electric Light Sockets in Series

Written by max stout
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A series light circuit has more than one light socket but only one path for the electricity to move along. In manufacturing, strings of lights wired in series are considered the most economical. For example, if a set of light bulbs are placed in sockets that are wired in series, only one wire is needed to connect the lights together. However, if one light were to burn out, the circuit becomes open and all the lights would go out. A series light circuit can be connected with a few tools and materials.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Required amount of light sockets
  • Light bulbs
  • Required insulated wire
  • Wire cutting pliers
  • Wire stripping pliers
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Flat-tip screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Power source

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut a length of wire with the wire cutting pliers long enough to extend from the negative terminal on the intended first light socket to the negative connection of the power source.

  2. 2

    Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from both ends of the wire using the wire stripping pliers.

  3. 3

    Bend a loop on the end of the wire intended for the negative light socket terminal using the needle-nose pliers.

  4. 4

    Connect the looped end of the wire to the negative terminal with the open end of the loop to the right. Turn the terminal screw clockwise with the appropriate tip screwdriver to secure the wire.

  5. 5

    Cut another length of wire with the cutters to reach from the positive terminal of the light socket to the negative terminal of the second light socket.

  6. 6

    Strip both ends of the wire using the wire strippers.

  7. 7

    Bend a loop in both ends of the wire with the needle nose pliers.

  8. 8

    Connect one end of the wire to the positive terminal of the first socket and the negative terminal of the second terminal. Both open ends of the loops should face to the right. Tighten the terminal screws on the sockets using the screwdriver.

  9. 9

    Cut a length of wire with the wire cutters long enough to extend from the positive terminal of the second light socket to the positive connection of the power source.

  10. 10

    Install light bulbs into each socket.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep in mind that if any one of the light bulbs fail, the circuit will open and the other lights will shut off.
  • If a switch is desired to operate the circuit, connect one of the wires from the power source to one terminal on the switch, and another from the switch to the first or last light socket.

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