How to Change a Fluorescent Light to a Plug-in

Written by elizabeth knoll
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If you are installing a fluorescent light fixture near an electrical socket, it may make more sense to install a plug on the light rather than try to hard wire it into the electrical system. Doing this also makes it more portable. Simply unplug it and move it to a new location if you ever decide you no longer need the light. Some people may prefer to hire an electrician for this job, but it makes for a great do-if-yourself project if you are handy around the house.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Electrical cord
  • Cable clamp connector
  • Wire stripper/cutter
  • Wire nuts

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  1. 1

    Remove your fluorescent light bulbs from the fixture and open the fixture up. Typical fluorescent fixtures will have a screw on each end. Removing each of these screws will allow you to access the internal wiring.

  2. 2

    Feed a length of electrical cord into the fluorescent fixture through one of the knockouts and secure it with a cable clamp connector. Enough cord should be fed into the fixture to make the appropriate wire connections with the internal wiring.

  3. 3

    Strip both ends of the electrical cord and strip each of the individual wires (black, white and green) back about half an inch.

  4. 4

    Twist the black wires together inside the fixture and screw on a wire nut. Repeat the process for the white wires and the green wires.

  5. 5

    Screw the cover back on to the fixture and install the bulbs.

  6. 6

    Go to the other end of the electrical cord. Unscrew the male plug end and slide the base over the end of the electrical cord. Feed the black wire brass terminal of the male plug end and tighten the screw. Feed the white wire into the silver terminal of the male plug end and tighten the screw. Feed the green wire into the green terminal and tighten the screw.

  7. 7

    Push the plug end into the base and tighten the screws down to secure the two pieces together. Tighten the screws that clamp the plug end to the cord until the plug end is secure.

  8. 8

    Plug the light into an outlet to verify that it works. If everything is wired as described, the light will turn on.

Tips and warnings

  • Plug the fluorescent light fixture into an outlet which is connected to a switch. This will allow quick and easy access to turning the light on and off.

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