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I'd like to hang a string of paper lanterns.

One web site sells a lamp cord spliced for multiple bulb sockets:

http://www.paperlanternstore.com/bldosocokitf.html

It looks like SPT-2 lamp cord, spliced with an insulated terminal block.

  • Is it safe to use terminal blocks as a splice outside of a junction box?

  • Is it safe to hang the weight of the light fixture on this lamp cord & splice?

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That terminal block is definitely not appropriate - it is not designed at all to take any weight load or tension. Though the lights themselves are not very heavy, if you have several of these strung out over say, a 12' span, the weight of the cord is actually considerable. In fact, this is downright dangerous. It's line-voltage, which means if the terminal breaks or the wires come loose for any reason, there's quite possibly 120V live, stripped wire ends falling on someone's head. I'm very surprised to see a product like this being sold in North America. Is it UL/CSA/anything-approved? –  gregmac Aug 31 '11 at 5:11
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It may not violate any codes/laws, as it's a "non-permanent" cable and would probably be covered by the same rules as an extension cord. If the lights were properly supported so they did not exert any tension on the splice, you may never have a problem with it. That being said, I don't think I would use this product in my own home. You don't want to burn down the yurt (where I'm guessing you are going to hang these), find a better product just to be safe. –  Tester101 Aug 31 '11 at 12:18
    
You both have useful things to say but no one will write an answer. :-( –  Jay Bazuzi Sep 6 '11 at 4:56

1 Answer 1

You might want to look into using something like this...

enter image description here

Designed for paper lanterns.

Notice that the weight of the lights are supported by the cable and the socket, not the junction itself. The problem with the product you linked to, is the weight of the lights are supported by the junction (given that it's not mounted properly). Over time the weight (or accidental yanking) could cause the junction to separate, leading to a potential shock/fire hazard.

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