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I have a homemade 8 light lamp I need to wire. I had a class in Electricity in the 10th grade when Nixon was still in office. I do remember that I will wire the lamps in a parallel circuit.

Each socket will host a 6 watt LED, which 8 of them put AMPs at .4 by my calculation on 110 v.

The lamp is made of metal, and I plan on running a ground from the lamp to the ground wire in the outlet box.

For the wiring harness, I'm challenged with balancing cosmetic appeal and not burning my house down. I'm thinking about MIL22759/12 in 20 AWG, which is a flame resistant wire rated for 600V, and operating conditions of -65°C to +200°C. The insulation on this wire is PTFE.

My reading of 20 AWG is that it can carry 1.5 AMPs, which I'm well under. For safety I'm thinking about a 1 AMP in-line fuse.

The wires will be put into heat shrink tubing to prevent chafing.

Will this lamp burn my house down?

  • What other ratings are on the wire you're using? (MIL-22759-12 isn't bad wire by any means, but it may not be Code legal as fixture wire all the same.) Also, what do you plan to use for a cord to plug it into the wall with? – ThreePhaseEel Dec 19 '16 at 12:38
  • I should have mentioned this is a ceiling lamp that will wire into 14ga house wire. There is an existing lamp that has 6 ea 80 watt bulbs in it now. – jhowa1 Dec 19 '16 at 13:09
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    Are you replacing the standard sockets so that a higher wattage lamp can not be installed? I was thinking fixture wiring required 18 gauge or larger to be code compliant. – Ed Beal Dec 19 '16 at 14:23
  • If the light sockets can accept regular light bulbs you have to assume somebody might put those in it. You can't expect the future to know the wires are too little. I think the language @EdBeal is referring to only applies to the cord of 1 and 2 bulb portable plugin lamps. I think the answer to your question also depends on how the fixtures are wired (whether the fixture has an internal junction or whether all 8 lampholders home run back and are wired to the source). Ever notice multilamp fixtures almost always have a pair for each lampholders that must be wired to the source? That's why. – Tyson Dec 19 '16 at 14:52
  • This is a new lamp that replaces a home depot special. The sockets in my lamp are E12. Part of my thinking about adding the 1 AMP fuse in the electrical box is if someone replaces the bulbs with regular instead of LED. I will also add a warning label where the fuse will be located. This lamp is for my home, and not for sale. – jhowa1 Dec 19 '16 at 15:50
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First problem: you'll need to pick a thicker wire. The NEC specifies a minimum of 18AWG for fixture wire in 402.6:

402.6 Minimum Size. Fixture wires shall not be smaller than 18 AWG.

Second problem: you'll need a reliable way of making connections. Instead of soldering (solder splices in free air are finicky beasts), I would recommend box-style pressure terminals (made by Wago and others). They are highly reliable (probably the best DIY multi-way connection option available) and UL listed for use in general household wiring, so they won't give an AHJ heartburn. They also are listed to terminate 10-18AWG solid or stranded wire, so they can be used with fixture wire, no matter what you get.

Next, you'll need a fuseholder that's rated for your application. I'd recommend an Eaton (Cooper Bussmann) HLR or a Littelfuse LHR type -- these are practically made-for-purpose for fusing fixtures, and are UL recognized as well. They also are panel-mountable to somewhere on the fixture, allowing convenient, touch-safe access to the fuse.

Finally, as to terminating the fixture wires, what I'd do is use a multi-way Wago box to terminate it to a single 18AWG that can go to your fuse holder (in fact, the fuse holders I mention above accept solid 18AWG leadwires, and can be obtained pre-terminated with them), then bring an 18AWG hot and neutral to the box. As to the earth? I'd simply provide a 10-32 tapped hole on the fixture base dedicated for a ground screw -- that way, premade ground pigtails can be used.

  • thank you very much! This is extremely helpful. And to everyone who provided thoughts, I greatly appreciate all of them. I have an infinitely better plan than the one I started with. – jhowa1 Dec 20 '16 at 3:06

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