Through Googling, Youtube, and Home Depo (:\ ) I think I understand the basics, but what everyone fails to mention is the ground wire. I understand what purpose it serves, and would like to wire this as safely as possible.

Sorry for the huge pics, first time posting.

Here is the fixture: Here we see the two main wires

The mirror looking one is the top that goes over the sockets and the one that the ground wire is attached to.

The Home Depot guy suggested I get this

enter image description here and an Indoor 2 Outlet Wireless Remote with 2 grounded outlets per the box.

So if the plug in outlets are grounded is this okay, or do I really need a three prong extension cord? Do they sale wireless light switches that have three prong outlets? If using the lamp chord I have now will suffice, what do I do with the ground wire? I'd also like to point out there is a green grounding screw on the main part of the fixture even though I have no clue if that matters

  • 1
    Where are you, or rather where (city,state, country) will this be plugged in? Aug 14, 2017 at 10:50
  • Dallas, TX USA in an apartment
    – Campbell
    Aug 14, 2017 at 15:05
  • With them giving you dangerous and illegal advice, why give them your money? In the old days there used to be a real hardware store in town that Home Depot put out of business. But there is probably still a proper electrical supply house. Aug 14, 2017 at 15:57
  • Great point @Harper, I did end up switching the cords out for less expensive ones from Walmart and only kept the remote. Quickly realizing he had no idea whay he was talking about!
    – Campbell
    Aug 14, 2017 at 17:33
  • Yes, I buy my 8' 3-prong appliance cords from Target for under $5 as an extension cord: lop the female end off and voila. (the cable is labeled correctly as cordage). However you are going to need proper strain relief. Best place to get that is an electrical supply. Tying a knot in the cord doesn't cut it (or to be more precise, does.) Nor a Romex clamp. Aug 14, 2017 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


Some very important information is missing here. Where are you intending to place that lighting fixture?

Normally a light like that is mounted in a permanent manner to a wall. There should be an electrical box in the wall that is positioned directly behind the hole shown here:

enter image description here

Three wires from the fixture, white, black and a safety ground pass through that hole and connect to the permanent wiring in the electrical box. You may want to consider adding an additional safety ground wire from that green screw showing in the above picture.

You will not use that two prong cord suggested by the person at Home Depot. They do not know what they are talking about. You do need to have the safety ground wire of the fixture connected into the safety ground of the building wiring.

  • If there were no exposed metal parts on the light fixture (double insulated), then a grounding conductor would not be required. However, since the whole back of this fixture is metal, you'll surely want a properly wired ground.
    – Tester101
    Aug 14, 2017 at 11:41
  • Also, since the fixture was not intended to be used as a cord connected device, you'll have to worry about strain relief for the cord. Not to mention that there's no protection of the bulbs, so you'll have to be careful how/where you use it.
    – Tester101
    Aug 14, 2017 at 11:44
  • Suppose one wanted to mount this to a wall where there was no box and line wiring. Would the code allow bringing a 2 + gnd cord into the fixture (using a plastic locking strain relief) and plugging into a receptacl? In this case one would use some 1/2" to 1" thick spacers between the back of the fixture and the wall so the cord would have room and so the cord would be unstressed and available for visual inspection. Aug 14, 2017 at 12:54
  • @JimStewart - You could do that and add a 90 degree connector to relieve the bend, but I warn you the NEC really doesn't like fixtures, devices, or equipment that are permanently attached to structures with a cord/cap plugged into a receptacle. I am not saying it is totally unacceptable, but I would make sure your AHJ is ok with it. Or you might attach it with hooks or something just to show its not permanent. Aug 14, 2017 at 15:03
  • It will be attached to the sides if if a wooden mirror for a vanity. There is actually a while coming at the back for the chord to come through and the mirrored portion of the fixture is actually the top so the sockets are nit exposed. It is a standard vanity light bar.
    – Campbell
    Aug 14, 2017 at 15:08

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