I'd like to put a couple of wall lights outside my garage but I don't want to wire this into the mains electricity as I want to connect them to a plug so I can control it with IFTTT.

Can I simply buy twin core and earth wire, fit a plug at one end and connect to the light fixture?

The fixture I'm looking at is this and will be running LED lamps: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modern-Black-Double-Outdoor-Stainless/dp/B00VYSL5LK/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_sims?ie=UTF8

  • You don't need to "plug it in" to be able to control it via IFTTT. Most smart switches will do just fine.
    – Tyson
    Jan 18 '18 at 16:48
  • I know, I could use a smart switch, a relay or a hue bulb, but for ease of installation I want it plugged in to a socket
    – srob
    Jan 18 '18 at 16:50
  • This depends on what you mean by "can I". Will it work? Of course, no problem. Will it be safe and legal in your area and meet all applicable codes? Probably not. How is the cord going to be protected? How are you going to deal with the wet outdoor location? There's a lot to consider here.
    – JPhi1618
    Jan 18 '18 at 17:00
  • It's no different to being hardwired surely? The wire will feed through the wall into the garage directly behind the fixture and along the wall to the socket protected by an RCD plug.
    – srob
    Jan 18 '18 at 17:07
  • 1
    You can't feed a cable through a wall. Jan 18 '18 at 19:24

This is an interesting question because you are caught between different code sections.

If you are attaching a fixture to a plug, the conductor must be described as a flexible cord or cable. That would be covered in NEC Article 400.12 "Uses not permitted" (1) As a substitute for a fixed wiring of a structure. (2) See @Harper (3) Where attached to building surfaces. So in short you can't use flexible cord as a permanent part of the structure. Most AHJ will tell you the minute you put one support on the flexible cable it becomes a permanent part of the structure.

So then you might say, "well I'll use NM and that is approved as permanent wiring." That would be fine but attachment plugs are only approved to be mounted to approved flexible cords and cables (NEC Sections 400.6 (A) and Table 400.4.). Also in NEC Article 334.12 (B)(4) Does not permit NM to be installed expose in wet or damp locations, and a garage is considered a damp location.

So then the only way you could use the method you are suggesting is to call it temporary wiring, but that would mean you couldn't permanently attach the fixtures to the wall. Also temporary installations have a time limit then you must take them down.

Although this may not be the answer you want to here but you really can't connect lights the way you want to a receptacle and be code compliant. Unless that plug would be within about 6' of the fixture and you will have two plugs because you have two fixtures.

I am not sure why you are insisting to unplug the fixtures, but have you considered a switch with a lock out cover instead.

  • I have never heard a garage being called a damp location. Other than that I agree.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 18 '18 at 23:04
  • Question is tagged "UK" - NEC does not apply here.
    – user4302
    Jan 19 '18 at 5:41
  • Thanks, yes NEC does not apply in the UK. I've been advised on another forum that connecting to a permanent fixed junction box with a plug connected to that should be fine
    – srob
    Jan 19 '18 at 11:11
  • @EdBeal a garage is a damp location if it's in the UK. The entire UK is a damp location. Jan 19 '18 at 16:20
  • Missed the UK tag.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 19 '18 at 16:53

So according to UK regs I can do the following:

Use 1mm T&E from the light fixture to the junction box and then use flex from the junction box to the plug, into the socket.

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