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I'd like to string up cafe lights on my back porch, but there's no outlet or power source for them to plug into. The cafe lights wrap around the porch roof perimeter and end about 2 feet away from the porch light (see photo).

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My question: is there a way to cut the male end of this string of cafe lights and, with the help of additional wiring and end caps, somehow splice/connect it to the porch light so it can be operated by the light switch that turns on/off the porch light? Or is there a better and safer way altogether to connect the cafe lights to a power source? For reference, here's a closeup of the porch light:

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Since that light fixture appears to be wired with temporary use extension cord anyway, why go through the trouble of wiring up a new weathertite box with GFI receptacle and approved weatherproof "in-use" cover (method probably required for code compliant install)?

Keep it simple. The items that I am suggesting are probably listed for indoor use only. I have a similar setup (in a similarly protected location) and have had no problems for years: socket adapter + lamp extension cord.

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  • Wow, brilliant! I had no idea socket adapters even existed. – Will Apr 22 '18 at 14:22
  • While this might be a reasonable temporary solution, unless the light fixture is protected by GFCI it shouldn’t become something permanent, semi-permanent, or even regularly used. The chance that the fixture is already GFCI protected is very small. – Tyson Apr 22 '18 at 14:56
  • @Tyson: how can I check if the fixture is GFCI protected? And if it's not, how do i protect it? – Will Apr 23 '18 at 11:42
  • How to check: press test on any and all GFCI’s you have, and don’t reset yet, does the light still work? If so, not protected’, the easiest thing to do is probably change the breaker. I started writing an answer to your question moments after you posted on how to add a GFCI with an in-use cover under your eve where the light is located, the problem is modern GFCI’s are designed to power up tripped. So cutting power to it means you’ll have to reset it everytime you turn the switch on. That wouldn’t work out well. Gotta find a plug upstream of the switch, or change the breaker. – Tyson Apr 23 '18 at 12:30
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Don't go splicing wiring of these lights. They are typically "just good enough" to pass UL testing (hopefully!) as is. The simple solution is a light bulb socket adapter that provides a receptacle to plug in more devices plus a light bulb socket - something like US Standard Screw Light Holder Socket Adapter. In your case, you may need a short extension cord as well - not ideal but better than splicing. This solution won't work if the light bulb is an integrated fixture, but in your case it is a screw-in light bulb in an ordinary socket with easy access so it should work just fine.

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