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I'm trying to build custom 3 bulb lamp.

About me: Biochemistry major so very far from electrical but I've built RC plane models before so I know soldering and stuff. Nothing really about electrical circuits though.

I'm aiming for it to be one of those metal wire trees with wiring running through the branch and trunk. The lamp plug wire will be coming out of the base. The lamp will have 3 bulbs. I am hoping to put 3 10W Philips hue colour lights. (unless you guys suggest to put regular filament bulbs).

My question is regarding the wiring of the project. I want to avoid electrocuting myself and also blowing the fuse of the house. I tried looking at online tutorials but I'm still not convinced enough. How should I go about wiring it and what beyond the bulb socket and wires do I need to make it safe. Do I need a ground wire? I disassembled these ceiling lamps and they this copper wire tightened to the nut of the lid, disconnected from everything else, what's the purpose and do I need it? Also should I wire the bulbs in parallel or series? Do I need a 3 prong (Canada) plug or 2 prong would suffice (Do I need ground?)? The wiring that I'm using has ground I believe (greenish streak on the entire wire in a group of 3, connected to a screw on the side of the bulb socket).

I have a raspberry pi 2 and know some python if that can improve the project.

And any other advice would also be appreciated!

  • This is a pretty open-ended question. We like to deal more with focused questions that tackle one particular problem. First thing you should do is get a few lamps from a thrift store and take them apart. Look at how they are wired and put together in general. Then research a bit about home wiring and how it works. What are "hot, neutral, and ground", how are they used and how are they dangerous. – JPhi1618 Jul 22 at 17:18
  • Start by buying some "Home electrical for Dummies" book or finding the equivalent online. For that matter, most hardware stores will be happy to give you some detailed sheets showing how to do the wiring correctly. – Carl Witthoft Jul 22 at 19:12
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If you are making a lamp out of metal I would definitely ground it. Start out by running individual wires from the sockets through the branches into the base and connecting them in parallel with wire nuts to a three prong power cord. The ground wire on the power cord can be screwed into the base grounding the entire lamp. The sockets would be grounded by attaching them to the branches or by running ground wires from the sockets down to the base and connecting them there. The 10w bulbs will work fine but you might want to look at some of the neat led bulb that are one the market.

Also, you might think about adding a push button switch to the base to turn on and off the lamp. good luck and have fun.

  • Just to be clear (because the asker seems to have worked with DC voltage), ground is for safety only and never carries a current. Bulb sockets are not typically grounded because they only have a screw for hot and neutral. On a normal Edison socket, the outside of the socket is neutral, not ground. AC house wiring and DC are similar, but have a few important differences. – JPhi1618 Jul 22 at 18:57
  • Right on all accounts but there are sockets with an outside shell that when screwed into a grounded frame they become grounded. Just a safety feature but it depends on the sockets. – JACK Jul 22 at 19:20
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The most commonly used A-series light bulb type is the A19 bulb which is 2 3⁄8 inches (60 mm) wide at its widest point and approximately 4 3⁄8 inches (110 mm) in length.

The 19 refers to the bulb diameter of 19/8th ".

The most common Edison socket is defined as E26 (MES) in North America, E27 (ES) in Europe.

When the socket is well insulated from the reach of fingers, moisture, rain etc. , a ground connection is not required thus a polarized socket and plug is all that is needed.

Banggood and EBay have E26 or E27 socket and plug cables, which you can route with common sense.

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