I have an extension cord with a grounding wire in it. I have cut off the female end and want to wire it to a light socket that will have an LED fixture screwed into it. This is for a garage workshop LED light. If the light socket doesn't have a grounding screw, what do I do with the grounding wire from the extension cord? I was going to put a wire nut on it, however I don't think it will fit inside the light socket enclosure.

Any alternatives?

  • 2
    Why not just use a plug in light socket and not mess around with cutting the cord and rigging up your own solution?
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 27, 2020 at 17:19
  • For future reference, there are purpose-made cords for this kind of thing. No need to tear up a perfectly good extension cord.
    – zaen
    Feb 27, 2020 at 19:03
  • @zaen: that's several times more expensive than the far more common extension cord, no need to tear up perfectly good money.
    – dandavis
    Feb 27, 2020 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


You do nothing with it.

What you're doing violates electrical code and invalidates the UL listing of the components. However, most light fixtures don't require ground wires because they're "double insulated", so you'll just tuck it away or cut it short.


That's a tricky one. You are allowed to put flexible cords on light fixtures; see NEC 400.7. I do that all the time, and I lop off extension cord ends just like you did, and bring them into fluorescent fixtures, which I hang off the ceiling and plug into ceiling receptacles which are for lights.

However you want to put it onto a light socket (normally part of the building) and then screw a light fixture into it. You're not allowed to use flexible cordage as a substitute for the permanent wiring of a building, since the cordage is not going to a light fixture. See NEC 400.8.

I would change that arrangement so it conforms with code, e.g. get a light fixture that isn't a screw-in, such as the countless fluorescent shop lights or LEDs-to-replace-fluorescent shop lights. Anything with a 1/2" knockout will do; simply get a strain relief/cable clamp to go into the knockout.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.