I just took out an old doorbell chime and its wiring is near where I would love to plug in a lamp but there's no plug-in receptacle. Can I remove the old wiring from the existing box and use it for a new box with a plug-in receptacle? I read that doorbell boxes have built-in transformers to step the voltage down, so if I remove the wiring from its existing box, and run it through a standard box, it should deliver the standard 110-120 volts, right?

  • 2
    Sometimes the transformer is where the chime is, sometimes where the button is, sometimes some other place in the house. Pictures of what you took out and what the box looks like would help. Apr 11, 2023 at 22:32
  • You should be measuring the voltage first Apr 11, 2023 at 22:54
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    Can you use the existing wires to pull some heavier gauge wires through?
    – JoSSte
    Apr 12, 2023 at 7:37

1 Answer 1


If it would be only so easy.

Those wires are sized for low voltage (24 Volt max) and for low power (like door bell or door bell with video camera.

Running 120 Volt and higher power consumption would not only be probably against the code, but dangerous.

Using a 24 volt lamp with low power consumption could work.

  • Bummer. Thanks for the answers! Wouldn't want to burn the house down.
    – Gabe
    Apr 11, 2023 at 23:17
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    Low-voltage LED lights with current-limited power supplies should work well. A 16 VAC transformer should easily provide 500 mA or even 1 A continuously -- check the rating. That would provide light equivalent to a 60 W or 100 W incandescent. Apr 12, 2023 at 1:17
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    But it would be non-standard. So if you ever wanted to sell the house, you would have to explain how on earth you got the idea to run low voltage lighting.
    – arne
    Apr 12, 2023 at 7:29
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    @arne - it's not too much of a logical leap. My kitchen is almost entirely lit by 12V LEDs - because I had a boxful of 12V 5A power supplies & a couple of dozen very nice pre-made lighting strips left over after a job. Waste not, want not. ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 12, 2023 at 9:39
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    @Tetsujin I think "the entire kitchen" is different from "one random light in the hallway"
    – arne
    Apr 12, 2023 at 9:50

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