I am looking to connect a T8 fluorescent light fixture (that holds 4 bulbs) to a cord with a plug at the end so I can plug the fixture directly into a standard wall socket (or in my case a light socket adapter like this one.)

Here is an image of the connector, I'm not sure the exact name of the connector part, but how would I connect that to a cord with a plug at the end?

Notice the connector has 2 holes for white and 2 holes for black, I'm not sure what those are for.

fluorescent light fixture connector

It seems the ballast is grounded to the fixture, would I need a 2 or 3 pronged cord?

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    Note: your light socket adapter will not provide a ground and should not be used. You could perhaps replace the light fixture with something like this (Amazon) – DoxyLover Jul 15 '14 at 23:33
  • @DoxyLover I will connect a 3 pronged power cord to my light fixture. The socket I will be plugging the light fixture into is a 2 pronged socket with an adapter that makes it 3 pronged (it has a grounded screw) something like this will that be OK? – shnozolla Jul 20 '14 at 18:18
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    As long as you actually use the screw to ground the adapter, yes. – DoxyLover Jul 20 '14 at 23:35
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    There are lots of plug-in fluorescent fixtures. Even better, there are lots of plug-in LED fixtures that are fairly direct replacements for T4/T8 fixtures. Might be easier to buy those, and donate the old fixture to a Habitat Re/Store or some similar architectural-reuse-for-the-needy service. – keshlam Mar 23 '16 at 0:09

The extra holes in the connector are for wire chaining the fixture to the next fixture. One pair goes to power, the other pair to the next fixture.

You can cut off the connector and strip the two wires (black and white) and connect them directly to the cord with wire twist connectors. These are color coded for the total size of wires in them. Yours plus a cord is likely to be the smallest (blue).

wire twist connectors

Black goes to black and white to white. Be sure to use a three prong cord with a ground wire, like this:

power cord

Secure the green wire to the fixture's metal with a screw (maybe one already in place), or cut the end of the wire, strip it, and use a twist connector to tie it to a ground wire in the fixture. The clamp is a great idea if the edge of the hole in the fixture is sharp.

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  • The cord you linked to doesn't have white or black colored wires. Can I attach white to any end and black to the other? (and ground to the ground screw)? – shnozolla Jul 20 '14 at 18:20
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    Look at the edges of the cord assembly very carefully. One of them has a molded stripe (raised or texture along its length) and the other side doesn't. The striped side is equivalent to the black; the non-striped side is white. – wallyk Jul 20 '14 at 18:55

The fluorescent fixture you have is intended to be hard-wired, so I'm not sure you'll be able to find an adapter for that quick-connect fitting you show, which are designed to wire several fixtures together. If you want to add a plug I think you'll have to cut the wire and splice in a new replacement cord. There should be a circular knock-out at the top of the fixture that you can use to get the wiring into the fixture. Make sure you use an appropriate cable clamp connector.

As for the number of conductors: The fixture should be grounded. Usually this is done by a ground wire attached to the fixture (you can actually see the green grounding screw in your photo). In your case you should use a 3-prong cable and use the ground.

One more comment: if you're setting up a makeshift fixture from an existing Edison socket, make sure you don't overload the capacity of the socket. A 4-lamp T8 fixture is probably going to draw 150 watts or so.

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The yellow connector can be used for connecting to power cord. If hard wiring, you would simply strip the proper amount of insulation from the solid conductors and push in the holes to connect. If the connector is like the Ideal #102 (same idea, different mfg) you can even use the stranded wires from the power cord, just twist them and tin them with solder. Look up the specific yellow connector that came with the fixture to be sure it is approved for stranded wire first.

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