So I have a 25ft 16AWG power extension cord running up to my projector which draws 353W.

I want to add a two outlet plug to the female end of the extension cord near the projector and get one outlet for an ikea tracklight which has sockets for 5 GU10 bulbs(I plan to install 4 or 5W led bulb in each).

Is there any problem with my existing setup and will there be any problem with what I plan to do?

The tracklight is designed to be a ceiling mounted fixture not a plug-in lamp. May be this is another question: I can't access any wiring behind walls, so can I wire up this fixture using a 3 prong extension and connect it to a wall outlet?

  • 1
    Flexible cords cannot be used as permanent wiring. It can be used to power devices; like the projector, but not for fixtures like track lights.
    – Tester101
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 21:50
  • Depends - is that tracklight to be used as a FIXTURE (affixed to the building) or as a DEVICE (nonfixed, or clamped, say, to a mobile cabinet)? If as a DEVICE, it can be powered by an extension cord. Electrically, there's no problem at all with the plan. Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 22:12

1 Answer 1


Ok, with the updated question... no, you really shouldn't ever power a permanently mounted light fixture from an extension cord inside a dwelling. It's acceptable in a utility outbuilding or agricultural building, but not inside a dwelling - there's too much inherent risk of an occupant (might not be you) damaging the extension cord and starting a house fire, resulting in the loss of many lives.

Your best bet would be to run a short section of WireMold (or similar brand) surface-mount conduit from an outlet box to a box on the ceiling, and hardwire the tracklights from that ceiling box.

  • Thanks for the advice! I already have wiremold installed as a part of running my projector power. There is plenty of space for tracklights. As for the ceiling box, I will secure the connections within the enclosure by running the cord into the fixture(lot of space in there) and use a nylon cable tie around the extension cord inside. The cable tie will act as a bolt so the cable can't be yanked. How does this sound?
    – Madhu
    Commented Aug 17, 2014 at 1:41
  • 1
    That should be fine... provided you absolutely guarantee that before you sell the place or die, it'll be redone in an "approved" fashion with either individual insulated wires or NM-B cable inside that wiremold. That guarantee is a large part of the rationale behind the USA's National Electrical Code, protecting the subsequent owners after the existing owners (who know what's there) sell or die. I'd feel most comfortable if you ran NM-B cable through wiremold to an existing electrical outlet in that same room. A building inspector will NOT permit an extension cord, even in wiremold. Commented Aug 17, 2014 at 2:57
  • Tie a knot in the new lamp cord for strain relief. I fail to see how your going to flush mount this to the ceiling and have a cord coming out. +1 on hard wiring it, they make extensions to bump out an outlet for climbing walls.
    – Mazura
    Commented Aug 17, 2014 at 3:27
  • @TDHofstetter the purpose of the National Electrical Code is to protect the structure and all occupants, not just future occupants. Flexible cords and cables should never be used as permanent wiring.
    – Tester101
    Commented Aug 17, 2014 at 13:05
  • @Mazura sorry abt the very late update. I have the projector and the lights wired separately. I drilled a hole in the fixture cover so I can run the extension wire into it to be able to mount it flush, also put a cable tie inside for strain relief. The wires are all run through enclosed raceways. In effect I turned the tracklight into an appliance.
    – Madhu
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 14:44

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