I'm working on creating an industrial lamp using black metal pipe fittings. Since this pipe is all metal it should be properly grounded.

I'm looking around for 16/3 or 18/3 lamp cord, but finding it rather difficult. I understand lamps traditionally haven't been grounded, and it's not necessarily a major concern for most lamps beings they're encapsulated by a non-metallic casing. However, with my lamp being all metal, I'd like to find the appropriate wire.

I came across this wire at home depot, can anyone give me some advice here? Perhaps point me to a 3 conductor wire that could be safely used for my purposes?

Thanks in advance.

  • On the contrary, the vast majority of 2-wire lamps are largely metallic. Yet electrocution by lamp is not particularly common. – Ecnerwal Jul 7 '16 at 17:55
  • Are you sure you need X/3 cord? Is the lamp 3 phase? Or is it split phase using both (for example) 120 v and 240 v? 99% of lamps, and perhaps 75% of industrial lamps use X/2 wiring with a ground conductor. That is 10-3 wire has four conductors in it; 10-2 has three conductors. – wallyk Jul 8 '16 at 0:32
  • See also this question diy.stackexchange.com/questions/91000/… by someone else building something similar. – A. I. Breveleri Jul 8 '16 at 3:56
  • Thanks for the link, I saw that home depot tutorial and was also curious about grounding there. Very helpful. – StoriKnow Jul 8 '16 at 12:10

You should be able to purchase a three wire cord with a molded three prong grounding plug on one end open wire ends on the opposite end. These are often sold as electrical appliance replacement cords and should be available at most good hardware stores and big box type outlets.

Here is an example of one type of these cords:

enter image description here

Make sure to use proper strain relief on the core end at the lamp to keep stress off the internal electrical connections.

These cords are very similar to if you got a three prong extension cord and cut off one end. You could do this except in many cases any safety agency listing for that extension core becomes non valid once the cord is modified. This may also be a reason to check if the appliance replacement cord that you purchase is marked with a safety agency listing/logo.

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  • Thanks Michael, this is a push in the right direction for me. Much appreciated! – StoriKnow Jul 7 '16 at 20:45

I came across this website which is fantastic. It has both 2 and 3 conductor wire, with some optional style choices as well.


Exactly what I'm looking for

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