From Plug-In to Hardwire - How To Convert a Plug-in Light to a Hardwired Light

Longest.title.ever. But hey, it gets the point across, right? 

I'm sure it's happened - you've been walking through your favorite store and see you a light that you would LOVE to have in your home. Sadly, there is one problem - the plug at the end. This happened to me a few weeks ago. I was walking through Hobby Lobby looking for supplies for a project and I saw an orb light I love (I know, I know... they've been around for a bit but I was hesitant to buy one for $100+). When I saw the orb I walked over and slowly turned the price tag over to see $79.99. Normally that would have been that but alas - Hobby Lobby had lighting/lamps on sale for 50% off. $40 for a light? Count me in.

In all fairness, I wasn't sure if it was safe to convert a plug-in light to a hardwired light. I mean, it's just two little wires, right? But what about the ground? Plug-in lights don't have grounds so would it even work? I decided to talk to my electrician and found out that most new plug-in lights are self grounding. Even better, the switch that would be controlling the light was on a 5 switch box so the whole box is grounded. He told me "the big end of the plug is black and the small end is white." Sounds easy enough.

Note: Before getting into this tutorial I want to say that great care should be taken when dealing with electricity. If you are not comfortable with this, or any, electrical project please contact a professional. Additionally, if you are unsure of whether the plug-in light you purchased will work in your home, please reach out to a professional. No sense burning your house down. :-)

Can you believe the light even came with a lightbulb? The only thing it didn't have was a canopy kit so I ran to my local hardware store and bought a canopy kit for $5.

I had to spray paint it black so it would match the light but that was easy peasy.

Once I decided how long I wanted the light to hang, I cut the wire. Luckily for me, the wires were actually black and white (I have been told that in most plug-in lights they don't differentiate).

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I'm pretty sure that is joint compound on my nails since I was sheetrocking that day. :-)
After splicing the wires, I had to figure out how the light would attach to the canopy. Luckily, the light had that covered to.

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I removed the top piece, threaded the wires through the canopy and the screwed it back together.

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Because the cords were wrapped in fabric, we cut down the fabric as far as possible and then wrapped it several times with electrical tape. After all fabric + junction box = fire hazard.

Next the hubs connect the wires and that was that. All-in-all it took about 30 minutes to complete the project. And the results? I just love them!

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I opted to change the light bulb to an Edison bulb I purchased at Lowe's. I love the pattern it gives off on the ceiling and the way the filament lights up.


All-in, I spent a little less than $50 (including the new light and canopy kit). So what do you think? The next time you see a plug-in light that you think would look awesome in your place don't pass it by. With a few easy modifications, it can be hanging in your home in no time.

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