If you buy a wired wall light or a lighted medicine cabinet for your bathroom, you'll need to connect it to a power source. If you're not afraid to work with electricity, and you have an outlet nearby, it's relatively simple to wire it either to a polarized (two pronged) or grounded (three pronged) plug.
How to supply a vanity light with a plug
If you have an outlet near the intended location of the light, and you want to be able to simply plug it into the outlet, you must be will to accept the sight of the wire reaching from the light to the nearby outlet.
If this doesn't offend your aesthetic sensibilities, you will need to take a look at the light. Many wall lights only have two wires, a black powered "hot" wire and a white neutral wire.
If that is the case, this is what you'll need:
- A lamp replacement plug. This is simply a wire with a two pronged plug on one end and two copper threaded wires on the other end.
- Wire nuts. These are used to keep wires connected.
- Electrical tape. Black plastic tape used to secure wire nuts and keep moisture out of connected wires.
To attach the wire, simply twist the wire ends together. Each copper threaded wire on the replacement plug will correspond with one of the prongs on the other end. Twist the threaded copper wire that runs from the larger prong to the white neutral wire from the wall light, and the wire from the shorter prong to the black wire on the light.
Be sure to attach them in this manner, because the neutral wire form the light must be attached to the larger grounding prong for the light to be properly grounded when it is plugged in.
When the wires are connected, twist a small wire nut onto each connected end. Turn them several times until they feel tight. Then wrap the wire nuts with electrical tape, wrapping it several times around the openings of the wire nuts. This will keep them secure and keep moisture from entering the open ends of the wire nuts.
When you attach the wall light to the wall, the wires will be placed behind the frame of the light. Since the light was designed to be hard wired, it will not have an opening for the plug wire to go through.
You can make a small hole in the frame for a bushing (a round protective ring) that will allow the wire to go through without being cut or pinched.
Attaching a plug to a three wired light
You will need a three pronged plug for a grounded light, which will have a black, white, and green or copper colored ground wire. For this type of light, you will simply purchase a grounded extension cord, and cut it at the length needed to extend from the outlet to the light.
When you cut the cord, you will need to separate the three wires from within the plastic sheath, then strip two inches of insulation from each wire. Be careful not to nick the wires when removing the insulation. A wire stripping tool is ideal for this job, but you can do it carefully with a utility knife.
Attach each set of wires by corresponding color (the ground wire of either light or cord may be copper or green, but they can be connected together). Use wire nuts and electrical tape as previously mentioned, and also create a safe path for the wire to exit the wall light.
Attach the light to the wall, plug it in, and you're finished. For further assistance, contact professionals, such as those from Action Electric.