Can i wire lgiht sockets to an extension cord?

I was gathering information on how to build a reptile cage, and one of the obsticals would be lights/heat. Would i be able to wire a light socket or 2 to my cage using an extension cord as a sourse of power. I am planning on cutting the extension cord and then after wiring in the light sockets, planning on connecting the positive and negative ends to the extension cords and securing it with electrical tape. Would this be a bad idea? I cant find any information on how to wire 2 light sockets using a plug in type of method. Before you all think im crazy, i have a heat lamp for my reptile alright and it basically looks like a socket, with a metal dome over it and a cord running into the electrical socket. There doesnt seem to be any device but the socket regulating the flow of electricity so i thought i could do the same.
Well the thing is its going to be a custom cage. i cant have the huge domes sticking outside the cage. i have found light sockets that are safe for the cage im going to build. My only problem is it doesnt come with a way to just plug into an outlet. I would just like to know how i can wire it to use it to plug into a wall or something. The sockets do not come with plugs to were i can plug into a wall or surge protector. Its not the couple of bucks savings part that im concerned with, its the whole DIY. I have seen alot of reptile dealers and petstores with similar set ups, the thing is when i ask the floor people dont know the set up

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6 Responses to “Can i wire lgiht sockets to an extension cord?”

  1. Jim B said:

    The heat lamp example you use is great as long as you realize they are using materials properly sized and rated for the electrical current draw and high temperature that heat lamps can generate. The wrong type and an incorrectly sized cord can melt and burn or be a shock hazard. Additionally, you need to be careful about how the lamps are mounted to make sure they don’t catch fire. Electrical tape all by itself for connections would not be wise. As a minimum you would want to use twist-on wire nuts, but better would be to buy ceramic light sockets at the hardware store that have screw terminals. You also need to make sure the lamps are adequately protected/covered so your reptiles don’t climb into them and get fried.

    Your idea may save some money over buying a light fixture made for reptile cages, but if it kills your reptiles, kills you or burns down your house then the savings aren’t worth it.

    You might want to talk to a pet shop or reptile dealer and see if they have any used equipment that you can buy cheap or even for free and then clean it up for your use. If you are near a large city then check out the classifieds for used equipment.

    If you still want to build your own stuff then this site has a set of e-books for building reptile cages and lots of accessories for about $28, http://www.reptile-cage-plans.com/index.html

  2. Susan M said:

    I have a box turtle all of her lighting/heating fixtures are plugged into a surge surpressor. This is the safest way.

  3. ben j said:

    i agree with susan… and if you don’t want a surge protector three-way extension cords are available that you can use. i don’t understand what’s different about plugging into a socket or the end of a cord?

  4. Kris_B said:

    Home Depot sells these nifty little male-plug to lamp socket adapters. I would think a few small brown extension cords and handful of those adapters and you got it made.

  5. stixntwigs said:

    Why would you put yourself, your home and family, and your pets at risk just to save a few bucks? Don’t mess with it. Go purchase what you need to maintain a healthy environment for your animals.

  6. John himself said:

    Can you. Yes. Should you. No. Light fixtures and all other electrical equipment is tested by a listing agency such as UL to make sure they won’t electrocute you or burn your house down. If your home made fixtures burn your house down do you think your insurance will cover it? Look for ready made fixtures that will fit your needs. Do a search.




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