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Can a regular electric cord be connected to an electric box so it works with a wall switch?

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2010-01-22 00:31:55
2010-01-22 00:31:55

I would venture to say that almost all electrical codes would prohibit you from doing this, though technically possible. A cord-connected lamp is designed to be portable and typical lamp cord is not permitted to be used for a permanent connection. Removal of a cord-plug "disconnecting means" could also void the safety certification of the lamp (if any), making it more difficult to collect on fire insurance.

Instead you should have an electrician add a switched outlet and plug the lamp cord into it. Not only is this up to electrical code, but is more versatile in the long run should you or someone else need to change out the lamp. Be aware that code now requires certain locations to have a GFCI for an outlet and most GFCI-integral outlets cannot be installed on a switch, so it would have to be a GFCI breaker on the circuit.

Alternatively, your electrician can find a similar light fixture designed for permanent installation and wire that to the switch, with or without the switched outlet, possibly using "surface raceway". Without the outlet, no GFCI is required.

Addressing some concerns it is capable to switch a GFCI outlet if the correct type is used and more of a concern than adding a GFCI is adding a combination arc-fault circuit breaker especially for use with lamp cords. If you decide on the second route of a surface raceway to a switch it is still recommended to add either a AFCI breaker or a GFCI breaker depending on conditions of installation. the most recent code changes to the NEC require that almost every outlet circuit (lighting or receptacle) be protected by either an AFCI or GFCI.

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