How to hardwire rope lights?
Rope lights are a great way to add some illumination to your home or business. They’re also easy to install, and using them can help you save money on your electrical bill. But did you know that hardwiring rope lights are also an option? If you’re hesitant about getting into electrical work, don’t be! Hardwiring rope lights is easier than it may seem. It’s just like using any other electrical device. Once you get used to it, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing this all along.
How to hardwire rope lights?
Hardwiring rope lights is easier than it may seem. It’s just like using any other electrical device. Once you get used to it, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing this all along.
Rope light includes a power pack that has an inline fuse on one end and two wires coming out of the other end (one black and one white). The black wire attaches to your negative supply, which can be a battery or wall outlet. The positive supply attaches to either the positive terminal on your battery or directly into an outlet with no ground connection.
Step 1: Find the Beginnings and Ends of Your Rope Lights
The first step is to locate the three wires that are connected to your rope lights. This can be done by using a multimeter or testing light with a battery and noting where the power source connects in relation to the lights.
Next, you’ll need to figure out which wire is positive, negative and ground (if applicable).
Step 2: Choose Your Power Source
In the second step, choose a power source that is appropriate for your project.
- Choose a power source that is appropriate for the number of lights you are using: If you are using 20 feet or less of rope light, then choose a 12-volt DC transformer with an output of 100 watts or less. If you are using more than 20 feet of rope light then choose a 12-volt DC transformer with an output above 100 watts.
- Choose a power source that is appropriate for the length of rope lights you are using: If you have more than 30 feet of rope lights then select a 24-volt transformer with an output above 200 watts (200 watts per 10 feet). If it’s between 20 and 30 feet, select either 24 volts or 120 volts (120 watts per 10 feet).
- Make sure that your selected power source has an outlet plug to match those existing in your home or business so that installation will be easy!
Step 3: Choose and Install a Power Cord
After you have your rope lights, it’s time to choose a power cord. Most power cords will be labeled with their voltage and amperage requirements. If you are using a standard extension cord, make sure that it is also rated for outdoor use. If you are using a power strip, make sure it is rated for the number of lights you have chosen and that it has a grounded plug.
A quick Google search of “outdoor extension cords” brings up many options at different lengths and prices ranging from $5-$60 depending on quality or brand name (I got lucky with this one).
It doesn’t hurt to check out places like Home Depot or Lowes just in case they happen to sell something similar since those stores tend to carry more than just hardware supplies – but don’t forget about Amazon either!
Step 4: Hardwire the Rope Lights to Your Power Source
You’ve done it! Your rope lights are now hardwired to your power source. Be sure to wire the lights in a way that makes sense for your space and is free of any knots or sharp bends.
Now all you have to do is plug in the power cord and turn on your lights!
Safety and precautions
It’s very important to always be aware of your surroundings when working with electricity. If you’re not sure how to connect your rope lights, please consult an electrician for help. Do not attempt this project if you do not feel comfortable with wiring and electrical safety.
Never touch the ends of your lights while they are plugged in. If you do touch them, turn off the power source immediately and unplug the lights from the wall outlet. Do not use a damaged or frayed power cord.
Make sure that the power outlet is properly grounded. If you have any doubts, contact an electrician to inspect your work before plugging in your lights.
Always unplug your rope lights before working on them. If you are unsure about the proper way to connect your rope lights or if you are not comfortable doing so, contact an electrician for help. Do not attempt this project if you do not feel comfortable with wiring and electrical safety.
To hardwire rope lights, you will need to find the right power source and a power cord. We recommend using an exterior plug or an extension cord with a built in switch.