420 Magazine Background

Electrical Wiring Help


New Member

First posting here. I need some information on setting up wires for CFL.

Specifically this post:

I understand the pvc items and CFL lights I need, however I have never done the wiring setup before. Basically I am wondering how the wiring works in this setup? I see two (2) black wires and a white wire, with one of those "pinch" devices to connect the wires.

Where do I get 20 feet of lamp cord with a lamp plug on one side?

If someone can give me a summary, doesnt need to be long on laymans view on how to do this I would so much appreciate your time and effort.

Thanks very much!



New Member
home depot, or walmart.

you need electrical cord, and plugs.
if you cant find any cord, then get a heavy duty extension cord, and cut a piece as long as you need.

make sure you have something rated properly so it doesnt get too hot and melt/ light a fire.

black to black, and white to white... make sure all wire is secure and no bare wire is showing.. then plug it into the wall. if all went well, you have light... otherwise, a blown breaker


New Member
A bit more info for you....

In AC wiring, black is "hot" and white is "neutral". You need one of each for every socket in your lights. There are a few ways to do this and it really depends on what type of lamp socket you use. The typical types are usually either a socket with short "pigtail" wires coming out of them, or plastic or porcelain sockets with screw terminals. Each type suggests a best way to do your wiring.

The desired end product will be one hot wire and one neutral wire, each daisy chained to your set of lights, so that your sockets will be like railroad ties between the rails. For a typical run of low wattage CFLs, 16 gauge wire is fine, and is rated for up to 1000 watts. You can buy 20 foot extension cords at your home store and cut them up as necessary. On these cords, the wide blade/textured wire side is hot.

For the pigtail sockets, you will use wirenuts to tie your connections together. Each socket will have the incoming wire, the socket wire, and the wire to the next socket in line, all tied together, so ask your home store sales help to suggest the right size wirenuts. Strip the wires, twist them neatly together, then twist on the wire nut. Give a sharp tug on each lead to test for loose wires.

For the sockets with screw terminals, you can tie the wires together by crimping them into fork or screw terminals also available at your home store. Each terminal will have the incoming wire and the wire to the next socket in line crimped together. Ask for help on what size to get, and buy a decent crimp tool to make your crimps. Practice crimping a few before you wire up your rig. Test them by giving each wire a good solid tug. If they don't pull out, you're doing it right.

I prefer the screw terminal types, as they incorporate mounting bases with screw holes to make it easy to attach to your support structure.


New Member
Thank you.

Some follow up questions:

1) Would an E-40 socket for the CFL's be the best for my use? (I found this googling)

2) At Home Depot, they have lots of spindles on a large wall full of wiring. Should I assume that one of these is a lamp cord? If so, how do I get the "plug" to plug in to get power if it is simply cut on both ends? Is this a simple "piece" to buy and connect?

3) With the black/white wire connected parallel to each socket, what is this wire called, specifically? Is it part of each socket I buy, and then I complete it with the lamp wire and a wirenut?

4) One thing I am having a hard time visualizing is while doing the parallel method, connecting the lamp cord to each socket. I can visualize the first socket to the second, but how would it continue if both sides are connected to each socket at this point?

Sorry, I am a noob.



New Member
on your typical screw terminal(keyless lamp holder), there will be

Hot in, hot out
neutral in neutral out

so, lets say for example

buy :
a male plug from the electrical department. (7-10$)
some 14 gauge wire (sold on those spools) (cant recall pricing)
and x amount of keyless lamp holders ($1.99 for plastic, 3.99 for ceramic.. plastic is fine for cfls)(these will hold your typicall cfls) not the big ones

now, take the male plug, and wire it up, (white to neutral, black to hot)

this leaves you with a plug, running into 2 wires.

there will be 2 hot screws on the lamp holder, and 2 neutral ones.

take the hot wire, and wire it to one of the hot ones on the lamp holder, and the neutral wire to one of the neutral screws.

you now have one lamp holder wired in, and if you were to put a bulb in it and plug it in... you get light.

now, to wire in another, take another length of the wiring.

wire the hot wire to the other hot screw on the lampholder you just wired in. do the same with the neutral.

now you should have PLUG ---- wiring---- lampholder ----- wiring.

now simply hook up the second one like you did the first, hot wire, to one of the hot screws on the second lamp holder, and the same for the neutral.

you now should have PLUG----- wiring---lampholder----wiring----lampholder.

repeat for each one you want to add.

now if you get one of the BIG cfls. they typically are just a socket, with 2 wires hanging off of it.

there are 2 options

wire those 2 wires into a male plug, and use an extension cord to plug it in.

or, take more wire, and use some wire screws to make them longer, and put a male plug on the end of it. (basicly built in extension cord)

sorry if thats hard to follow

i always use 14 gauge wiring no matter how small of power draw i will be pulling threw it.

reason being, my house is wired with 14 gauge, and i feel, if im making a light fixture, or anything for that matter, i will wire it with the same gauge that is supplying it... therefore im guarenteed my breaker will protect it.

if i were for some reason pull enough power, that a 16 gauge couldnt handle... it would start to melt, and may casue a fire, where i know at least if im pulling enough power to melt a 14 gauge, my breaker will have already tripped.

you dont need to do the same, but i like to be 100% sure im protected.

im sure if you were to ask one of the employees there, they could explain it as well, and actually show you... (you just want to install a light on your porch you can just plug in when needed)


New Member
The simplest thing to do would be to buy a 20 foot lamp extension cord, with a plug on one end and a triple outlet molded on the other. Cut off the outlet end.

Now look at this page:

Medium Porcelain Pony Cleat Socket - PLT L19062 | 1000Bulbs.com

This socket has two screw terminals, the gold one is the hot, and the silver is neutral. Lets say your lamps are going to be a foot apart, and you will have 4 lamps. Take the extension cord and split the cut end about 3.5 feet long. Cut this section off from the cord, and cut each of the wires into 3 equal lengths.

Take the end of the unsplit cord, split it about 6 inches, and strip off about 1/4 inch of insulation from each wire. Also take each of the six single conductors and strip 1/4 inch from each end of them all.

Now you have 16.5 feet of extension cord with a plug on one end, and 6 pieces of wire about 1.3 feet each. 3 of these have ribbing on the insulation and 3 are plain. The ribbed wires will be used on the hot side.

Take the ribbed wire end on the cord, and one end of a ribbed piece of the cut wires, twist the wires together [hold the bare ends paralell to each other, and lightly twist them one revolution], and insert this into one of these:

12-10 Gauge Vinyl Insulated Spade Terminal (Pkg. Of 50)-10-116 at The Home Depot

Using your crimper:


...crush the crimp zone. Be sure to crimp the lug in the correct color coded die on the tool. Then put the lug under the gold screw on your first socket and tighten it up. Take another cut ribbed wire and the free end of the one you just crimped, and crimp those together. Put this lug under the gold screw on socket 2. Repeat for sockets 3 and 4, except on the last socket, you don't attach the additional wire since this is the last socket.

Now do the same for the neutral side, putting those lugs under the silver screw.

You should now have a plug, with a cord that runs to the first socket where it is split. One side of the cord is daisy chained as described to the gold terminals, the other to the silver ones.

[Alternate method: put a single crimp lug on every end of every wire. Then join the wires at the socket by putting the 2 crimped ends under one screw]

The other type of socket is like this:

Satco 80-1145 - Phenolic Candelabra Socket with Leads | 1000Bulbs.com

The technique here is, instead of a crimp lug, you will have a wire already attached to the lamp socket to join to the two wire ends of the lamp cord. Just twist the 3 wire ends together and then screw on one of these:

74B Yellow Wire Nuts (100-Pack)-30-074P at The Home Depot

It has a spring like "nut" inside which will gather and hold the 3 leads, and is insulated for safety. Just do as before, wire all the hot sides of your sockets in a daisy chain, then the neutrals. On the last socket, you will only join the end of the one feed wire to the socket wire.

Again, just imagine a railroad track. The plug is at beginning of the track, the sockets are like the ties between the rails, and the rails end on the last socket.

Hope this helps visualize it better.


New Member

Can someone plz explain what passive flow is and exhaust flow is? Basically I am going to use computer fans around the stealth box. I will also use a small portable fan to spread air around. How does the intake work and how do I prevent the odor escaping? Also, on the output of air, how can I stop the odor on a rubbermaid setup?

Also, do I want 6500 or 2700 lights? Do I want to mix it during the veg stage? Do I want one particular during veg and one particular during flower?

Last edited:


New Member
You're going to need a carbon filter to exhaust the air through. If you set up an exhaust fan to pull air out of your cab through a filter, odor should not be a problem. In a small cab with CFLs, you're not going to need a lot of fans, maybe one to put a breeze on the plants. Your exhaust fan will pull fresh air into the cab through whatever vent [or leaks] may be there.


New Member
You're going to need a carbon filter to exhaust the air through. If you set up an exhaust fan to pull air out of your cab through a filter, odor should not be a problem. In a small cab with CFLs, you're not going to need a lot of fans, maybe one to put a breeze on the plants. Your exhaust fan will pull fresh air into the cab through whatever vent [or leaks] may be there.

Thank you!

Why would an exhaust fan pulling out not take odor with it?

Can you provide a URL or picture of a small or recommended exhaust fan for my setup?

Also, can you do the same for a small carbon filter addition?

Thanks again,


New Member
Well okay, true, a plain exhaust fan would take much of the odor out of the grow space. The problem is, where does that odor go? If you have neighbors, you are going to be advertising your grow. The carbon filter will scrub the bud smell from the exhaust.

These guys make some quality filters in a wide range of sizes. They have a calculator for figuring out which one to get.

Homepage - Phresh Filters

Here is a typical inline type exhaust fan:

Soler and Palau TD-100X 4"/100MM Inline Mixed Flow Duct Fan

You need to calculate your cubic feet of room volume to choose a fan, and choose your filter based on your fan. Different growers recommend different amounts of air change, my personal target is one change of air every 5 minutes or so. Depends on how crowded your grow space is.

Re: light spectrum....6500k is a bluer spectrum, tends to promote foliage for vegetative growth. 2700k is more red, will make the plants stretch and also make them want to throw flowers when the lighting is flipped to 12 on - 12 off. You don't really want to mix them unless you have a huge grow space. 6500k will promote tight node spacing in veg, 2700k will hinder that.

nibecs link up there has tons of useful info, you might spend an evening browsing it. Lot's of great ideas and info from people who've done this a lot.
Top Bottom