Rio Reptiles
Rio Reptiles - A Rescue Resort



Hard Wiring a Double Basking Light


These are the materials you need to start with. They are available from Home Depot.

2 Spotlight Fixtures
1 Spotlight Plate
1 Extension Cord (2 or 3 wire)
Blue Butt Connectors
Switch & Box Optional

You can use either a 2 wire or 3 wire extension cord, the only difference is the 2 wire doesn't have a ground.
If you use the 2 wire, mark the wire with a black sharpie on the side that has the writing.
Next using a fairly big drill bit, like close to 3/8", drill a hole in the plate. It is much easier to hold onto if you
screw the spotlight fixtures in the threaded holes before you drill it.
Now your plate should look like this, except maybe your lights are screwed into it.
This is what you should end up with
Tighten the nuts with a pair of chanel lock pliers so that they don't spin in the hole when you are wiring the ground
Now get ready to wire!
Now cut the wires back a couple of inches so that you will have room to hide them under the plate
Now strip the ends about a half inch back, you will be twisting them together later and cutting off the tips
If you are using a 2 wire extension cord, pull the end of the cord thru the hole and strip the ends. Be sure you have the side with the writing marked with black.
Now twist the black wires and the white wires together for the lights and trim the end of the wire with cutters so that it is 1/2" of bare wire.
Push the light wires into one end of each of the butt connectors and crimp tightly.
Now put the end of the white extension cord wire into the end of butt connetor with the white wires and crimp tightly. Apply heat to the butt connectors to seal the ends or tape with electrical tape if you don't have heat shrink connectors.
Do the same with the end of the wire you marked with black by putting it into the other end of the butt connector with the black wires and crimp tightly. Apply heat or wrap with electrical tape. You are done!
If you are using a 3 wire extension cord with a ground wire, strip the ground wire in the middle and cut off the insulation, and again at the end making sure you have enough to reach both green screws.
Now wrap the middle part of the bare wire around one green screw and tighten down with a screw driver.
Bend a loop in the end part and wrap it around the other green screw and tighten down with a screw driver.
You may have to hold the light fixtures to keep them from spinning inside the threaded holes. Make sure both green screws are tight.
Now it should look like this.
Now twist together the two black wires from the lights and the two white wires from the lights, trim ends and put in butt connectors. Crimp each one on tightly. Now all that should be left are the black and white wire from the extension cord.
Now put the black wire in the other end of the butt connector with the two black wires from the lights and crimp tightly. Apply heat or wrap in electrical tape.
Place the end of the white wire in the other end of the butt connector that the two white wires from the lights is in and crimp tightly. Apply heat or wrap with electrical tape.
You're Done!! Plug it into an electrical socket and test with a bulb. Do not put your fingers in the sockets!!
If you want to wire a switch to your lights, get a triple (Home Depot) or quadruple switch (Lowes) and an outdoor box from the outdoor lighting section where the spot light fixtures are found.
This is the side of the switch where the wires will attach.
This is the back of the switch. Do not use the push in holes!
Now you will need an extension cord to plug into the wall to supply power to the switch, and the three wires going to your basking light fixtures. You may have 1 or 2 or 3, all wire the same.
The tabs that come with the box screw onto the back to make mounting holes so that you can attach it wherever you like.
Front side of the box.
This is how the switch should fit in the box, note the switch is marked TOP
Using the extension cord that will plug into the wall and supply power to the switch, attach the green wire to the green screw in the box. Later all the green wires will attach here.
Using the black wire from the extension cord going to the wall, strip back the insulation and attach it to the black screw on the power in side of the switch.
Now, pull all your wire or wires coming from each light setup into the box. You can do this with the box mounted to your rack or cage. Be sure to leave plenty of wire so that you can manipulate the switch.
Now strip back your ground wires coming from the lights and attach at the green screw in the box. If you used the two wire extension cord, skip this step.
You should have 4 white wires, three from the lights, one from the power in extension cord. Twist together making two pairs.
Put each pair in the end of a butt connector and crimp tightly. Now all your white wires should be connected together.
Push them into the box out of the way and pull out the three black wires going to each one of your lights.
Twist the ends and bend into a loop, and place them behind each screw on the power out side of the switch. Tighten the screws down and be sure none of the wire are touching.
Push the switch into the box and screw it in with the screws provided with the switch.
Install your plate and you're done! It's beautiful!!

Don't want to wire your own? Buy them from me prewired, just mount them and plug them in!


Please email me if you have any questions at

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