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Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4246
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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Someone gave me a bunch of Allen-Bradley industrial push buttons

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Someone gave me a bunch of Allen-Bradley industrial push buttons and pilot lights along with an empty enclosure. I decided I want to put all the buttons and lights back in the panel and wire it so they all just light up when plugged into the wall. They really don't need to do anything else. I want to use it as a wall decoration. I just don't know how to go about wiring it up. I know I need some kind of power supply that plugs into the wall and then to wire to each light, but that is the part where I'm getting lost. Any ideas?

Jason :

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer.

Jason :

What is the voltage rating on the pilot lights? How many are there?

Customer:

I have about 20 total, most of them say 120 on them.

Jason :

That's good. That's the voltage you will be putting in from the wall, so you don't need a transformer. Do you want the buttons to have control over the lights at all? If so, this will be more complicated than just plugging it in and having the lights come on.

Customer:

I just want to plug it in and have them all come on. I was just going to throw it all out anyway, then I figured it would make a cool decoration.

Jason :

OK, this will be very simple. Do the pilot lights have two terminal screws on them?

Customer:

Yes, some have more.

Customer:

I can send you a detailed picture of them.

Full Size Image

Jason :

Thank you for the picture.

Jason :

Are all of the lights that have more than 2 terminals the same?

Customer:

Yes, now that I look at it I think they just have the two. I was getting confused.

Jason :

No problem. Here's how I would proceed...

Jason :

Head to your nearest home improvement store, and purchase about 20 feet of #12 stranded white copper wire, and 20 feet of black as well.

Jason :

Pick up enough rubber cord (with 3 #12 copper conductors in it) to suit you, relative to how long you want the cord to be.

Jason :

You will need a male end for the cord.

Customer:

OK

Jason :

You will need some type of connector to route the cord through into the box.

Jason :

A Romex (NM) type connector will work for that.

Jason :

Once the cord is routed into the box, strip the outer jacket off of it, being careful not to damage the conductors or the insulation over the conductors themselves.

Jason :

Is the enclosure made of metal?

Customer:

Yes

Jason :

Great. I would just purchase a screw and nut, which would be installed in a hole you drill in the enclosure, and ground the cord's green wire to that screw.

Jason :

You can purchase a crimp on lug for the end of the green wire.

Customer:

graet

Customer:

great

Jason :

Next, cut a short piece of white wire, but long enough to go from one of the terminals on each light to the end of the white wire in the rubber cord.

Customer:

One for every light?

Jason :

You can use wire nuts to splice all whites together. I would get the large blue wire nuts, since you have so many lights. You can bundle the whites from the lights in groups of 5, but you'll need a white jumper wire from bundle to bundle. Yes, you need a white wire connected to each light. Or, rather than using wire nuts, you can buy plastic terminal strips with metal screws/terminals.

Jason :

If you use the terminal strips, make sure you have a way to jumper all of the screws together.

Jason :

Then, you need to repeat this process with the black wires, on the second screw terminal of each light.

Jason :

If you purchase terminal strips for tying all of the wires together, you can get short screws for mounting them to the back of the metal enclosure.

Customer:

OK

Jason :

Once you get all whites connected to each other, and all blacks connected to each other, plugging the cord in will turn all of the lights on.

Customer:

OK! Not too bad, I should be able to do that.

Customer:

Hey, thanks alot!

Jason :

Not bad at all. You can pull it off, likely without any trouble at all. If you do run into any issues, you can come back here, and I'll be happy to assist you further.

Customer:

excellent! Hey, some of these lights say 24V on them, I probably can't use those ones right?

Jason :

No, not without a transformer.

Customer:

I can just set those ones aside, I have enough 120's to fill the box

Jason :

OK, great. Is there anything else I can do for you?

Customer:

No, that should do it! If I need help, I'll come back. But I think I'll be OK

Jason :

Sounds good. Thanks much for the opportunity to help.

Jason and 3 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you

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