flat end plugs for lamps to use in floor outlets?

hokie98January 18, 2009

We bought a new home exact a year ago, and we've been living without lamps in our family room since then because I don't know where to plug them in, and it's driving me nuts. Our home is very open, matter of fact, we have one huge center room in the house that is the foyer, DR, and FR (separated by pillars). Due to our floor plan and window placement, all of our family room furniture is pulled off the walls, which is different for me. All of our past homes have had the furniture placed on 2 or 3 walls, making outlets accessible. The traffic flows all around the edges of the room, so I can't really run an cord to the wall. There is an outlet in the floor, but it's in the dead center of the family room area, which means it's covered by a large area rug covering our hardwood floors. I've been struggling on how to place lamps on our end tables, when the outlet is under the rug in the middle of the room. I was hoping to find battery operated lamps, but apparently they don't exist (...if I were an inventor, that's an idea...). Anyway, a friend suggested finding new plug-ends for the lamps that are flush on one side (or at least sort of flush). There is a coffee table that sits over the outlet under the rug, so if the plugs aren't completely flush, that's okay, but then again, I don't want the rug to pucker too much. I can't be the only one with this dilemma...any suggestions? Please?! Thanks in advance!

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If your home is not on a slab foundation, it's very easy and relatively inexpensive to work from a basement or crawl space to add floor outlets where you need them.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 1:30PM
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It is a fire hazard to run cords under rugs.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 1:53PM
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I'm so sorry to hear of your delima, but it made me chuckle and I'll tell you why. Your builder must have been chatting with my DH. My DH is building our house and we discussed that we'd need an outlet in the floor of the great room because of furniture placement. Well, that was one of those decisions I thought we were going to decide on later. One night we're over by the house looking at how the kitchen looks with the lights and DH tells me, here, come see, this is the outlet for the great room floor. I look down and it's smack in the middle of the room. I asked him if he'd lost his mind temporarily when he cut that hole in the middle of the room? He looked me square in the face and said "You told me to put it there." Well, all I could do is laugh because I knew, not even on my worse day, would I tell him to do that. So thankfully it was only in the subfloor and not actually connected yet. LOL Thankfully, now I have an outlet under the sofa.

So I feel for you. Like the other poster asked, if you have a raised house, the move won't be too much of a problem. Where it is now is very bad as it is a hazard if hidden under a rug.

I'll keep my eye open for battery operated lighting for you.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 2:46PM
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Thanks guys, but unfortunately, yes, our house is on a slab foundation, so no basement or crawlspace to rework it. (We moved to lower AL, where there are no basements, from VA where we had a full basement, and boy do we miss it!!)

But yes, I understand the fire risk, which is really why I'd rather have some sort of battery operated lamp or something akin (are there solar lamps?).

But Brutuses, good for you discovering the 'error' before it was too late! We bought the house new, but already complete, however, you'd think either the builder or electrician would have some foresight into these things! Agh!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 3:01PM
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hokie, post this on the electrical forum as someone may know of a wireless transmitter or some such device which will allow lamps where you'd prefer. If not, can you place a cord cover over an extension from the least trafficked wall to your end table locations? Not ideal, but not as obtrusive or as dangerous as loose wires. If you have hardwood floors, you can have some boards pulled and wires positioned where you need. Replacing floorboards is fairly easy.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 3:59PM
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DH said you can cut a groove into the concrete and move the plug where you want it, in the floor. With either carpet or wood, this would require pulling it up.

We have a great room and put two plugs under our sofa location. Worked out perfectly for sofa table w/two lamps. We have a floor lamp behind one chair at FP (no room for table there). On the wall between arches leading to foyer and DR we have a chest with a lamp. I refused to put cans in my cathedral ceiling, so we have four sconces. Do you have an attic? Can you add sconces to the room? We keep the two lamps on sofa table and four sconces on each night.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 6:29PM
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Thanks for your help. I just can't believe there aren't many options out there for me in regards to cordless lamps. The room as recessed lighting and we installed a dimmer, so we can dim the lights. I just would like some lamps on the end tables to add a little more ambiance (guess I could just put them there without plugging them in! LOL!). I don't think the sconces will really work for us - we only have one wall to put them on - the back wall behind the sofa. I guess my only other option right now, short of keeping it lamp-less, is a cord cover and run the cord over to one of the wall outlets.

Here are a few pics - if you guys have an suggestions, I'm all ears...these pics are about 6 mths old, and a few things have changed, but nothing major...

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 10:43PM
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hokie, I have the exact same problem. I recently ordered a rug knowing full well that my end table lamps may be unusuable...sigh. DH suggested cutting a slit in the rug---aaarrrrggggghhhhh.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 11:31PM
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You mentioned lower AL, what part of AL? I grew up in Geneva County, AL. If you don't mind, I would like to see pics of your foyer. I'm looking for foyer ideas and my living room is open to the right of the foyer. Thanks

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 4:48PM
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Buy an extension cord with a flat plug, cut off the outlet end and rewire the lamp w/it.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 5:34PM
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Is there an outlet in the pillar by the beige loveseat? If so, you could run the cord under the loveseat and put a lamp on the table at the end. What about those arc lamps, are they too modern for your taste?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 11:14PM
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hokie, just to let you know that you aren't the only one! I have the same problem. The only way I could figure it out was to slice the carpet a bit, but, I bought a very exprensive rug (to me, anyway) and there is no way I am cutting it. So, for now, I just have my lamp sitting on the end table next to couch, NOT plugged in anywhere. My rug is huge, so I couldn't even run it under the table.

I agree about the battery-operated lamps. I did an internet search for them a couple of weeks ago and couldn't find a thing.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 11:36PM
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It's late and I just did a quick search and found this. Not sure if it will work, but you can explore. It's a wireless remote module that sounds like it will do the trick. You may want to post on electrical and/or repair forum or just contact a vendor to be sure.

Here is a link that might be useful: this might work

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 12:09AM
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Sorry; that remote will not work. I'll search again later.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 12:37AM
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    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 1:29AM
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Could you run wiring down from the ceiling in through the columns and put outlets on the columns?

The problem with battery lamps, I would think, is that you will be changing batteries constantly.

I would also consider adding can lights in the top of the bookcases on either side of the fireplace, as well as wall sconces, a narrow table and a mirror or artwork on the long wall behind the couch that is shared with the entry.

Hope you get all the details worked out. You have a lovely home!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 2:16AM
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We put an outlet in the middle of the new living room because the room is so large. I'm going to have a large braided rug and it will probably cover the outlet. What I plan on doing is cutting a square out of the rug to go over the outlet, and allow enough space on all sides of the outlet for safety.

I figure I won't be selling my rug to anyone, and it won't be noticeable at ALL. If I should eventually move the rug to a different area, then I'll sew the patch back into the rug. Problem solved! :)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 9:48AM
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