I'm sure at some point in this hobby you've had four CFLs screwed into four clamp lights plugged into one power strip plugged into one timer. It gets unwieldy fast. I solved that problem for myself a while back, and while putting together another lighting chain today I realized someone on the forum might find it helpful. It's cheap, easy, and requires NO wire splicing and NO electrical knowledge.
So, here's what you buy at the hardware store:
- one cheapo extension cord
- one light socket (like those below) for each light you intend to use
Total cost for a four-socket chain: $13.
First, unscrew the top of a socket. You'll see that there are two channels with metal spikes in them. The way the socket works is that the cord is squished against the spike until it penetrates the rubber sheath and makes contact with the wire threads.
Second, decide where on the cord you want to put your first light socket. Carefully cut through the center of the extension cord with a knife to separate the two halves. Do your absolute best to keep as much rubber around each wire as possible -- exposing the metal threads could pose a hazard. The cut is long enough if you can fully sit each half of the cord in the socket channels.
Screw the top back on until it's tight (this is the action that causes the spikes to penetrate). If you intend to use the hanger, you'll probably have to pop it off and put it back properly (above the cord).
You're done with the first socket.
Repeat until you're out of sockets. You now have a lighting chain with a single cord to worry about. And since it's still an extension cord, you can plug any additional lights or devices into the end.