Gun safe lighting??


October 20, 2009, 06:22 PM
What are some of the things to consider when purchasing a gun safe lighting set up? I was at Home Depot today, and was looking through their lighting department. They had a six pack of Hampton Bay portable cabinet lights. They are small, and plug into a soft touch switch set up. The bulbs are 20 watt 120 volt type T-4 Xenon lamps.

Anyway, they look like they would work well, but I'm a little concerned with the heat they generate. They had a demo set up at the Depot with these lights and they work great, but the lens on each lamp gets hot.

I have no doubt they would work just fine. However, my fear would be that I would accidentally forget to turn them off, and then shut the safe door. That would be equivalent to at least a 100 watt light bulb in there depending on how many you used.

Has anyone else used these lights? If not what are you using and why?


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wild willy
October 20, 2009, 06:46 PM
I have 22.5 in. under cabinet fluorescent lights in mine they don't get as warm as the golden rod does

October 20, 2009, 07:26 PM
When I installed my safe, I thought I had the perfect place. I put it in a corner bound by two exterior walls with the opening side of the door towards the wall to resist pry attacks.

I quickly found out that I could not see a thing in my safe in that position. I went to home depot and purchased a rope light and simply attached it around the door opening with hot glue. It emits the perfect amount of light. Shortly thereafter, I had a great deal of moisture introduced into my safe (That's another story). I don't have a dehumidifier, but I dropped some dessicant packs in the safe and left the lights on. The next morning, I opened the safe and the ambient temperature was very similar to a safe with a golden rod or such installed.

I don't leave them on all the time, but when the Houston humidity gets up there or something questionable goes into the safe, I leave the lights on. I have no problems leaving them on for weeks on end.

Hope this helps.

October 20, 2009, 07:36 PM
The more I think about it, the more I believe those Hampton Bay portable cabinet lights might not be a good idea. I know I would end up accidentally leaving them on at some point in time. And if I didn't get back in the safe for a week or so, it would be like an oven in there.

Matter of fact, I'm thinking a switch like on a refrigerator might be a good idea.

October 21, 2009, 03:44 PM

I was just gonna suggest a switch like that, but you beat me to it. Here's another point to consider though. Buy a small tube of the good RTV sealant & make sure that hole where the electric cord enters your safe is thoroughly sealed with that goo. No sense in leaving an open path for fire and the attendant corrosive gasses to enter your safe.


Gadzooks Mike
October 21, 2009, 04:04 PM
LED stick-on lights. Work with batteries.

October 21, 2009, 04:21 PM
Ditto Gadzooks Mike. Work great and are cheap!

October 21, 2009, 04:34 PM
My safe in the unfinished basement got bolted down in front of one of these with a big old antique bulb. I keep meaning to install some rope lights, but light is light.

October 21, 2009, 07:38 PM
Hey, I found a thread where a motion detector was used. Kinda cool. You would never have to worry about the lights being left on that way.

October 21, 2009, 09:25 PM
Problem with motion sensor is nothing can be stored in the space it's located or you block the sensor. Good idea, needs mounted differently.

Recently re-did mine, got this kit from Fort Knox. One of the nicest I've found, has a door switch and five florescent tubes plus wiring.

October 22, 2009, 05:50 PM
You guys don't watch enough tv. Never seen those infomercials for the little battery lights you just stick in the closet or whatever?

October 25, 2009, 12:23 PM
Ok, an update on this project. I got my light system all installed. This is on an AMSEC BF 6030. I ended up buying five small eight watt fluorescent fixtures from Home Depot. They give off plenty of light, and do not get hot at all.

I installed a 20 amp(way overkill) 120 volt toggle switch to control the lights.

With these light fixtures, you can connect up to 20 together in a chain. Connecting them together with the included cords would have meant extra exposed cords above and beyond the standard plug in cords. Instead, I ran all the plug in cords to a junction box and hard wired them together with the feed from the switch.

And, here is the end result. I just need to finish filling it up!! Nothing on the safe was molested at all. The wiring is all held in place with plastic tie wraps, and the switch and light fixtures are attached with 3M commercial double back tape.

October 25, 2009, 05:17 PM
Looks good

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