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Putting up a light

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Jan 16, 2014, 02:28 PM
Putting up a light
I'm replacing a vanity bar light with an "antler" light (oval base with lights branching out). When I removed the bar light, I found a cable (which included the black, white and ground wires) projecting from a hole in the wall. The bar light was supported by screws anchored into the sheetrock. The new light has a bracket that is supposed to attach to a box. The new light is not heavy, and I'm pretty sure it could easily be supported by anchored screws just as the bar light was. But, being OCD, I would rather attach it to a box. If I knew for sure that the cable projecting from the hole in the wall was coming directly from a box (i.e., a box right behind that hole), I would cut around the hole to reveal the box, then attach the bracket and light. However, if I try that and there is no box (e.g., if the cable is running along the inside of the wall from a box in some other location), then cutting around that hole eliminates the possibility of placing anchors and screws. So, two questions: Can I assume there is a box directly behind that cable? Am I being an idiot, or should I really be concerned to attach the light to a box and not to anchor screws?
Jan 16, 2014, 03:22 PM
code says there should be a device wiring box there. the light wants a box there. your local home center has lots of boxes wanting a good home for a low price.

I think there is a common thread here. you want an "old work" box because you don't have room to swing a hammer installing a new work box; there is a wall in the way. and the box has to penetrate the wall plane, so if you don't see one, there isn't one.

also get a non-contact voltage detector. put in the batteries, make sure that line's black wire doesn't make it beep. flip breakers if you have to. wrap the loose cable up in a little coil, and fit the new box over it in the position the light wants to see. draw lines. cut out on the lines, being careful to not mess up the wire. poke out the most logical box entrance at the back depending on where the wire comes from in the hole. push wire through hole, push box into wall hole, use a screwdriver to swing the wings of the box around and against the back of the wall.

strip and wire-nut the cable's wires to the same color on the light, attach light, turn on breaker, use switch to make the light glad to be home Wink

it's really easy DIY.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?