Porch Light

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
Bought a porch light, and I can't quite figure out how to mount it. (If you've seen this at another forum ... well, I thought I'd ask another audience for theit take).

Fixture is UL listed. It comes complete, and does not have any required accessories. It has pigtails exiting a specific location, and is provided with mounting holes.

For viewing convenience, I have made a mock-up so you can see what I encountered:



Now ... how do I get the wires into the box? Is there any legal way to use this fixture?
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I am not sure how these fixtures get there ul listing like that but that was pretty standard. The wire just ran in the void between the sheetrock and the fixture then into the box.
 

dicklaxt

Senior Member
Is it legal to run 1/c or fixture wires concealed if so then then Dennis has the only answer as I see it,,,,,,I'm confused as usual.


dick
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
Dennis, we've all seen many, older fixtures that were intended to be mounted as you describe, using the base and the siding to make a 'box.' These older fixtures had mounting holes tht didn't line up with any box. I think we've only been required to use a box for the past few code cycles.

What makes this one a puzzler is the factory punch-outs for the usual boxes. Running the wires along the back of the fixture means you'll pinch them between the box and the fixture

I intend to ask UL about this fine bit of engineering.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
One of those $10 compact fluorescents? I think there listed for outdoor use only, I've hung several, and usually with lap siding there's enough gap to get the wires into the box. It's been a while, but seems like there is a gap in the plastic molding that the wires clip into to protect them from pinching against the wall.
 

marti smith

Senior Member
Looking at it again, that one has a metal backplate, and appears to be have enough gap for the wires to run in if mounted on a flat wall.
It appears that way to me as well. In the picture, the fixture overlaps the box, but on a wall, (a flat wall) it would seat flush, causing the entire back of the fixture to be an area for the conductors, and they would not be pinched.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I have run into this with ceiling fixtures also. If they are intended to mount on a flush box you about have to make something large enough for the fixture to fit on, and make the outlet box flush. Happens when someone wants a canopy style fixture in an area with no finished ceiling.

I do question whether or not these fixtures are acceptable to mount on surfaces made of combustible materials.
 

jap

Senior Member
It would make more sense if you could take out the metal mounting plate and flip it 180 degrees, then the flat part of the metal would be against the wall and the wiring could run in the void between the fixture and the metal mounting plate but its probably not made that way is it?
 

jap

Senior Member
Seems they could have included another flat mounting piece to mount to the box and against the wall,and then have this mount over the mounting plate.

Seems they left a step out to keep it below 10 dollars. :)
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Seems they could have included another flat mounting piece to mount to the box and against the wall,and then have this mount over the mounting plate.

Seems they left a step out to keep it below 10 dollars. :)
Remember the luminaire was intended to mount on a wall with a flush outlet box - the wall helps with part of the support.

I have made my own plate exactly like you suggested on occasion when the outlet box was not flush in the wall or ceiling.
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
This pic of the front of the fixture might help everyone appreciate the desigh better:



No, you can't just flip the back plate over and make everything happy. Nor can you feed the wires down towards the box; the light bulb gets in the way.

Mounting it on a flat surface ... well, I suppose, if you accept a 1/2" gap between that back plate and the box, then let the wires run through the gap. Personally, I don't think the NEC would allow a gap of more than 1/8"- and that's assuming the back plate is flat against the surface!

After all I went through to set my box flush with the finished surface, then to carefully fill & patch to match the contours of the clapboard siding, so there would be no gap for some critters to call 'home' .... I'm a bit disappointed.

The fixture, btw, sells for $20.
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
I have two concerns about this fixture: one technical and one practical.

"Technically," your connections are to be in a box, or in the fixture. The space between the fixture and the wall isn't allowed to 'make a box' any more.

In practical terms ... what happens if there IS a box? As shown in my first pic, the back plate attaches firm to the box. Just how are the wires to enter the box? Are we to gouge a 'trench' in the wall and enter through a KO, or are we to pinch the wires between the box and the back plate? The fixture has no provision to stand the fixture off from the box.
 

jap

Senior Member
This pic of the front of the fixture might help everyone appreciate the desigh better:



No, you can't just flip the back plate over and make everything happy. Nor can you feed the wires down towards the box; the light bulb gets in the way.

Mounting it on a flat surface ... well, I suppose, if you accept a 1/2" gap between that back plate and the box, then let the wires run through the gap. Personally, I don't think the NEC would allow a gap of more than 1/8"- and that's assuming the back plate is flat against the surface!

After all I went through to set my box flush with the finished surface, then to carefully fill & patch to match the contours of the clapboard siding, so there would be no gap for some critters to call 'home' .... I'm a bit disappointed.

The fixture, btw, sells for $20.


I knew you couldnt flip the backplate over make everything happy, just throwing out useless suggestions for a solution that we all probably know is not there. Sorry.
 
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