I removed a chandelier that we didn't like. The electric is disconnected already but I didn't remove the box yet. I know the electric code requires outlets every so many feet on the walls. Is there a similar requirement that ceilings have places to mount lights even if you don't want to use them or am I free to take the box out and patch up the drywall?

  • Not to be pedantic, but you're asking about in the US right? Could be different situations in other places.
    – Jim W
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 19:32
  • @Jim W I added us to title. Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 19:36

2 Answers 2


No, they're not required. You may have a living room, for example, with no ceiling light accommodations.

Stairways require lighting in specific locations because of safety concerns.


There is no specific requirement for light placement, although there is a requirement that there be some light in a room on a switch. This is sometimes accomplished by having no ceiling light, but having a switched outlet that controls floor or table lamps.

While you do not have to keep the fixture, you cannot remove the box if you leave a live wire in the ceiling. Also, the box must be readily accessible.

One solution is to cover the box with a blank or decorative plate. On the ceiling you could mount a rosette to a blank cover and attach that (so long as you can easily remove it with screws or other means of detachment).

You say the power is disconnected, but it is not clear if that is at the ceiling fixture or further down the line. If you can find the other end of the cable that powers the fixture, you can disconnect it there. Then you can remove the box and leave the dead (disconnected on both ends) cable in the ceiling. I would cap and tape the ends for safety. You never know when someone might decide to reconnect a wire.

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