The bathroom in my new apartment is sorely lacking in light. There is a wall of ceramic tiles blocking the light from the ventilator fan/light fixture reaching the shower, and its just in a bad place frankly. I don't even get enough light at the mirror due to the angles.

Since I can't/won't make any structural changes, I wanted to see if there was any issues with the following:

Using this MDF Wainscot panel (I will be cutting it down to a single 2ft x 1ft panel):

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And this 75W (13W) LED down light or similar, very thin, has bare wire or edison adaptor:

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And wire it to a standard lamp wire:

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Essentially, make a small box with the LED, hang it on the wall and plug it in, instead of direct wire?

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Wires obviously inside the box. May just use the edison adapter if the lamp cable has the same edison base size, so no twist nuts.

The MDF I'll paint with latex paint on the sides and back, and it won't be near water. It will go over the mirror/cabinet, and the outlet is a GFCI. US 120v.

Is there any issues with this? Will the light be affected by being in a small box, or mounted vertically instead of horizontally?

  • Where on the planet are you? Nov 30, 2016 at 23:23
  • @threephaseeel US. I edited that in.
    – cde
    Nov 30, 2016 at 23:25

1 Answer 1


If this is using bare wire and nuts, you'll need a (shallow plastic) old-work box to hold the junction between the fixture and the cord. The Edison-base-connection doesn't need such treatment, but in either case, you'll need to make sure that this rig is mounted securely, and has no exposed metallic parts (since there's no ground wire).

The flexible cord is OK, BTW, as per NEC 400.7 point 2 (i.e. a luminaire-to-nearby-outlet connection). Also, the LED shouldn't care about being in a small-ish box nor about mounting orientation -- it's also a wet location rated fixture, so it can go in the bathroom without worries there.

  • It will be a wooden box on the back, hung on the wall, not installed/in the wall. Do I still need a work box? Actually I'm not sure what you mean by work box, one of those blue electrical boxes?
    – cde
    Nov 30, 2016 at 23:58
  • @cde An "old work box" is a box that's designed to be held in place by clamping to the edges of the hole in the finish surface (instead of a box that's nailed or screwed to a stud i.e. a "new work box") Dec 1, 2016 at 0:55
  • Ah, old as in existing wall, new as in wall not up.
    – cde
    Dec 1, 2016 at 1:11

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