So I went to go change my bathroom vanity light today and discovered that it simply had the wiring coming through a hole in the wall and the previous vanity was literally just screwed into the wall with 2 screws.

Went to the local home improvement store and the employees guided me to some old work boxes that look like this:

Old Work Box

So I get it installed, but it had me wondering...is this safe? I mean the vanity light isn't THAT heavy (I weighed it at around 3 lbs). I do not have a stud nearby (that I can see anyways) (nor would it matter because I would need to have access behind it anyways), and I really don't want to be tearing out an entire wall ideally)

Is this ok? I looked at various guides on changing or adding vanity lights and most seem to use these boxes (Which "seem" to be rated for 6 lb's, and only mention NOT to use them for ceilings).


Yes, an old work box is completely safe for what you're using it for. Just make sure the dogs are snug against the drywall.

  • Thanks, I mean it's not on the ceiling so really it would require the drywall to completely fail. I mean considering the last light was basically held to the wall by 2 screws I figure it can't be any worse than that! – msmith1114 Jan 13 at 1:37
  • 1
    It's actually better off in a box than anchored to the drywall with screws. I run in to the same situation almost weekly. Lol – BillWeckel Jan 13 at 1:39
  • Better off compared to what? just 2 screws? What I had before was one of these "cheap" lights: lowes.com/pd/Project-Source-4-Light-24-05-in-Vanity-Light/… – msmith1114 Jan 13 at 1:46
  • Yes, just being attached with 2 screws to the drywall. – BillWeckel Jan 13 at 1:47

I've used lots of old-work boxes of various designs and love them. When you have a heavy fixture, you need one that will support the weight (by being secured to studs or joists), but your vanity light is.... well, light.

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