I have a wall light which I'd like to mount on a wood board for decorative purposes. Below are photos of the light from the front and the back, and then a photo of the light on the board.

I don't have an electrical box yet. This will be going in on existing sheetrock. My plan was to mount the light on the board, feeding the wires from the light through a hole in the board to the wires in the box, and then mount the board to the sheet rock. But in the comments I've been understanding this approach is not code compliant.

Some of the comments have suggested mounting the box in the wood board - that way the wires will be completely enclosed in the space by the light bracket and the electrical box. However I am not sure what this would look like as I assumed the box by code had to be flush with the sheet rock surface.

Would someone be able to post a sketch of the proposed solution?

Wall light

Wall light rear

Wall light on board

  • 1
    The connections in the electrical box are supposed to be enclosed by non-combustible materials (box and fixture). The metal flange of the the fixture is supposed to cover the box and seal it off from combustible materials. Jun 6, 2019 at 23:30
  • @JimStewart Just to clarify do you see my approach as impacting that? What change(s) should I make?
    – Matthew
    Jun 7, 2019 at 1:30
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    If the outer edge of the box is flush with the drywall and you put a wooden board over the box and screw the fixture to the board, then wood would be exposed to the contents of the box. The outer edge of the box would not be in contact with the flange of the fixture. You could possibly remedy this by using a listed box extension to separate the board from the box. Is your existing box round or rectangular? Jun 7, 2019 at 3:25
  • Gotcha. I am actually picking out a box now. I can get either. Your point about the box extension is good - I’m going to look. What if as an alternative I got a flat metal round lighting fixture bracket and mounted it on the box such that the wood cane in contract with the metal bracket and not the box?
    – Matthew
    Jun 7, 2019 at 22:37
  • I assumed there was an existing box in drywall and that you wanted to keep it. If you are willing to remove the box, you could cut a hole in the board and install an old work box in that hole. Then the connections would be inside a sealed enclosure formed by the box and the flange of the fixture. You'd have to make sure that screws through the flange would go into the wood outside the hole for the box. (This is what was proposed in @Robert Moody's answer.) Jun 8, 2019 at 16:18

2 Answers 2


Actually, the code requires larger (heavier than 50 lbs) fixtures to be mounted separate from the junction box. This one is not that heavy but as long as the wires are not exposed it should pass inspection.

The key here though is to discuss it with your local inspector ahead of time if it will have to pass an inspection. This will save you much time and grief.

I think it looks pretty cool but I am not your inspector. 😉


  • 4 pounds is also a threshold of note in lamp mounting. Jun 6, 2019 at 22:29
  • @Harper What is the rule above/below 4 pounds?
    – Matthew
    Jun 6, 2019 at 22:35
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    I believe <4 pounds may be attached to any junction box without restriction. Jun 6, 2019 at 23:44

What you are doing my be a AHJ call. I do not have much of a problem with it. Posting the overall weight ,may change things. At the worst i see ,is taking out the box.Install the wood, and cut in new box in the wood, witch is the correct way. After seeing the board ,and light not concerned about weight.Cut whole size of box add a box extender or box to wood.

  • So the box can actually be part attached to the fixture and not secured in the wall? Normally of course the box would be secured in the wall.
    – Matthew
    Jun 9, 2019 at 19:36
  • No i do not say that at all. Wood should be attached to wall. Box Cut into wood. Do i loose sleep over it no.Up to the AHJ. Or is that your best comment.
    – user101687
    Jun 9, 2019 at 20:40
  • I updated the question to be more clear and I added photos to. So as to avoid annoying the answerers would you mind posting a basic sketch of this? I want to properly convert the text description into an accurate representation.
    – Matthew
    Jun 10, 2019 at 19:49

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