In my garage, I installed a series of 4" round ceiling boxes and put plastic (later ceramic) lamp bases on them for some basic lighting. This is the type of box I'm referring to:

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Image courteously supplied by Lowes. No particular endorsement implied

I've recently purchased some plug-in LED light fixtures and would like to replace some of the lamp bases with a standard NEMA 5-15 outlet so I can plug in the lights.

  • Will a standard 5-15 outlet fit properly in this box?
  • Is there an appropriate cover plate that can be used?
  • As an alternative, is it safe/legal to clip the plug and hard-wire these otherwise plug-in lights directly to the Romex in the boxes?

If the answer to either is "no", then I guess I'll have to pull the boxen and replace them with standard rectangular boxes, but I'd prefer not to.

2 Answers 2


They do make receptacles designed to fit round boxes, for example a Leviton 1228 (I'm sure other brands have it as well, this was just the first I found when I googled Round Box Receptacle):

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Depending in the screw holes on your box, you may also be able to fit a standard duplex receptacle and fit a wall plate designed for that purpose. These act as a wall plate and mounting bracket/adapter for mounting a standard receptacle in the round box.

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Finally, if all you need is an ungrounded two prong plug, the easiest option might be to get some light bulb to socket adapter, like these GE 54276:

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  • Porcelain fixture w/ outlet.
    – Mazura
    Oct 14, 2019 at 21:09
  • This does, indeed, answer the question I asked. Unfortunately, I asked the wrong question. :( I'd actually installed 4" square metal boxes, not round plastic*. The good news is that there are plenty of duplex outlet cover plates available for that setup, and I was able to find them at <local big-box retailer>. I picked up a couple of samples, realized that I grabbed 2 different styles out of the same pile, realized I like one better than the other and will get more of those. *In my defense, I'd just installed a round plastic on the back porch - it was on my mind.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 15, 2019 at 12:15

PhilippNagel nailed it. The only thing I would add is don't put GFCI devices on the ceiling (must be reachable) and don't use cord and plug connections above a drop ceiling.

  • Is it legal to snip the plug and hard wire it?
    – FreeMan
    Oct 14, 2019 at 17:40
  • If your plugs are open-air, i.e. You can visually see them and (to the point) observe if they are smoking or smell the smoke, then cord and plug is absolutely fine. If the plugs are behind a drop ceiling, then you may snip the plugs and hardwire into proper strain reliefs if the appliance cord has the correct labeling for use as cordage. Which most do. Oct 14, 2019 at 17:44
  • The boxes are attached to the roof trusses and there is no ceiling - just bare trusses, so I may just do that and skip the outlets. Put on some sort of blanking cover with an appropriate punch-out and a cable clamp and call it a day.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 14, 2019 at 18:04
  • All receptacles in a garage shall be GFCI protected as per NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CODE! Jul 18, 2020 at 15:52

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