The previous lights in my bathroom were "Hollywood" style. I'd like to replace it with a more traditional/modern vanity light. Question is, there doesn't appear to be an outlet/gang box like I'm used to. If I take this plate off, how would I mount the new fixture?

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  • Can you get us a closeup of where the wires enter the fixture at? – ThreePhaseEel May 2 '20 at 2:07
  • Considering that there's a clamp holding the 'romex' as it enters the fixture through that plate, I'd guess that the fixture itself is the 'box' and there probably isn't one in the wall. But once you undo the wires and the clamp and remove that plate, you could probably cut a larger hold in the drywall to fit an 'old work' box there. It looks like you have enough length in that existing cable to stay legal ... – brhans May 2 '20 at 2:26
  • I would remove the 2 screws and look behind the fixture to see if the box is in the wall, the clamp may have been that MFG’s way of protecting the wires entering the fixture. As far as the new fixture we would need to see it or have a part number to have a clue on mounting. – Ed Beal May 2 '20 at 2:45
  • brhans, can you explain by "stay legal"? – 2 Left Thumbs May 3 '20 at 18:53

It doesn't appear that they used a junction box. It seems the romex is entering this fixture through that clamp on the right of that lamp socket. If you remove the several screws holding this plate to the wall, there is probably a hole in the drywall where the cable is. If there was a j-box it should have been behind those cutouts in the center.

So, if that's the case, you can buy an old work j-box, and cut and fit it yourself. Then mount your new fixture to that.

An old work j-box looks like this and mounts to the drywall. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Carlon-1-Gang-14-cu-in-Old-Work-PVC-Electrical-Outlet-Box-B114RB/1004040271

How to install

  • Assuming that's the case (that there is no j-box), how does one install the old work box? Do I need to cut the drywall and nail the box to a stud? How do I route the wiring, especially if the stud it running between the center and light #4 (given that the wires are to the right of light #4). – 2 Left Thumbs May 3 '20 at 18:55
  • Yes you would have to cut the drywall, but an old work box is designed to attach to the drywall with clamps. Depending on how much slack you have in the cable you can move it around to better suit your new fixture. If there is a stud, then you have to look at the situation. If you're lucky, you could drill though and fish to the other side. This will of course cause more cutting and eventual patching. If you get a fixture similar to your current, there is nothing wrong with punching a hole through the back plate where ever, and protect the wire from cuts. – DaveM May 4 '20 at 3:48

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