I'm trying to Install a new light fixture and it comes with a circular base plate. However the junction box does not line up flush with ceiling. So when I attach the base plate it ends up being recessed and then the base of the light is unable to be attached.

What solutions do I have for this??

recessed base plate

unable to attach base

  • Nice job on explaining and illustrating your problem.
    – JACK
    Nov 14, 2020 at 20:39

3 Answers 3


This is a common issue.

One solution is longer screws, if you have adjusted the screws out to their maximum length and they are still not long enough to reach through the holes in the fixture then you can get longer screws at the hardware store or try the other solution.

The other solution is to not tighten the mounting plate up against the recessed box. Loosen the screws that hold it to the box so it hangs below the box enough for the other screws to be usable. It may take some fiddling with fixture screws to find just the right setting. It is a little tricky to get the screws and holes lined up when it is loose but it can be done. When you tighten up the little nuts that hold the fixture on it will pull the fixture up against the ceiling so it is not hanging loose.

  • I always carried some threaded rod in the tool box... +1
    – JACK
    Nov 14, 2020 at 18:45

When hanging new lights it's not unusual to run into situations like this that require some rethinking. You have a few options you can purchse longer screws but you'll need the same size and thread to match up with the knurled knobs that will hold the light in place.

However, the simplest solution is probably to get longer mounting screws holding the circular plate to the celing box so the plate can be brought flush with the ceiling. You'll probably want to put a couple of nuts on the mounting screws on the backside of the circular plate to firmly hold it at the height you want.


This is a common problem. As mentioned earlier, you might need longer screws to reach the light fixture, OR longer screws to bring the mounting plate down so it’s flush with the ceiling.

The 3rd solution is a ceiling box spacer, they sell them in the electrical box aisle but I believe the shortest is 3/4 in and it looks like you are only 1/2 inch short.

You might also try switching out the ceiling box for a deeper (taller) one.

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