I had a security light installed on the outside of my house. The power feed (wiring) came off of my existing surface mounted porch light. The installer added a junction box under the porch light, and ran conduit along the wall from the porch light to the security light.

The porch light now sits on top of the junction box, and extends about 2-3 inches away from the siding and is so horribly ugly. Before I hire an electrician to redo the whole thing, and recess the box into the wall, is there any kind of trim box or other easy solution for this problem? enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    Oh my. Normal installation would be to run cable through the walls and put a box inset into the wall with the fixture mounted flush to the wall. They may have been lazy, but I have to wonder: Are you in a conduit required area like Chicago? Because if so, they had no choice about conduit (though could have used something a little nicer looking) and just got lazy about the box. Assuming the wall has space to do so, it should be easy to put the box in the wall and mount the light flush. Moving all the conduit is not so easy. Dec 30 '20 at 20:07
  • 1
    Are you complaining about the conduit or the junction box? Depending on your budget the person figured that this amount of work falls into your budget. Who is "the installer" anyways: a plumber, your neighbor Bob, cousin Brenda, someone else??? Running the wire through the wall is more expensive but a good electrician with the right tools might have been able to do it in half the time for the same cost.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Dec 30 '20 at 20:23
  • 3
    I'd just get a trim carpenter to build a little box around the light and paint it black to match the light fixture. If you have thousands lying around you could get rid of the conduit and mount the fixture flush to the siding or hide the conduit in some finish grade soffit. Dec 30 '20 at 20:29
  • 1
    Do you have an expectation for what you want this to look like? If you want the light to sit flush to the wall, the wiring would likely need to run in the wall. If you don't mind it sitting embossed, then you could put (removable) trim panels around it. Shopping questions are off-topic here, but I doubt you'd find anything off-the-shelf anyway, so it would be a custom job
    – Hari Ganti
    Dec 30 '20 at 20:35
  • some exterior lights have an internal juction box and can take conduit directly to a conduit port, some don't.
    – Jasen
    Dec 30 '20 at 21:10

Yes it’s ugly, I would cut some cedar 5/4 thick the with of that box and make a trim ring. Cedar won’t rot and is easy to work with a few finishing nails to hold the trim in place and it will look much better. Trim ring the size of the fixture not the box.

Actually this meets code if the correct wiring was used. The KO or 4x4 box up under the eve is a “dry” location and other than ugly because no trim was used to hide the box is the least expensive way to add a light.

To put the new light wiring in the walls/attic will normally cost much more. Is this a gable porch? any access to the house attic? Running this concealed will cost many times the surface mount and that is with good attic access. 2 story or poor access you can start adding zeros to the original cost for the extreme cases.

So I would recommend a trim piece that you can make for a few bucks possibly from wood scraps around the house, cedar can go un painted and left natural until time to repaint it will turn gray over time. This will be the least costly unless you want the wiring hidden bad enough to pay the premium it will cost to change the wiring from surface mount.

  • Thanks to all for excellent assessment and suggestions. I was holding out for some faint hope of an off-the-shelf trim box, but I'm handy and can certainly build a nice looking box and paint it. I can live with the exposed conduit because it's on the breezeway side, and will be painted to match the siding. But the light fixture is not acceptable. I have a very nice relatively newer home, and this install is an eyesore that can be seen from the street. Thank you again for all the great information and suggestions. Very helpful.
    – Ruth
    Dec 31 '20 at 4:36

Call around and find an electrician who specializes in "old work" wiring, and is really ace with the 6' long flexible drill bits and fishing new cables through old walls without tearing up much of the old finish. Tell them to surface-mount all that stuff. Tolerate the drilling and banging for an hour or so. Wear your mask, 6' social distance, easy peasy.

Then have a handyman come in and patch the drill holes they made to guide the 6' bit, or whatever chunks of drywall they removed, and paint. Don't have the electrician step out of craft to do that.

This could've been done in the first place, but "security alarm expert" and "maestro with the 6' flexible drill bits" are not the same human being, so it would've involved a lot of complicated subcontracting.

  • 1
    Reminds me of when my electrician came into my house with his 6' long flexible drill bits and said "I'm here to make your house holey". Dec 30 '20 at 21:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.