I'm installing a motion-sensor flood light on top of my garage door. This is my first attempt to do the work of such type.

After reading NEC 2017 (currently adopted by my state) and comments on StackExchange I think the below approach should work:

  1. Will extend an outlet with a metal extension box
  2. Cable will be secured with a connector
  3. Will run the cable according to a picture: a) along the ceiling; b) down for 1 foot; c) through the wall
  4. Will not use conduit, will clip every 12''
  5. Will use UF-B 14/2 cable (since it will enter wet external environment outside)
  6. Cable will not go below 9 feet

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Wonder whether this approach violates any NEC 2017 code.

Update. Decided to change the project according to recommendations below. Keeping this question as is (it is about running without conduit). Asked a separate question here: Code check: Installing a garage security flood light

  • What you've got looks good to me (I'm not expert on code, but it seems to be just fine). My question is what are you doing on the outside? Why don't you add an outside pic & description of what you're doing there. Well asked & nicely detailed drawing, BTW!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 12:17
  • 1
    What you are doing is code legal, but aesthetically bad. Do you have attic access? If so, I'd run it thru there. ....just noticed Ed's resp. and agree. If no attic access, at least run conduit for a more professional look. Then you can run THHN/THWN which is a lot easier to work with than UF. Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 14:17
  • @FreeMan, will absolutely post a picture for outside part (might be different question though) =)
    – ZakiMa
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 19:35
  • @GeorgeAnderson, thank you for confirmation it is code legal. It is great to know that my understanding of the code is improving. Totally understand everybody's comments and agree with them. Being a newbie in this area is hard =) I guess now I'll be reading what it means to do it through attic (yes, I should have access to it).
    – ZakiMa
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 19:40
  • @FreeMan, covered outside part in a separate question (the link is in Update). Will appreciate comments/review! =)
    – ZakiMa
    Commented Feb 20, 2021 at 8:04

1 Answer 1


Surface mounting of ceiling wiring is allowed by code but looks DIY and some will think it’s not code even though it is. The only thing you mention is the wire size of #14 for this to be code compliant the circuit breaker protecting the circuit will need to be 15 amp other than that it could be ok.

  • Thank you! Yes, it is protected by 15 amp. Got the point of "looks DIY" (or "aesthetically bad"). Will think further.
    – ZakiMa
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 19:34
  • There are some surface mount plastic covers that look much better “surface mount wire way” not very expensive if you don’t have attic access.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 19:41
  • Something like this? lowes.com/pd/…-c--prd--elc--google--lia--206--strutraceway--3136757-_-0&placeholder=null&ds_rl=1286981&ds_a_cid=112741100&gclid=CjwKCAiAo5qABhBdEiwAOtGmbmvfLJ5npibKCNdshqGIHXynv7zKvMEvNR7LN_4ac6F87RBKAfjGiRoCBBsQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
    – ZakiMa
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 19:42
  • If yes - they say they are not for running voltage wiring. Is it allowed to use something like this?
    – ZakiMa
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 19:43
  • 2
    @ZakiMa -- what you're linking is Cordmate™, which is a cable/cord organizer that's not rated for permanent mains wiring at all. You want 500 or 700 series Wiremold™, which is actual surface metal raceway that is fully UL listed for mains use. Note that with Wiremold, you'll have to use individual THHN wires inside it, with a box at the far end to transition to a conduit nipple between the back of the far-end box and the outside light fixture box. Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 0:23

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