I just purchased a cheapo 3 light vanity fixture from a big box store to replace a 2 light fixture in a bathroom. Our bathroom has a bit of an overhang down from the ceiling where the fixture was mounted. So I was expecting to just zip this fixture in, but looking at the instructions, I saw that it says "Wall Mount Only" - Well technically I'm not putting it in the ceiling of the room, I'm putting it on the overhang, but it will be hanging horizontally, not vertically. Is there any issue with this? What exactly does the "Wall Mount Only" mean?

2 Answers 2


Can't say 100% for sure, but my suspicion is that the issue is "permanently attached to the structure of the building" (aka "wall mount") vs. "hanging". In which case, you should be fine. There can be issues of heat dissipation for wall (vertical) vs. ceiling (horizontal) mounting, though those tend to be less with modern LED fixtures.

One key issue: junction box. Some fixtures are designed to mount to a junction box and some have an integral junction box. Either one is OK but if the old fixture had an integral box with the cable just coming out of the wall and into the fixture and thew new fixture expects to be mounted to a customer-supplied ceiling junction box then you may have a problem. All wire connections (typically with wire nuts in the US, but can also be screw connections depending on the device) must be inside an approved junction box, whether attached to the building or attached to the fixture.

  • 1
    Thank you Manessehkatz. When I asked at the store, they seemed to think there were zero issues (upon asking their electrician). He seemed to think it was a safety thing. The instuctions for only ceiling mounting were not printed in the instructions anywhere, they were only on the brace that mounts to the junction box, so I suppose its possible that brace is used in multiple situations. Strangely enough, the instructions also said the make the wire connections OUTSIDE the brace, which is outside the junction box, which according to you is wrong (and I thought that was weird too).
    – John W.
    Aug 15, 2021 at 22:05

Wall mount vrs. ceiling mount could relate to heat build up.

When the lights (bulbs) are left on for long periods of time, they can build up heat which can rise up into the fixture and overheat the insulation around the fixture or in the fixture causing it to catch fire.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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