I am replacing a fixture in our kitchen. I removed the old fixture, and low-and-behold, the ceiling is solid plywood in this area - and there is no box. Should one be added, or does having solid wood there negate the need for it? The wires are coming out of a roughly 3/4" hole in the wood

If a box is required, is a standard old work box ok? Can I mount a pancake box to the surface?

This is an LED surface mount light, no fan. Weighs maybe a pound

  • In North America, a junction box is require for making connections, so will need a box for the light that fits and someone is getting on Santa's naughty list.
    – crip659
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 15:54
  • @crip659 - doesn't the light fixture itself count as a 'box', assuming it has terminals for each of the wires?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 17:08
  • @Tetsujin Think it counts as the cover for the box. Point being to prevent stuff(fingers) from touching live wires, and to have separation from stuff that can burn, like plywood.
    – crip659
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 17:18
  • @crip659 - ah, OK. I'm too used to the UK system, where the ceiling 'rose' is actually the circuit junction box as well. i.sstatic.net/fz3b0.png then the lighting pendant completes the 'box'.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


A pancake box will be ok, but possibly not allow a fixture to be installed flush to the ceiling. The old works box is your best bet. They can be found round and in different depths.

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