I would like to replace 15 year old Fluorescent 4 foot strip light fixture (electric ballast, T8, two light, 32W), it looked like this. This is in a closet ceiling. I was a bit surprised that when I removed the fixture, there was no junction box in the ceiling. I understand that the ballast may eliminate the need for a junction box.

My question is: if I now install an LED 4 foot strip light fixture, that I believe has a "driver" and not a ballast, do I need to install a junction box before installing the LED strip light fixture?

NM from ceiling

  • Link to old light fitting doesn't work in "the rest of the world"
    – D Duck
    Nov 16, 2023 at 9:43

2 Answers 2


The fixture (interior part with the ballast and wiring) is a junction box.

If you were planning to replace the florescent bulbs with LED florescent bulb replacements, there was no need to remove the fixture - just take out the ballast if using line-powered LED bulbs and use the fixture to be the junction box and place to mount the bulbs - or buy an LED fixture complete.

If you have a LED fixture that is not a tube replacement, yes, you'll need a junction box.

  • Hey @ecnerwal, Thanks so much for thoughtful reply. I wasn't sufficiently detailed in my original post. The current fixture is broken and needs removal as it is (tube socket issue), so a new one needs to go in regardless. I suppose my question is: If this new fixture is an LED fixture that is a strip light, let's say 4 foot to keep same dimensions as the current fixture, is the fixture, " (interior part with the ballast and wiring) a junction box" as you say for the current fixture, or is this LED strip a totally new game?
    – Tom Broome
    Nov 15, 2023 at 17:08
  • Tube sockets are replaceable parts, of themselves. I have a bucket of 100 of the things around the house somewhere. They cost a lot less than a whole new fixture, normally.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 15, 2023 at 17:22
  • "yes, you'll need a junction box." unless the new fixture has a proper cable clamp and room to make the connections internally. I've installed a couple of lights like that.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 15, 2023 at 17:23
  • 1
    Yes, that's what I was after. Guess I didn't make my point clearly. My bad.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 15, 2023 at 17:40
  • 1
    @Huesmann Thanks so much for sharing a concise and straightforward answer. Your clarity and articulation are rare!
    – Tom Broome
    Nov 18, 2023 at 20:00

This would depend on the fixture and wiring in the ceiling, not the ballast or driver issues. In your old fixture, if you have NM cable and it has the proper connection to attach the cable to the fixture and the connections are in the fixture, it's OK. If conduit is run directly to the fixture and connected correctly, it's OK. If your new fixture is designed to be a "junction box" and your NM cable or conduit is properly attached, you're OK. Any connections from house wiring to the fixture need to be in a junction box.

  • Hey Jack @JACK, Thanks so much for your reply. I have NM cable coming from my ceiling. Picture attached to OP now so there is no need for my to mess up a description, with my poor vocabulary about electricity.
    – Tom Broome
    Nov 15, 2023 at 17:15
  • @TomBroome Any connectors you use to connect the NB cable to the fixture hav to be placed over the white sheathing of the cable, not just on the wires.
    – JACK
    Nov 15, 2023 at 18:11

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