How to Install a Remodel Ceiling Box

When installing a new ceiling light fixture, you may be tempted to make a hole for the wires and attach the fixture directly to the drywall.

Hang a ceiling light safely with a remodeling ceiling box.Hang a ceiling light safely with a remodeling ceiling box.
Besides the fact the drywall probably won't support the fixture for long, this procedure violates the electrical code, which requires all electrical connections to be made inside an electrical box. If the fixture weighs less than 5 pounds, you can avoid nailing a box to the rafters by using a remodeling box. When you anchor it to the drywall, it will support the fixture and safely enclose the wires.

Place a remodeling ceiling box on the drywall at the location of the light fixture and draw the outline of the back of the box with a pencil. Locate the fixture between a pair of rafters, not directly below one.

Place the pointed end of a drywall saw on the line and poke it through the drywall. Cut along the outline to make a hole.

Pull the electrical cable that needed for the connection out of the hole and feed it through one of the self-clamping openings on the back of the electrical box. Pull through enough slack to make connections.

Push the box into the hole until the edge is flush with the surface of the drywall. Turn the screws on the front of the box with a screwdriver until the anchors connected to them behind the box hook onto the drywall. Pull the box slightly toward you to engage the anchors with the back of the drywall and tighten the screws to secure the box to the drywall.

Make the electrical connections and hang the light fixture from the box using the adapter plate, screws and other supplies that came with the fixture.

Things You Will Need

  • Remodeling electrical box
  • Drywall saw
  • Screwdriver

Tip

  • If the light weighs more than 5 pounds, nail an electrical box to a rafter to support it. If it weighs more than 50 pounds, install an additional support mechanism.

Warning

  • Make sure the power is off to the electrical cable before you pull it through the hole. Turn off either the wall switch or the breaker in the main panel that controls the circuit.

About the Author

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.