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Heating & Cooling


Vanity Light replacement

I have a 2 light fluorescent fixture in my bathroom. It is attached to the wall above the mirror.

It is enclosed by a laminate looking 3 sided box. I hate it and want to put a regular light fixture up.


My house was built in 86. Without removing everything, I don't know if there is a junction box or

just wires coming out of the wall.


How difficult of a task is this to do if I have to install a junction box?

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Posted 2010-10-24T19:14:15+0000  by innocent93 innocent93

Hey Innocent93,

Aboveaveragejoe here from The Home Depot.  It definitely does sound like your bathroom is in need of an update, and fortunately with some simple information, it will be a breeze.  It is not difficult to see if you have a junction box behind your existing fluorescent fixture. First and foremost though, turn off the power leading to your vanity for your safety. Depending on how the existing fixture is screwed on, take the fixture off but NOT down, you can see if it has a junction box without taking any of the wiring off while you or someone is holding the fixture. Hopefully since it’s not that old of a house, the builders were supposed to have a junction box and in older homes they would look something similar to the picture shown below.



If there is not a junction box, you can place a new one in without the rigors of finding a stud to nail it to by using a remodeling (aka old work) round junction box.  The round shape is typically used in wall mounts because of the brackets call for their diameter in vanity fixtures. The tabs or ‘ears’ on the side of the box bites into the back of the drywall so even with heavier fixtures, it will hold its own in the wall.  You can pick these up any home center near you, and they almost always look like the picture enclosed below.


But before we get into any installation though, let’s see first whether the existing fixture has the box already in. And remember, you don’t have to take all the wires off, just hold the fixture up for a quick peek to see if the junction box is already there.  If not, just let me know, and we can guide you through that, and you can always check with a professional electrician if you encounter something that requires a more than what we discussed here.

Thanks for logging onto the community and let any of us here or me know if you have any updates for your new light fixture!

Best Answer

Posted 2010-10-25T19:03:19+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Thank you for your help.. I'm going to try and see what's back there this weekend.


Posted 2010-10-26T23:31:52+0000  by innocent93
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