Fixture without electrical box - or with a mini-box?

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Old 12-09-09, 10:01 AM
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Question Fixture without electrical box - or with a mini-box?

I want to install a bunch of T5 mini strip lamps, on a horizontal drywall surface about 8 feet above floor (I have high ceilings) and install molding for diffuse white lighting behind molding.

The strip lamp base is just 1.5" wide, and is itself a metal box. I can run Romex inside the base and connect it there, so that the Romex sheathing never has to be ripped outside of the lamp housing.

Can I do that without installing the electrical box? I made a neat little hole in the drywall and ran Romex through it, and it seems like a waste to make electrical box that won't even have any connections just to run solid Romex through it.

Or does the code prohibit any kind of wiring a fixture without electrical box?

If so, the standard box is 2" wide, but my light base is 1.5" wide, so the box won't even be fully covered. Are there special mini electrical boxes for this case, or special flush plates on those boxes that I can put my light on?

The mount drywall surface is horizontal, oriented up (like a little step) and 8' above floor, the light will be facing up lighting the ceiling from there.
 
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Old 12-09-09, 10:04 AM
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Check the instructions included with the fixture. Fluorescents are typically wired inside the fixture wiring compartment.
 
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Old 12-09-09, 11:03 AM
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Most strip fixtures, like the ones you describe, may be direct wired without using a separate J-box. I looked at your link and it does say "direct wired" so I would say your good to go. In fact you will likely find some knock outs already pre stamped on the back just for that purpose. Make sure you use a connector made for the cable you are using.
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 12-09-09 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 12-09-09, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Most strip fixtures, like the ones you describe, may be direct wired without using a separate J-box. I looked at your link and it does say "direct wired" so I would say your good to go. In fact you will likely find some knock outs already pre stamped on the back just for that purpose. Make sure you use a connector made for the cable you are using.
Yes, it does have 3 knockouts, awesome, thanks! It did say "direct wired" on the box, if I'm not mistaken.

To wire 6 or 7 of them in a row, can I run Romex from one fixture to another (so that 2 cables go inside each fixture but the last one)?

Do I have to knock out 2 knockouts and use 2 cable connectors, or would a single connector/knockout be preferrable for some reason, or it doesn't matter?

Is it ok to rest the fixtures on top of the cables, or should I run cables inside the wall between the fixtures? I don't think the fixtures will heat up to 90C, but maybe it's against code for the fixture to touch long stretch of Romex?

Thanks for the info!
- Sergiy
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 12-09-09 at 06:02 PM. Reason: My typo
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Old 12-09-09, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by migdalskiy View Post
To wire 6 or 7 of them in a row, can I run Romex from one fixture to another (so that 2 cables go inside each fixture but the last one)?
Yes although if it's in an exposed area (garage, workshop) I would use conduit or a metallic wiring method like AC/MC/BX. Some areas do not allow exposed romex, although it's usually okay at ceiling height so long as it is not subject to damage. It sounds okay based on your description of the tray lighting.

Do I have to knock out 2 knockouts
Check the package on the romex connector. Some are rated for 2 cables and some for 1 cable.

touch long stretch of Romex?
Touching is okay as long as it's not tight enough to damage the cable.
 
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