Replacing motion-activated floodlight -- no junction box?

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Old 11-01-20, 02:17 PM
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Replacing motion-activated floodlight -- no junction box?

Well, an extremely windy day combined with a storm door that has no piston or chains or anything to catch it means I have a broken floodlight to replace. I actually attempted simply using some JB Quick Weld to repair the plastic of the floodlight, but as I was doing so, ended up pulling the entire thing out as it was so poorly installed it was loose in the wall (not really sure what purpose the 4 screws in it were even serving, TBH).

Anyway, I'm somewhat of a DIY-er but haven't really figured out what the "trick" is when it comes to mounting stuff on the exterior of my stucco(?) house. There appears to be no junction box or mounting ring or anything in the spot and it seems like that was a mistake, or at least it wasn't a long term solution and I'm concerned about water getting into the hole if I just try screwing something back in the way the last floodlight was installed.

My questions:
1.
Is this something a relatively inexperienced DIY'er can address?
2. If so, what products/processes/YouTube videos/etc. can you recommend I pursue? I'm comfortable buying a 4" base floodlight and wiring it once I have something to mount it to.
3. If not, should I be calling an electrician, a general repair person, etc.?

The depth of this hole ranges from about 7/8" to about 1" more towards the middle (but the outer edges appear to be just under and inch in depth).






 
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Old 11-01-20, 02:30 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I don't see anything for those screws to have been screwed into.
You will need to install a round weatherproof box over that hole.
You can get an MC connector to go into the back of the box to install the cable into the box.
The box comes with blanks to seal the un-used openings.

 
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Old 11-02-20, 06:22 AM
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Hi, what is that material behind the mesh, is there any solid behind it?
Geo 🇺🇸
 
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Old 11-02-20, 06:52 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Sorry to be an idiot, what does MC stand for?

I'm going to investigate tomorrow morning what exactly the material behind the mesh is; the screws that went into the wall seemed rather long but all were loose and I can't really figure out if they were ever secure. Strangely I've noticed that the hose spigots around my house also seem to be somewhat loose around the exterior of my house so I feel like somebody just installed everything rather poorly at some point. At least those aren't totally falling out.

I'll report back with whatever I can figure out but the material does seem less than ideal (I assume that's why I'm having this issue in the first place I suppose.)
 
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Old 11-02-20, 08:36 PM
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You do need to find something solid to screw into. You'll also need to silicone the box to seal it and that will also help keep it in place.

MC = metal clad aka BX cable.
 
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Old 11-09-20, 08:45 AM
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So, the material behind the metal mesh is only semi-solid; I could probably push a screwdriver into it with just my hand if I really tried. Would it possibly be some kind of thin layer of "insulation" with a solid surface behind it that would be safe to drill into, would anyone guess?
 
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Old 11-09-20, 09:11 AM
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For reference, here is a video of me pushing an awl point tool into the material a little bit. You can actually see some of the screw holes that the previous installation left, but it kinda seems like those failed given that the whole thing basically just fell out of place (and was not sealed in with silicone or any sort of adhesive).

Video for reference: https://photos.app.goo.gl/socRjXUMypsFRzZ27
 
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Old 11-09-20, 10:58 AM
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It looks like the awl is hitting something solid in the video.
Is there wood sheathing there ?
 
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Old 11-09-20, 11:10 AM
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Would it be sensible for me to drill through the brown material a bit and see if there is wood behind it/if some sawdust comes out? I honestly have no idea what that brown material is, but I'm not sure if I would trust it as a long-term solution so hopefully there is something behind it. Still just kind of troubling that the original screws (4 of them) didn't really seem to "hold/take" however they were in there. Unless they just came out over a really long period of time, but Idk why that would happen unless the material wasn't really screw-able.
 
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Old 11-09-20, 11:18 AM
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It looks like tar paper and some type of insulation.
Possibly the original screws weren't long enough to go thru the insulation to the wood.

Try putting a screw in without drilling a hole. A sheetrock screw would be a good choice to test with as it starts very easily in wood.
 
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Old 11-21-20, 10:52 AM
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Okay, so, finally getting back to this today since it's actually light out and I don't have to work today.

I tried screwing a drywall screw in and it seemed relatively solid but it didn't really ever feel like I was drilling into actual wood: https://photos.app.goo.gl/KfQMtaG7tG3zLmRa7

My thought is that whatever material/substance is behind will probably be solid enough to hold things though as I'm not really looking to mount an overly heavy floodlight or anything and I will definitely use silicone on the sides/outside to further help solidify the junction box.

A few more questions (if you don't mind):
1. It seems most of the junction boxes I have found have little screw holes on the OUTSIDE of the ring, which I think might be difficult to slide/tuck under the outside stucco (or whatever my house exterior substance is), SO I was thinking of maybe getting something like this which is labeled an "extension" but seems like it would serve the same purpose and the screw holes go inside of the ring instead of outside:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commerci...oduct-overview
Would this be acceptable?

Otherwise, I can certainly try one like this that has the "back wall" but then the screw holes are on the outside of the ring and I'm not really sure that that would fit into the existing cutout of the wall:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commerci...50WH/202284522

2. If I do end up getting something with the hole for the metal clad power cable to screw into, I assume I would need to get something like this little male terminal adapter thing to put on the end of the metal clad part and then screw into the junction box. However, the cable appears to be way off centered and there doesn't really seem to be a lot of "extra" to it so I am not really sure if I'd be able to get it centered with where the opening is on the back wall of the junction box. Is this something I can circumvent or...is this whole thing so screwed up that I should just give up and hire somebody to fix the whole thing? Would rather avoid it since it's more of a nuisance than anything, but of course I'm not the type to do something that'd be considered hazardous or unsafe. I just figure that if I totally cover the outside in silicone and then the floodlight is installed tight to the box, it should keep everything moisture free/safe, right?
 
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