I had to add extension wires (14 gauge stranded) from a 120v/50w LED light's main wiring (16 gauge stranded) to the junction box. I didn't solder them to the junction connection (I used Wago connectors for those), but did solder them to the light's wires and added shrink tubing.

Everything appears to be working great, but I'm not a professional, and perhaps overly paranoid. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if my solder points break under the tubing, I expect the light to just fail... but could something else lead to the connection getting so hot it causes a fire?... Particularly with my soldered splice.

EDIT: Secondly, am I violating any codes by off centering from the junction if the light covers everything?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you post a picture? \$\endgroup\$
    – Gil
    Apr 12, 2022 at 4:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gil Just added one \$\endgroup\$
    – daleyjem
    Apr 12, 2022 at 5:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ as a general rule, if the joint doesn't feel hot after an hour, it's probably fine forever. Specifically, even a crappy connection can handle half an amp with well under 50c over ambient. \$\endgroup\$
    – dandavis
    Apr 12, 2022 at 6:27

2 Answers 2


In North America (the land of white neutrals) you need to install lights according to the Electrical Code (NEC or CEC).

There are a number of code violations in what I see in the photo.

If there is a junction box in the ceiling, it doesn't come through the drywall. There needs to be a junction box in the ceiling that comes within 1/4" (6mm) of the surface (or flush with the surface if the surrounding material is combustible, not an issue here). This flaw can often be corrected by extension sleeves.

Always use boxes, parts and equipment from the AC mains power supply chain. Don't use hobby/electronics wire, boxes, devices etc.

Tap rules don't apply here, so 14 AWG size wire is not allowed here unless the circuit breaker is 15A. Lamps follow a different Code book (UL 1598) so the 16 AWG on the lamp is irrelevant. Bathroom lighting doesn't have to be on the bathroom receptacle circuit, but those must be 20A.

The light is ETL listed, which is one of several NRTL's allowed to substitute for UL. So the light will have labeling and installation instructions. Those must be followed per NEC 110.3(B). (which means they must be read).

Looking at the lamp, it appears the "enclosure" of the lamp is roughly the bracket already attached to the wall/ceiling. The cable must enter the inside of the enclosure. It looks it enters the outside of the enclosure, and getting it into the enclosure will involve either being squeezed by a "knife-edge" or entering a sharp hole without a cable clamp or grommet.

Regardless there is no such thing as a cable clamp or grommet for THHN wire, as THHN individual wires are not allowed outside of enclosures.

I think you will need to drill another drywall hole in the correct location and install another junction box there. It can connect to the first junction box via NM-B cable (if allowed in your jurisdiction; most are) or if conduit is required, either flexible metal (FMC) or plastic (ENT aka "Smurf Tube" for being blue). With appropriate cable clamps and fittings.

Metal junction boxes are best performance, but "old work" plastic boxes are easier to find and better supported by Youtube videos etc. Don't hang a heavy lamp off an old-work box; drywall isn't that strong. But that doesn't look like a problem here.

Properly position or sleeve the original box and put a blank cover plate over it. Normally you can't conceal junction box covers, but you are allowed to conceal them behind lights which they serve.

Remember that if power comes to the light, the cable to the switch must be "/3" cable carrying always-hot, switched-hot, neutral and earth. Even if you don't plan to use neutral today, it must be provided and capped off.

Nobody solders AC mains wires. (the rules for doing so are onerous, and back in the day, only the master soldered connections, not the apprentice. Using solder connections learned from electronics is a big mistake. Use wire nuts, genuine Wagos, Alumiconns, or whatever floats your boat from the AC power "parts bin".

  • \$\begingroup\$ Would these changes address your concerns? 1.) Add extension to current junction box to sit flush with drywall. 2.) Move mount/fixture so it can center-mount directly under junction box. As far as the 14g/16g thing... it is an AFCI 15A circuit, so could I still extend the light wires with 14g (the wires are too short to install otherwise), and perhaps splice them with a butt crimp? \$\endgroup\$
    – daleyjem
    Apr 12, 2022 at 15:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok... so what I did was buy a junction box extender, remove the solder splice completely, position the light directly under the junction, and Wago the junction wires directly to the light wires. Thanks so much for the thorough response, Harper! \$\endgroup\$
    – daleyjem
    Apr 14, 2022 at 2:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @daleyjem sorry I missed your earlier... sounds great! \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14, 2022 at 3:07

Not for a LED panel. But for high current connections it's better to not splice that way.

Next time use splicing connectors. Much easier to do on those locations. Eg: Wago 221-2411.


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