Installing A Motion Sensor Light In A Garage-need Some Advice - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 01-03-2008, 10:52 AM   #1
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installing a motion sensor light in a garage-need some advice

Hi All.

I'm okay with electrical connections and tend to do things according to what most friends recommend as the 'right way to do it' as opposed to sloppily, that's why I'm having a problem with this.

I installed a motion detector in our garage (inside) by attaching electrical wire from an end run receptacle to the light fixutre that I mounted at the top corner of the wall (not in the ceiling though, but in the wall). So, to try to make things proper, I found the joist and tried to carefully drill and then used a jigsaw to make a shape of the electrical box there.

Then, I assumed I could use my trusty hammer and nail a large nail into the joist to secure the electrical box. This is where I ran into problems. The nail would not nail straight and was bending - so many nails with so many problems. I could not nail this nail at an angle - it would not go through. I finally gave up on this and used 2 drywall screws to try to secure the box to the drywall portion to have some stability. Of course, it's not that secure and is loose.

To add, the cut I made to the drywall with the electrical box and now the fixture in place, makes an ugly perimeter, where you can see a non clean cut and a gap.

I was wondering if someone could help me answer:

1) How can I secure this electrical box in a different way - it shouldn't be so hard, but maybe I just don't know how to nail

2) Can I put some kind of material in between the gaps to not make it look so ugly? I want to make it look as professional as possible.

Electrically, there is no problem, but cosmetically, I need help!



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Old 01-03-2008, 12:35 PM   #2
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I applaud you for wanting to do good job. The problem you have is that you chose the wrong box for the job. They make boxes just for your type of application. Did you use a standard metal or plastic box? If it was metal did it have a plaster ring? Standard boxes are for new construction and are designed to be mounted before the drywall is installed. Is this is a round, rectangular or square box? If it is a metal rectangular or square the drywall screws are what I would have used to start with. Please let us know what type of box it is. Then we can help you.

We can address the drywall after we know what type box you used and advise you how to secure it properly. So look at the box and physically describe it, or even better post a picture with the fixture removed.


If it worked before you worked on it. You did something wrong.

Last edited by J. V.; 01-03-2008 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:48 PM   #3
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I don't have a pic for you right now, but the box was a hexagonal metal one.

So, similar to the drawing below:

I basically cut the hole as tight as possible and kind of lightly tapped the box into the spot. Then, I tried to nail it, but no luck!

If you need more details (like the pic) I will have to get it for you later on...

Thanks so much.
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installing a motion sensor light in a garage-need some advice-elec_box.jpg  

Last edited by mcvane; 01-03-2008 at 12:51 PM.
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