Electrical – Can a standard NEMA 5-15 outlet be installed in a round ceiling box


In my garage, I installed a series of 4" round ceiling boxes and put plastic (later ceramic) lamp bases on them for some basic lighting. This is the type of box I'm referring to:

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Image courteously supplied by Lowes. No particular endorsement implied

I've recently purchased some plug-in LED light fixtures and would like to replace some of the lamp bases with a standard NEMA 5-15 outlet so I can plug in the lights.

  • Will a standard 5-15 outlet fit properly in this box?
  • Is there an appropriate cover plate that can be used?
  • As an alternative, is it safe/legal to clip the plug and hard-wire these otherwise plug-in lights directly to the Romex in the boxes?

If the answer to either is "no", then I guess I'll have to pull the boxen and replace them with standard rectangular boxes, but I'd prefer not to.

Best Answer

They do make receptacles designed to fit round boxes, for example a Leviton 1228 (I'm sure other brands have it as well, this was just the first I found when I googled Round Box Receptacle):

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Depending in the screw holes on your box, you may also be able to fit a standard duplex receptacle and fit a wall plate designed for that purpose. These act as a wall plate and mounting bracket/adapter for mounting a standard receptacle in the round box.

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Finally, if all you need is an ungrounded two prong plug, the easiest option might be to get some light bulb to socket adapter, like these GE 54276:

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