How to Deal With an Off-Center Junction Box

Q: I can’t find lighting for over my oval dining table. The junction box is 16 inches off the side of the table and can’t be moved because the ceiling is concrete.  

A: Yes, you do have a bit of the situation there. But fear not, there is an answer at hand … actually, four answers:

1. Look for a linear fixture that has two feed points. Only one of them needs to go over the existing junction box. The other helps position the fixture over the table. 
2. Look for a fixture with a very large or rectangular canopy. Or for a standard-canopy fixture, use a ceiling medallion in a 32-inch to 36-inch diameter. 
3. Create an oval floating ceiling that is the same size or slightly smaller in dimension as the table. This could be made of MDF (medium-density fibreboard). It would hide the wiring coming from the original junction box, allowing new wiring to run to the center of the floating ceiling where the new pendant would be positioned. You could also run a perimeter of rope light along the top of the suspended ceiling, creating a soft glow and unifying this element to the original ceiling. 
4. How about just moving the table over 16 inches?

Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

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Submitted by Randy Johnson (not verified) on Wed, 08/23/2017 - 14:37


Hi, in my basement bathroom, the electrical box is 6-8 inches off center with regards to the vanity/mirror. Every set of vanity lights I have seen, the feeder is in the middle, therefore I can center the light fixture! I am wondering what potential solutions (if any) there are for fixing this without ripping out the drywall.

Right now I just have a two light vanity fixture hooked up, which is grossly off center.

Thank you for your time, I really appreciate it!