I need to install some carriage lights on exsisting vinyl siding. There is no box where the lights are to go. I know I could put up one of those octangular cover plates that have the stair step to the back and then drill through to the inside of the garage to get the wire through but what is the best way to do the box? I only did this once before and I used long all-thread to secure the light to the box and used a box support to attach the box, but there must be a better way. Any ideas?
If there is plywood behind the vinyl where you are installing the lghts, I use an Allied rigid NM remodel box with the metal flip ups and metal plaster ears to anchor the box and the siding fixture leveler ot the plywood. I cut a retangular hole behind the siding the size of the box, and then replace the factory screws to the flip ups with 2" #6 screws. The longer screws will allow the flip ups to reach behind the plywood and provide the rear pinch. The box goes through the leveler so that the plaster ears of the box supports the leveler and holds it tight against the siding. That's the reason I use the rigid Allied box, since it has the stronger metal plaster ears, and seldom pulls through (unless the hole is cut too large through the leveler). Using the remodel box also keeps you from having the illegal gap between the siding and the leveler.
If it's the blue or pink foam behind the siding, I have a different, more complex method involving 1"x's and a bunch of deck screws. but for brevity's sake, right now I'll bet you have wood sheathing near doors that the lights are going by.
I went and looked at the site for the mounting blocks that Electricmanscott suggested (they are like the ones I used before) and they worked well. I guess what I am after is more ideas along the lines of those from Dallas. I am wondering things like: with the code provisions that the box front be flush with combustible materials (and I must assume that vinyl is one of those materials) don't most of these type of installs require a box to be installed that is flush with the siding? Wouldn't that require cutting a rectangular hole in the siding? Or, do people drill a hole and install a nipple through it and connect the nipple to a box, if so do they just secure the light to the siding and whatever is under it with screws? Rob