My house has lots of closet lights, which tend to be 1.5 x 4" oct boxes mounted above and just inside the door. Each has a pull chain operated lamp with a bare bulb. The wiring is 12/2 without ground that daisy chains between the closets and other lighting fixtures. I wanted to replace the wire with 12/2 w ground, and replace the fixture with a wall mounted slim florescent for heat/safety reasons.
Problem: If I replace the wire as is, I think I will be over the wire count limit for the box. I need 2 wires to enter the fixture, 2 in , 2 out, 1 ground and 1 for the box clamps, which makes 8 and I think the limit for 1.5x4 is 6. Since the wall mounted light has a metal case, can I pull both the 12/2 wires into the light case and either ignore the old box in the wall or pull it out entirely and just use the light fixture case for the connections ? The only other choice I see is to remove the old box, chisel out the opening and mount a deeper box.
Do I even have to have a wall box ? Can I let the 2 pieces of 12/2 emerge from the wall at the right point, clamp them as they enter the fixture and make all the connection inside the fixture ?