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-   -   Hardwire undercabinet lighting? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/hardwire-undercabinet-lighting-40162/)

theatretch85 03-12-2009 12:15 AM

Hardwire undercabinet lighting?
 
During a kitchen renovation project I plan to install under-cabinet lighting. I am looking at the 120volt lights that don't need a transformer and can be connected to a dimmer switch. What's the best/preferred way to hardwire these lights into the house electrical wiring? Since I know it doesn't seem to be kosher to just cut the ends of the wires and connect them into a junction box directly. I really don't want to have to plug them into an outlet somewhere and I think per code I can't have an outlet controlled by a dimmer right?

I cant belive they don't sell undercabinet lighting thats meant to be directly hardwired. I don't like the idea of flourescent lighting strips which most of these can be hardwired. The lights I am looking at I found at Menards and are the xenon bulbs 120volt.

dSilanskas 03-12-2009 06:36 AM

Yes they do sell hardwired under counter lights you just didnt look hard enough. Here is a like to some very nice and somewhat inexpensive lights.

http://www.lampsplus.com/Products/Under-Cabinet-Lights/

Just Bill 03-12-2009 06:49 AM

Fluorescents are generally not dimable. Most rope lights. leds requires a transformer or power supply mounted somewhere, but the transformer can be dimmed with the correct dimmer(inductive load dimmer). 120v xenons are handled like any ordinary lights.

theatretch85 03-12-2009 07:45 AM

Hmm, yeah I don't want to install fluorescent lights or the rope lights under cabinet. The multi-light fixtures may work, but that looks like it can get rather expensive pretty quick as I would need several of them to cover all the cabinets in the kitchen. Plus I don't like that there is a switch on the fixture; i'd rather control them with an in-wall dimmer switch.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? I really think I want to wire up the 120volt xenon bulbs so there is no transformer to worry about...

theatretch85 03-12-2009 09:15 PM

There has to be an "acceptable" way to hardwire in the cord and plug type lights. Look at the chandeliers that use standard zip cord and are hard-wired into the ceiling box all the time. I can understand why its not a good idea to run line voltage via zip cord through the wall, but there has to be other options.

dSilanskas 03-12-2009 09:34 PM

Why not just use the Xeon u/c lights? Looks better than what your talking about

NolaTigaBait 03-12-2009 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by theatretch85 (Post 243975)
There has to be an "acceptable" way to hardwire in the cord and plug type lights. Look at the chandeliers that use standard zip cord and are hard-wired into the ceiling box all the time. I can understand why its not a good idea to run line voltage via zip cord through the wall, but there has to be other options.

b/c that would be a violation..you can't run flexible cord through the wall...bring the high voltage into a jbox(they sell these shallow boxes at home depot) then bring the cord into the box..or....they sell jbox made for these lights at hd, they have an outlet on it

theatretch85 03-12-2009 10:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dSilanskas (Post 243988)
Why not just use the Xeon u/c lights? Looks better than what your talking about

Because those lights are a TON more expensive than the puck lights, and I don't really want that big of a light under the cabinets. I can get 15 puck xenon lights for about 90 bucks and have more than enough for the whole kitchen vs 100-200 per fixture and needing probably at least 5 of those fixtures, that's a big difference!

Quote:

Originally Posted by NolaTigaBait (Post 243990)
b/c that would be a violation..you can't run flexible cord through the wall...bring the high voltage into a jbox(they sell these shallow boxes at home depot) then bring the cord into the box..or....they sell jbox made for these lights at hd, they have an outlet on it

I know its a violation to run the zip cord in the wall:

Quote:

Originally Posted by theatretch85 (Post 243975)
I can understand why its not a good idea to run line voltage via zip cord through the wall, but there has to be other options.

Maybe I should have indicated "violation" instead of "not a good idea"

dSilanskas 03-13-2009 05:48 AM

It's like talking to a brick wall :whistling2:

theatretch85 03-13-2009 07:56 AM

dSilanskas, I am looking for an inexpensive solution, what you are proposing would cost over $1000 dollars for the entire kitchen and would just look ugly with big boxy lights. I would need multiple sizes of the lights in order to fit under the different sized cabinets around the kitchen. Plus I don't want a switch on all the lights under the cabinets; I want these all to be controlled via a wall dimmer.

Cany anyone tell me if its "ok" to run the low voltage (12 volts) through the wall to a transformer mounted in a junction box? I have seen several undercabinet lighting places that show the wires being run through the wall behind the cabinets to a transformer that sits on top of the cabinets. I would assume the low voltage running through the wall is ok. Its not what i'd like to run since I then have a transformer that can fail and need replacing later on, versus just dealing with replacing bulbs only.

NolaTigaBait 03-13-2009 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dSilanskas (Post 244034)
It's like talking to a brick wall :whistling2:

yes, yes it is

NolaTigaBait 03-13-2009 10:43 AM

Quote:

Because those lights are a TON more expensive than the puck lights, and I don't really want that big of a light under the cabinets. I can get 15 puck xenon lights for about 90 bucks and have more than enough for the whole kitchen vs 100-200 per fixture and needing probably at least 5 of those fixtures, that's a big difference!


problem is:....you don't know what you want...

rustic 03-13-2009 12:54 PM

theatretch85,

I am in the middle of a new addition kitchen and had basically the same decision to make.

I wanted the same control as you do and also didnt want the big lights under the cabinet.

I live in south louisiana and i called a local inspector and he said that i could run the low voltage line in the wall. he didnt seem concerned about that at all.

Have you ever heard of Kichler linear or Seagull ambiance light system?
I went with the seagull ambiance and it cost me about $500 for approx 25ft of lighting supplies and the dimmer.

i got them from littmanbros.com. check the site out and post back here if you have any questions. you can even call their 800 # and ask them about it. they helped me out quite a bit when i called them.

hope that helps man. you sounded frustrated and i know when people post like above it only frustrates you more.

theatretch85 03-13-2009 07:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rustic (Post 244151)
theatretch85,

I am in the middle of a new addition kitchen and had basically the same decision to make.

I wanted the same control as you do and also didnt want the big lights under the cabinet.

I live in south louisiana and i called a local inspector and he said that i could run the low voltage line in the wall. he didnt seem concerned about that at all.

Have you ever heard of Kichler linear or Seagull ambiance light system?
I went with the seagull ambiance and it cost me about $500 for approx 25ft of lighting supplies and the dimmer.

i got them from littmanbros.com. check the site out and post back here if you have any questions. you can even call their 800 # and ask them about it. they helped me out quite a bit when i called them.

hope that helps man. you sounded frustrated and i know when people post like above it only frustrates you more.

This is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks! To know that its "ok" to run the Low Voltage cable through the wall is what I was looking for. Ideally I wanted to run line voltage lights only because I didn't want to have to deal with a transformer going bad or anything, but I can deal with Low Voltage if that's what allows me to use the smaller puck lights! I might just buy an extra transformer in the event I have one that goes bad.

Suncrest79 04-21-2009 01:51 PM

Hey theatretch85,

I'm also in the process of remodeling my kitchen. I just ordered 120V WHITE Xenon Line Voltage Under Cabinet Hard Wire Task Lights from Pegasus. For my entire kitchen the total was less than $200 and the lights are dimmable. Pegasus also sells the puck lights that you are interested in. They are about as cheap as they come, but good quality according to the few reviews that I could find.

Here is the website that I ordered them from:

http://www.pegasusassociates.com/

This site also gives a lot of useful information on just about every type of under cabinet light, including which types are dimmable, how to install them, and FAQ's.

As far as installation is concerned, I'm still waiting for the lights, but I already have everything wired according to the following guidelines that I found at http://forum.doityourself.com/electr...et-lights.html

"The reason he said run single switch-legs to each under counter light is the fixture themselves are small and are a pain to make-up with 2 wires in it. He is absolutely correct that you will thank him later. Just run a single wire from your switch to each location. If you need to get a deeper box, then do so. I sometimes will run a switch-leg from the switch to a junction box like under the sink and hit every light from there. Easier to work with and the junction box is hidden from view. As far as height, just get the wire at the bottom of cabinet height. Like you said you have tile going up and if you need to move the wire over a bit to accomodate the knockout then you can cut the drywall to get over. Even if you didn't have tile going all the way up, if you keep it at or above a little bit the cabinet height you still can accomodate it as the cabinet will cover any sheetrock damage to get to that knock-out"

I did exactly what is highlighted in red above. The new drywall is already up with a wires sticking through where each light will be located. I just drilled the holes exactly where the bottom of the cabinets will be as I was hanging the drywall.

Anyway, I hope this helps. Good luck with your project.


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