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Old 02-28-2013, 09:41 PM   #1
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under cabinet lighting

Hi all,

I would like to install some under-cabinet lighting in my kitchen but am looking for some pointers and answers to questions. A picture of the kitchen is attached. I plan to mount the strips/bars of LED lights as opposed to pucks or flexible strands of lights. I would like to put the lights under all of the cabinets you see in the picture, except of course where the microwave is. There are two receptacles on each of the two walls shown. Each pair of receptacles on a single wall are on their own breaker. Here are my questions:

1) I would like to power the lights using the receptacles above the counter. I have read that it is against code to power lights from these 20A appliance receptacles. But I am assuming it is OK to do so if the lights themselves are of the plug-in type? If they are the type that can be plugged-in or hardwired, are those also OK to run from the 20A receptacle?

2) My plan is to install new receptacles in the cabinets. I would mount them flush onto the back wall of the cabinet with an old work box. I would feed the wire behind the drywall and down to the existing kitchen counter receptacles. I am thinking I will need 3 new outlets because the three areas to get the lights are not connected. Does that seem correct?

3) It would be great if I can turn the lights on and off with a switch above the counter. Can I work that into the approach I described above? I assume that I would likely need two switches given that my above approach will put the lights on two different breakers. Maybe someone out there has a better plan?

Thanks for any input.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:43 AM   #2
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1. If they are plugin type then you can plug them into the small appliance circuits on the counter. You can not hard wire them into the SA counter circuits.
2. You can not do that. The SA circuits are restricted to the counter area.


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Old 03-01-2013, 09:35 AM   #3
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Once upon a time I did one of these projects by cutting a small hole in the range hood near the existing light switch then used wire nuts to connect that circuit to feed a new rocker switch to power the under counter lights. The new switch wire connections were all contained within the range hood electrical box cover. I ran romex from the hood up though the chase between cabinets then down through the chases to the bottom to feed each light. Worked great and all the lights came on with the single new switch. I used florescent lights but it should also work with hardwire LEDs.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:12 PM   #4
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What is the reason that I can't make a new receptacle in the cabinet from the small appliance circuit? I assume it is against code, just wondering why.

If I don't want any cords showing, what is my best option? There are outlets in the dining room on the other side of one of the kitchen walls shown. Can I run a new receptacle to the cabinet from one of those?

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