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Old 11-05-2007, 10:24 PM   #16
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Help with Wiring Undercabinet lights

I'm trying to install undercabinet lights in an already finished kitchen. tile backsplash, so opening the walls is not really an option. I can fish down to a recepticle on one side, but on the other side of the kitchen (i.e across the room), the receptacle/box is on the other side of the stud from where the light will go so there is no way to fish directly from the light's mounting point down to the receptacle. I read the post on gluing the SVT wire and realize that's NOT the way to do it. Can I run standard 14/2 along the underside of the cabinet to the fish point? Or do I have to use raceway or armored cable? I don't know if there are any NEC rules about this.


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Old 11-06-2007, 07:37 AM   #17
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You cannot power hardwired undercabinet lighting from the small appliance circuits for the countertop and kitchen receptacles.


I use the Seagull Ambiance series of low voltage lighting. I normally mount the transformer in the basement on a joist. Try for a central location to avoid voltage drop. I then run 12-2 NM-B up to the wall and bring it out just above the cabinet bottom. Depending on cabinet configuration I just run the Seagull 10-2 cable in the track along the bottom edge of the cabinets.

Try this link for a very simplified idea of an installation. Be aware that this is not shown as a remote type installation and also does not show a switched feed to the transformer.


Last edited by Jim Port; 11-06-2007 at 09:08 AM. Reason: added more info
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:46 PM   #18
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Good answer Jim Port.

BTW since you're remodelling the kitchen you should be aware you need:

2 seperate GFCI protected 20A circuits each powering at least their own receptacle (you can chain other kitchen receptacles to them).
1 dedicated 15A (it may be 20A now) circuit for a dishwasher
1 dedicated 15A circuit for the garbage disposal
1 dedicated 20A circuit for the microwave
1 dedicated 50A circuit for each electric range

Kitchen lighting can't be hooked into any of the above
If a counter/island/penninsula is 12" or wider it needs a receptacle
An receptacle must be installed within 24" of the end of a counter, then within every 48" of continous counter. A kitchen sink and cook top is considered counter if there's 12" in front or behind it (in otherwords there's room for kitchen appliances behind them). If your sink or cook top doesn't have 12" or more of counter in front or behind than, there needs to be an outlet within 24" of both sides then the every 48" rule applies. Corner sinks/cook tops where, from the back of them to the corner of the wall measures 18"+ must follow the outlet every 48" rule. Otherwise, once again you need an outlet within 24" on either side of it.

Not a bad idea to hook the kitchen electricals on their own subpanel. All counter receptacles need GFCI protected, but as I understand none of the dedicated ones to the dishwasher, microwave, garbage disposal, range, need to be. Anyone can correct me if I'm wrong but as I go about the thought process of remodelling my kitchen that's the codes I believe.

Last edited by Piedmont; 11-06-2007 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:31 AM   #19
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Kitchen Electric Code

Thanks for the input. I had seen the thing about tapping into a small appliance circuit in the Black&Decker Electrical book ("Home wiring") but after Jim's comment I pulled out the guide to NEC that I have - and you cannot power lights on small appliance (250.52 if I remember right). I guess I will fish all the way to the basement and put in a new circuit or tap into the existing lighting circuit.

However, does anyone know if you can run 14-2 NM along the underside of a cabinet? Or does it have to be protected (i.e. raceway vs. armored cable). I haven't been able to find an answer to this anywhere.

The seagull lights look nice but I will need lights with a switch on the light itself since the backsplash is already tiled adding a wall switch will be pretty difficult. I didn't see that they had any like that. I found some nice GE ones that are Xenon but in a box similar to fluorescents, with a switch on the box.
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:17 AM   #20
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You should be able to run 14/2 under the cabinets. This is an area not subject to physical damage.

Check out the lighting selection from NSL lighting, especially the self contained low voltage Xenon fixtures. Well made and easy to install.

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Old 11-08-2007, 06:00 AM   #21
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light boxes

Thanks HH

those look very similar to the GE ones - which I found at a Home Depot. They only had a white casing, though, which doesn't bother me since you can't see the case anyway.


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