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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello ,

I have remodeled my kitchen and need to buy and install led under cabinet lighting.

What I'm unsure of what system would work with the wiring that's in place right now.

Under each cabinet bank (4 banks) there is a switched 120v 14 gauge wire. I would like to wire this directly to a led power supply and then run the low voltage to linkable lights or strip or I'm not totally sure what the best way to do that is. next time I do a kitchen I'll buy the under cabinet lighting early in the process. I didn't realize all the options and techniques out there for under cabinet lighting. any help is appreciated and if you have systems that have hard wire power supplies I need 4 and then the led lights that would connect to that power supplies.

thanks in advance

RO
 

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there is a switched 120v 14 gauge wire

What does that mean exactly? There's a pigtail of Romex wire?


Unless there's complications I don't understand, I would just take the LED supply and cut off the plug. Then, use wire nuts to connect the exposed wires from the supply to the wire you have under the cabinets.


Alternatively, I suppose you could take that wire under the cabinet and wire in a socket. You'd probably want to make a cutout and put the box up inside the bottom of a cabinet in the corner. Then, you'd have a switched plug under the cabinets that you could use for anything including the LED power supply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes that means I have a 14 gauge pigtail under each group of cabinets, and yes the simple answer is to wire nut those to a power supply of sorts. problem with that solution it's against all electrical code laws.

Romex cannot be exposed nor can the wire nuts for that matter.

I need a power supply that would have hard wire terminals with a cover that also has an inlet for the 120v wire into the side so it will serve as a junction box. most are not configured that way, they are plug, in or a wall transformer types. those two options are a bit to messy for my application.

Appreciate the comment -
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Can you reconfigure the 14-2's to supply the low voltage from the power supply?

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Red Seal Electrician
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Wiremold is probably the most slimline surface box you can install under the cabinet.

Staple the low voltage wiring up neatly. Rip a narrow valance piece 1-2" on your table saw to hide your lights and wiring.
 

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OP is still stuck with how to connect to the pigtails though—they can't be wirenutted and hidden in the wall. AFAIK the only thing he can do with the pigtails is put in some kind of outlet there.

Unless he wants to go with those Tyco romex splices or similar.

OP, if you have enough pigtail, can you run it up in the wall and behind the cabinet, daylighting through the back wall of the cabinet, then put a low profile outlet inside the cabinet? You'd lose a little cabinet space (but who really uses all the corners?), but you could just plug your LED driver into the outlet.
 

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I guess I need to see a pic of his situation. I assumed the pigtails were what used to connect to other direct wire lights?

If that won't work he could abandon those and do something like what I did. I tapped into my range hood wiring and pop riveted in a dimmer switch for the under counter lights. Then ran Romex up to the top of the cabinets through the gap between them, installed a junction box up there, then more Romex down the gaps to the individual lights. Then I made a trim plate to cover my imperfect switch cutout. I found that with these you really need a dimmer as the full brightness is too much. They aren't all dimmable, however so be careful when you shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My question about the U/Cabinet lighting is mostly directed to the wiring technique to the fixtures themselves.

No matter what type or style of fixture is used per the NEC code no Romex can be exposed and obviously neither can the wire nuts.

So I'm looking into some of that aluminum flexible conduit or preferred some kind of slim code compliant rigid duct type that will hide away nicely.

Really that's what I'm looking for but was wondering if others had faced this and how they solved it


Thanks
 

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No matter what type or style of fixture is used per the NEC code no Romex can be exposed and obviously neither can the wire nuts.

So I'm looking into some of that aluminum flexible conduit or preferred some kind of slim code compliant rigid duct type that will hide away nicely.

Really that's what I'm looking for but was wondering if others had faced this and how they solved it
The reality is a little bit exposed NM under a cabinet isn't really at risk of mechanical damage. I would look at what Wiremold offers for slim packaging.

When I did low-voltage cabinet lights in new condo's, we used a junction box (normally under the sink area) for the switched 120V feed, 2 or 3 low-voltage xfmrs (size of 9V batts) and a whip of #18/3 wire to each 'bank' of cabinet lights. This was pre-LED era, so now you can likely run a whole kitchen's worth on one little xfmr.

Another feature was the cabinets had a double bottom. This let the puck-style lights sit flush in a 2-3" hole. The bottom 'shelf' in the cabinet sat 1/4" up from the bottom affording wiring space in which we used crimped butt connectors.
 

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Romex can be exposed, but needs to be protected from physical damage if in a location where that might happen. Most inspectors wouldn’t consider the underside of kitchen upper cabinets to be one of those locations. I used these transformers which can be wired with Romex directly (24, 45 or 60 watt).

https://www.armacostlighting.com/shop/24-watt-class-2-electronic-power-supply/

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Can you reconfigure the 14-2's to supply the low voltage from the power supply?

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rjniles

That's a good idea, I didn't end up doing that but now that you mention it if the DC would work with the 14 gauge I could have put a LED driver under one cabinet and used the 14 gauge for the low voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Romex can be exposed, but needs to be protected from physical damage if in a location where that might happen. Most inspectors wouldn’t consider the underside of kitchen upper cabinets to be one of those locations. I used these transformers which can be wired with Romex directly (24, 45 or 60 watt).

https://www.armacostlighting.com/shop/24-watt-class-2-electronic-power-supply/

Chris
Thanks Chris ~ I did see those but I was still worried about the exposed Romex I wish those drivers had a junction box like the hard wire adapter boxes I used, I won't argue the unlikelihood of risk being under the cabinet but I am not able to take a chance with a failed inspection so I went with the GE linkable lights. See the pics I posted at the end
 

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That's a nice, neat installation. In at least one of the locations you needed to tie two Romex together to continue on to other fixtures (so needed a junction box), so you wouldn't have been able to use a direct connection transformer like I used.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's a nice, neat installation. In at least one of the locations you needed to tie two Romex together to continue on to other fixtures (so needed a junction box), so you wouldn't have been able to use a direct connection transformer like I used.

Chris
In the case of needing to run to multiple fixtures I'd link the Leds at the low voltage side and since I can't just leave well enough alone I'm thinking about running the tape leds on the top of the cabinets and I'm going to use the transformers in your link inside of the cabinets and run the romex through a hole I drill into the junction boxes that are under the cabinets and directly into the power supplies mounted inside the cabinets and run the low voltage lines up the backside of the styles of the cabinets 100% invisible and no exposed romex at all.
 
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