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Hey guys, I took possession of a brand new build this week, and am looking to add some under cabinet lighting in the kitchen. (builder wanted an arm and a leg for it, and im happy enough to diy). I did have the builder rough in the electrical, meaning the switch is installed and I have red-sheathed wires run to the underside of each cabinet.

Heres my question:
The led strip I bought has quite a large transformer, meaning it is too large to be hidden behind the ‘facia’ on the bottom of the cabinet.

As per the manufacturers instructions, this is how the strip should be installed:
- Terminate the red wire with a female plug
- Plug the large transformer into the female plug, powering the strip
see pic outlining the suggested layout

What I’d like to do is:
- Cut off the transformer from the led strip power supply, and connect it directly to the red wire coming out from underneath the upper cabinet
see second pic for my proposed layout.


Normally I wouldn’t do something like this, as I understand the transformer steps-down the power, which is necessary when LEDS are plugged into a regular outlet. My question though is, do these red-sheathed wires need to be stepped down? This is a brand new install of wiring that was intended to be used for LED under cabinet lighting. Is the transformer in this case un-necessary? Or if I bypass it will I burn my brand new house down?
 

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Licensed electrician
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13,490 Posts
If the LEDs are 12 or 24 volts you cannot run them on 120 volts. The transformer is needed.
 

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QUOTE - [Normally I wouldn’t do something like this, as I understand the transformer steps-down the power, which is necessary when LEDS are plugged into a regular outlet. My question though is, do these red-sheathed wires need to be stepped down? This is a brand new install of wiring that was intended to be used for LED under cabinet lighting. Is the transformer in this case un-necessary? Or if I bypass it will I burn my brand new house down?]

1 - do these red-sheathed wires need to be stepped down?
Yes most certainly !
2 - Is the transformer in this case un-necessary?
NO most certainly not !
3 - Will I burn my brand new house down?
A bit dramatic but no, But YOUR led lights would be
toasted instantly and you will probably blow a breaker.

You need to find somewhere to put the proper LED drivers
and run low voltage wire to the lights.
 

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Very Stable Genius
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I don't know what that red cable is. Looks like some kind of low voltage cable
but I'm far from certain.
OP needs to ask builder (or better yet the electrical contractor) how the rough
in was done and what type lights the wiring supports.
 
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