whats the best way to connect lights....

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Old 09-23-05, 10:36 AM
LinT
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whats the best way to connect lights....

I will be installing undermount kitchen lights. I have a piece of romex (i thnk 14 guage) sticking out of the wall to use for power. The lights can either be "hard wired" or plugged into an outlet. The switch for the romex will be a dimmer, so i was under the understanding I had to hard wire them (outlets cant be dimmable). Since the wire for the lights are not the same guage as the romex, i cant just connect them together, right? How should I connect them? Just make an outlet (connected to the dimmer, against code)? How can I connect 2 different wire guages together?? Thanks.
 
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Old 09-23-05, 10:57 AM
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You can't place a receptacle on the end of this piece of 14 gage cable. I say this for two reasons. First because you want to use a dimmer. Second because you are not allowed to have a 15 amp circuit serving a kitchen countertop area.

To hard wire these lights, you throw away the cord and plug wiring that came with the lights and directly connect your source wire to the wires inside the lights. If your source wire is too short to reach, then you must lengthen it, either by replacing it back to the switch or by installing a permanently accessible junction box and adding on a new piece of 14 gage cable.
 
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Old 09-23-05, 11:01 AM
LinT
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your suggesting using 14 quage wire all the way through? the lights wont connect to a 14 guage wire, its too thick. Is there a way to have a juction box with 14 guage in and "plug wire" out?

and btw...why cant there be a 15amp circuit serving a counter top area? What does it need to be?

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-23-05, 11:02 AM
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Does your question pertain to connecting #14 Branch-Circuit conductors (the "romex cable) to fixture-wire leads inside "luminaires" which will installed on the bottom of wall cabinets?
 
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Old 09-23-05, 11:05 AM
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If the lights are designed to be hardwired then they are designed to accept either a 14 gage or a 12 gage wire. Follow the directions that come with the lights.
 
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Old 09-23-05, 11:32 AM
LinT
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OK...the instructions "say" they "are not for permanent hardwire installation" but that they are dimmable. I know its not to "code" (and i am ok with that) but can i terminate the romex into a 110 outlet, plug the lights into it and just make the outlet dimmable? Are there any safety issues with that? It would be the only thing on the outlet.
 
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Old 09-23-05, 11:58 AM
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Now you are stating that the lights are not for hardwired installation, whereas before you stated that they were. You bought the wrong lights.

Hardwiring these lights violates code (since they arenít designed to be) and dimming a receptacle violates code.
 
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Old 09-23-05, 12:10 PM
LinT
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when i first posted i was at work and didnt have the lights in front of me. I was told when I bought them that they could be installed either way. I understand the importance of not hardwiring them but do not know why I cant make the outlet dimmable. Other than not being to code are there any safety issues with putting that single outlet on a dimmer?
 
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Old 09-23-05, 12:13 PM
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Return them for your money back. You were given wrong information.
 
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Old 09-23-05, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by LinT
when i first posted i was at work and didnt have the lights in front of me. I was told when I bought them that they could be installed either way. I understand the importance of not hardwiring them but do not know why I cant make the outlet dimmable. Other than not being to code are there any safety issues with putting that single outlet on a dimmer?
the reason you can't make the outlet dimmable is that someone WILL plug another device into the outlet and it won't work, will destroy it, or cause a fire becaue the outlet is dimmed. Kitchen counters require 20A small appliance circuits. There are very specific codes for kitchens and baths. I suggest that you return the lights and get some that you can hard wire.
 
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Old 09-23-05, 12:28 PM
LinT
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ok, lets say i want to plug them into an outlet....are their any saftey issues with having the outlet on a dimmer?
 
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Old 09-23-05, 12:32 PM
LinT
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thanks for actually answering my question scott. I can assure that no one will be plugging anything else into the outlet because it will be on top of the cabinets and when (if ever) i move out i will replace the dimmer with a regular switch. Do you know if home depot (or equivelent) sells undermount lights that can be hardwired?
 
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Old 09-23-05, 12:34 PM
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All of the big box stores sell under cabinet lights that can be hard wired.
 
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