Acceptable wiring for lighting?

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  #1  
Old 01-07-06, 11:08 PM
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Acceptable wiring for lighting?

I ran a 14/2 cable from kitchen light switch box to cabinets on opposite side of room and have the cable coming out of a 1/2" hole I drilled in drywall just below the bottom back edge of cabinets. I will replace the existing switch with a dual rocker to control ceiling and UCL lights separately.

I plan on putting in 3 of these lights.

Two(and a half) questions...

1)Can I hook up the supply cable from wall straight into the first light(inside housing w/wire nuts) or do I need some sort of J-Box in place on/in wall?

2)the wiring attached to the light is a regular(AWG 16) lamp type cord about 6' long.Can I cut the plug off the end of each and use the 16/2 to connect from light to light or do I need to remove them and connect the lights(in parallel of course) with 14/2 cable?

2 1/2)If I can use the cords,with both wires being white,should I be concerned with polarity(and add black tape to the proper wire in each light)?


Thanks again for all the responses,suggestions and help.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-07-06, 11:30 PM
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First, are you sure that you have the hot and neutral in the switch? It is also very popular for the power to go to the light j-box in the ceiling first, and then the cable going to the switch contains only the hot and the switch return, but NOT a neutral (what the white wire NORMALLY is.) You can tell by looking behind the switch. If the whites are tied together in the back of the box and the black goes to the switch and another black goes back out, you can probably procede with your plan. If you only have one cable in the switch box and the black is on one side of the switch and the white is on another, you will need to do additional work.

On to your questions, if you can use a suitable clamp/strain-relief/wire-protection device going into the fixture, you do not need a j-box in the wall.

You can't use the lamp cord inside the wall or as the chain between fixtures. This cord is designed for the load of one individual fixture, among other issues.

This cord usually identifies its neutral by ribbing or writing on the wire designed to be used for the neutral. But you aren't going to use it anyway...
 
  #3  
Old 01-07-06, 11:50 PM
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Thanks for the fast response Mac,

I had dropped the light fixture and saw just a black and white wired straight onto fixture..so I figured that meant that was the end of the run).Just to be sure,I checked what you advised and each leg of the switch has a black wire with the whites all wirenutted together.So,I believe I'm OK there.

You can't use the lamp cord inside the wall or as the chain between fixtures. This cord is designed for the load of one individual fixture, among other issues.

So,the cords are out for sure..I will run 14/2 cable between the lights and make sure I secure them where they enter the housing.

if you can use a suitable clamp/strain-relief/wire-protection device going into the fixture, you do not need a j-box in the wall.

Not quite sure I understood this.......did you mean if I secure the cables as above I can just have the "feed" coming right out of the wall and into first light without it being in a J-box.It is stapled to stud inside the wall.

Is there such a thing as a small J-box that would take a single receptacle that I could mount or is this a NONO as it would be considered a countertop receptacle and be subject to code stuff?

Thanks Again and God Bless
 
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Old 01-08-06, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by firhill
if you can use a suitable clamp/strain-relief/wire-protection device going into the fixture, you do not need a j-box in the wall.

Not quite sure I understood this.......did you mean if I secure the cables as above I can just have the "feed" coming right out of the wall and into first light without it being in a J-box.It is stapled to stud inside the wall.

Is there such a thing as a small J-box that would take a single receptacle that I could mount or is this a NONO as it would be considered a countertop receptacle and be subject to code stuff?
You may already know this and be confused by my language, but you can't just run the Romex into the fixture through the hole cut in the sheet metal of the fixture without a connector, sort of a strain-relieving grommet-looking thing. You may even need to enlarge the hole (to 7/8") to use a proper one.

I'm not a residential Code expert, so I can't tell you definitively on the single-receptacle idea, but my gut says it wouldn't be to Code; I'm sure by tomorrow, a residential expert can tell us for sure. I'd get flamed if I implied it could be SAFE without being to Code. Either way, the direct-wire would look better, wouldn't it?
 
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Old 01-08-06, 06:37 AM
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If you want to plug these lights in and use them in that manner then you would have to plug them into one of the 20 amp kitchen counter circuits, unless you were able to place a receptacle outside the counter space and run the cord to it.

You cannot simply drill a hole in the case of the light and connect 14-2 directly to the light wires. That would not be code compliant either, unless the lights were designed for that sort of installation.

Here is my suggestion.

General Electric makes a kitchen under cabinet light that will be perfect for you. They have them designed for plug in and for direct wiring. For plug in you plug them in, and can even daisy chain from on to the next. For direct wire you connect your cable using the included cable clamp and remove the cord and plug.

Other manufacturers make similar units, and what you have may even be designed for this type of installation. The installation instructions will tell you.

To be code compliant you must follow the manufacturers instructions. Can you be safe and still be not code compliant? Absolutely. Do I recommend it? No. Somewhere along the way you (or your family or estate) will sell the house. It's possible that some home inspector will flag a code violation and the potential buyer will make a stink about it, insisting that you fix it. I suggest that you do it right now, rather than later.
 
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Old 01-08-06, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft
You cannot simply drill a hole in the case of the light and connect 14-2 directly to the light wires. That would not be code compliant either, unless the lights were designed for that sort of installation.

Here is my suggestion.

General Electric makes a kitchen under cabinet light that will be perfect for you. They have them designed for plug in and for direct wiring.
Excellent point, Racraft! I didn't think of that until this morning, and by now you've beaten me to it. That's why it's so good there's so many of us here!!

Modifying a fixture technically violates its UL listing, and if these are plug-in type fixtures, they should really stay that way.

I agree to get the right kind of fixtures, but other than that I think you have a good plan.
 
  #7  
Old 01-09-06, 02:10 AM
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Thanks Guys..all points duly noted...and back to the drawing board

If you want to plug these lights in and use them in that manner then you would have to plug them into one of the 20 amp kitchen counter circuits, unless you were able to place a receptacle outside the counter space and run the cord to it.

So,this would be code compliant if the receptacles(fed by power via the light switch) are mounted under the bottom of cupboards higher up than the regular countertop receptacles?
 

Last edited by firhill; 01-09-06 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 01-09-06, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by firhill
So,this would be code compliant if the receptacles(fed by power via the light switch) are mounted under the bottom of cupboards higher up than the regular countertop receptacles?
No. Anything above the counter and below the cabinets would be a counter top circuit. You could only get away with a receptacle that was, say, 12 inches off the floor next to the end cabinet and the wire ran up the wall next to the cabinet and was routed to the light. This of course would look ugly and would have it's own safety issues as well, but would probably be code legal.
 
  #9  
Old 01-09-06, 12:03 PM
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Hi Bob,

I really appreciate the time you take to respond and apologize for the many questions but I wanna make sure I do everything safely AND by the book.

How about if if put the lighting receptacle(s) a few inches above the bottom of the cupboards in the diagonal space left behind the upper corner cabinet.

I would be able to reach under up and in to plug the cords in and the receptacles would not be visible in the "open" countertop space between the upper and lower cabinets.

Do you think that may be acceptable?

Thanks again for the advice.
 
  #10  
Old 01-09-06, 12:09 PM
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That's a very interesting question. I really don't know what an inspector would say on this.
 
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