Wiring Under cabinet lights


Old 08-04-08, 02:15 PM
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Wiring Under cabinet lights

I'm planning to install under cabinet lights in kitchen. I'm probably going to get the Pegasus Xenon Line Voltage hard wire lights. I have 5 light fixtures that I have to install. I've never done wiring for this type of lighting and have some questions.

Where should I leave the wires in the wall? How much excess should I leave for each fixture? I'll eventually be tiling the backsplash area so if I make a hole in sheet rock it's no big deal.

Are these fixtures similar to recessed lights? Do the fixtures come with an electrical box like recessed lights do so I could connect multiple wires to it?

Can the 5 light fixtures be run in parallel? When I run power from electrical box to first light can I then run another wire back into wall then to the 2nd fixture? This way each fixture would have two wires going into fixture except for the last fixture which would only have one (just like the recessed lights). Or do I need to run wire directly from electrical box to each of the 5 fixtures.

These fixtures come with hi/lo/off switches and are dimmable. Is it recommended to connect all lights to one dimmer switch? Or just use the switches on each light fixture?
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Old 08-04-08, 02:29 PM
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You asked alot of good questions, this is what I do, first off, try and only run one wire per fixture, and use 14 AWG, you will thank me later, 2nd, You will have to check with the manufacture where the knockouts are located, most likely they will be in the middle of the fixture.

Here is a picture of a rough in I did... I know I ran two wires per fixture, but I'm used to it...

Old 08-04-08, 04:49 PM
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Why only one wire per fixture? When you say one wire per fixture do you mean run a separate wire from power source to each fixture? So in my case I would have 5 lines connected to the same 15amp circuit going to the 5 fixtures?

I actually talked to a couple of the manufacturers of the light fixtures and they said you could daisy chain the light fixtures together with romex wiring just like you would with recessed lights. I prefer to do this as it will use less total wire. Any objections?
Old 08-04-08, 06:18 PM
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I done just about the excat the same as Chris75 been doing in the resdential area.

Yes you can daisy chain it { parallel run } but keep in your mind the undercabent have to be on the lighting circuit not the SABC { Small Applaince Branch Circuit } this part is very strict on the code.

Check with the manufacter to make sure where the KO will be located so you can able land the wire in right spot without much effort.

IF the undercabent lumiaire do have build in dimmer switch or a reguair switch use that and have a wall switch act like master switch for all of it.

One good head up watch out with some KO's some of them have very oddball size so make sure you use the standard size unless you got super thin luminare then it will use the oddball size.

Old 08-10-08, 03:01 AM
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The reason he said run single switch-legs to each under counter light is the fixture themselves are small and are a pain to make-up with 2 wires in it. He is absolutely correct that you will thank him later. Just run a single wire from your switch to each location. If you need to get a deeper box, then do so. I sometimes will run a switch-leg from the switch to a junction box like under the sink and hit every light from there. Easier to work with and the junction box is hidden from view. As far as height, just get the wire at the bottom of cabinet height. Like you said you have tile going up and if you need to move the wire over a bit to accomodate the knockout then you can cut the drywall to get over. Even if you didn't have tile going all the way up, if you keep it at or above a little bit the cabinet height you still can accomodate it as the cabinet will cover any sheetrock damage to get to that knock-out

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