Switching lights from an island

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Old 03-08-09, 09:16 PM
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Switching lights from an island

In my previous note I asked about lighting the kitchen and showed a picture including the "L"-shaped island with corner sink.

I would like to be able to turn on and off the island lights when standing in front of the sink. Running wiring is easy - I've got basement under the kitchen. BUT, what do I do about switches? And where do I put them? Do I need something special since it'll be near a sink? If I HAVE TO I can put the garbage disposal switch in the under-sink cabinet but I don't really like those. Is there some way to mount switches on the cabinet under the counter so I can control lights and disposal and such?

In the same vein, I need a way to plug in appliances. How/where do I put plug boxes on the island?
 
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Old 03-09-09, 06:34 AM
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The island should have at least one GFI protected receptacle. Normally this is installed on the side of the cabinet.

Your switches could be installed the same way.

Run the wire down thru the cabinet into the floor and then go up thru a nearby wall to get to the lights.
 
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Old 03-09-09, 08:26 AM
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So far as cutting holes in your island for additional outlets or switches and placing them in the proper locations so they or the wiring does not get in the way of drawers, plumbing, the sink, etc. and having the job look nice when finished...

Well that is sort of an experienced electrician/carpenter thing. Or advanced do-it-yourself thing.

Just being able to cut a square hole in wood and it be right and not messed up is something which takes a bit of experience and the right tools.

A beginner might cut a hole, then realize the electrical box will not go into the hole all the way because the sink is in the way, or install an outlet/wiring and then realize a drawer will not close all the way, etc.

If you are not experienced with this type of work, it might be best to have an electrician install the outlets/switches.
 
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Old 03-09-09, 09:50 AM
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Good points Bill,

I always measure several times just to make sure there is no interference between the boxes and the drawers or slides.
 
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Old 03-09-09, 01:34 PM
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Let me expand my question......

I'm not concerned about cutting holes and such (I spent some of my mis-spent youth in a cabinet shop). But, other than needing GFCI plugs, is there some kind of special light switch I should use? I haven't seen anything, and if the switch is all the way on the end of the island leg it'll be around 54 inches away from the sink, but if there IS a light switch (dimmer preferrably) that I should use, that's what I'll get.

I'd LIKE to mount both the light switch and the disposal switch in the front of the corner cabinet that holds the sink since that'd be most convenient. I"ll know more once I get the cabinet out of the packaging, but in the false drawer front would be ideal if it'll fit, be safe, and not get bumped all the time.
 
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Old 03-09-09, 02:59 PM
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No special switch is required. If having a switch near water bothers you you could use a moisture proof switch but it is not required and would look a bit strange IMO. You could use pneumatic switches also but they wouldn't be dimmable.
 

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Old 04-01-09, 05:48 PM
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Well, my wife has "resolved" the problem. She says that since the sink is in the middle of the island, and she'll have to turn on lights to get there, what's the purpose of a light switch by the sink? Just put the switches where she comes into the kitchen and be done with it!

Also, I was going to have the countertop lights, pantry lights, and island lights all on separate switches... She decided that was overkill and a single dimmer should turn everything on! BUT, I'll still run the wiring all the way over to the switches so if she changes her mind it'll be easy to split out different sets of lights and put them on separate switches.
 
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Old 04-01-09, 08:48 PM
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Concerning your garbage disposal, you can either install the switch under the sink, on the side of the cabinet, or use a pneumatic switch. You find will find them at the big box store by the garbage disposals.
 
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Old 04-02-09, 10:04 AM
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thanks,

I'll check out the pneumatic switches, although she says we should mount the switch under the sink. That's where it was in the house she grew up in.
 
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