running 12v wire for LED installation

Old 02-17-13, 05:41 PM
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running 12v wire for LED installation

We are building a new kitchen in a previously vacant room. I will have cabinets on both sides of the room with LED strips tied to same dimmer switch. To accomplish this I will need to run the 12v wire down through an enclosed wall and through the crawl space and up the opposite wall. I'm thinking to use 16/2 wire to link the LED strips together. What is the correct way to do run this type of wire?

Thanks for your help.
Old 02-17-13, 06:02 PM
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From a previous thread: PCBoss wrote:

.... LV cable is not for use in the wall. Both the national electrical code and manufacturers instructions say no.

Run NM cable off the output of the transformer to the cabinet bottom and then switch to the LV cable in a junction box.

Voltage drop becomes an issue especially with 12 volt systems so you would want to run a larger cable size than normal. Ampacity will be 10x higher on the 12 volt system too. You want to keep the output cable length as short as possible to avoid dim lights at the end of the cable.

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Old 02-18-13, 06:30 AM
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I wouldn't even try to run a low voltage cable from one side of the room to the other, the voltage drop will be too much. I'd run 120v each set of cabinets, popping out under the cabinets or a box at the backside of one cabinet, put the transformer there, then run low voltage under that set of cabinets, one light to the next. This will keep the low voltage runs outside the walls and as close as possible to the lights.

Last edited by Zorfdt; 02-18-13 at 06:51 AM. Reason: Misread & Misquoted Ray & PCBoss. Edited to reflect what I really meant :)
Old 02-18-13, 06:43 AM
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Just checking.
The dimmer you are going to use is specifically for led lighting right?

You can't normally dim led lighting with a dimmer designed for incandescent bulbs.
Old 02-18-13, 06:52 AM
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As Zorfdt said closer the better but as PCBoss said if you want to run in the walls use NM-b (Romex) and be sure gauge is large enough. Low voltage needs larger sizes then line voltage to compensate for the voltage drop. If the transformer doesn't have a fuse on the output side you may want to add one for safety. Remember just because it is low voltage doesn't mean it can't start a fire in the wall. Give us the total amps of the lights and someone can advise on correct wire size.

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