Kitchen under cabinet receptacles and lighting

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  #1  
Old 01-14-15, 07:43 AM
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Kitchen under cabinet receptacles and lighting

I would like, with the least amount of effort, to install under cabinet receptacles and lighting.

Is it possible to;
1) Use a receptacle strip (like Plugmold plug-in strip) plugged into the receptacle on the backsplash and secured to the bottom of the upper cabinets,

2) Use 12v LED waterproof adhesive strip lights (from Amazon) plugged into said strip via a wall wart.

3) Assuming I can do the above, I believe local code requires tamper-resistant receptacles; would the strip most likely need to be as well?

4) If I cannot do the above, could I replace one receptacle with a receptacle/switch and have just the LEDs plugged into it and controlled by the switch?

Thank you
 
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Old 01-14-15, 08:33 AM
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Sort of...the electrical code doesn't allow any lighting to be hardwired into any of the small appliance branch circuits (kitchen receptacles) which are intended to be used only for cooking appliances. So any lighting involving permanent wiring, switches or built-in fixtures cannot be connected to those circuits. However, the electrical code doesn't regulate the things you plug in, like plug strips and LED strips because they are not considered to be part of the permanent wiring of the building so you can really do what you want in that regard. Plug strips do not have to be tamper-resistant (although it's probably a good idea if you have small children around).

To do this the official code compliant way for built-in undercabinet lighting, you would either need to install a new circuit (ideally 15A) or extend from an existing nearby lighting circuit to a switch, then run wiring to each hardwired cabinet light.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 11:14 AM
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There are no kids, so I can even install the lemon flavored plug strip.

It sounds like I will do the whole plug-in idea then, since I have those LED strips from other projects and actual hardwired strips are overly expensive, I still have not fully wrapped my head around how I am supposed to run low voltage wires, and I have no spare spots in my breaker box.

Thank you for all the insight. Since the existing receptacle is 20 amp, does the replacement receptacle with switch need to also be 20 amp? Or are you telling me that I cannot even install a receptacle with a switch because I'm not allowed to replace that receptacle with one that has a switch?
 
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Old 01-14-15, 11:25 AM
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I can't think of a rule prohibiting a switched receptacle in the kitchen. The switch does not need to be 20A.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 11:36 AM
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Doing something similar on dad's kitchen remodel. Used plugmold, but it's connected half and half to the 2 separate GFCI small appliance circuits that supply the kitchen countertops.

For the undercabinet LEDs, we put a couple outlets above the cabinets where they are hidden, (on the kitchen light circuit) and power the LED transformers from those outlets. The LED's have their own dimmable remote control.
 
  #6  
Old 01-14-15, 12:41 PM
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I can't think of a rule prohibiting a switched receptacle in the kitchen. The switch does not need to be 20A.
Let me just clarify my question;

The counter currently has three 20 amp receptacles (connected by 12 gauge to a 20 amp breaker). Can I take out one of those and replace it with a 15 amp receptacle/switch that the plug strip is plugged into?

This has the effects of;
1) A 15 amp outlet on a 20 amp breaker,
2) A small appliance receptacle that is controlled by a switch
3) I doubt that switch/receptacle comes in GFCI, so I might need to change some wiring or have the strip not be GFCI protected either. EDIT: I found some online that are GFCI, so that part is ok.
Thanks,
 
  #7  
Old 01-14-15, 01:00 PM
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All issues are ok by code as long as you maintain GFCI protection. Switched GFCI receptacles do exist.
 
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