Power for lighted vanity mirrors

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  #1  
Old 09-14-15, 12:10 PM
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Power for lighted vanity mirrors

Hi. Iíd like to get the groupís opinion about a project Iím planning. For reference, I am located in Orange County, California.

Our bathroom has a double vanity sink counter with one large mirror above it and sconce lighting above the mirror at each sink. The mirror is about 80 x 34 inches and spans the length of the counter. There is additional room lighting so these lights are mainly for the hair and makeup use at the sinks.

My wife is interested in replacing the mirror with lighted vanity mirrors. If I get a pair of lighted mirrors that are each around 32 x 32 I could put them in place of the one large mirror but I also need to work out the power connections.

Since I will be removing the lighted sconces, I need to know if itís in code to use the existing wires that connect to the lights and move them a little lower (behind the mirrors) to turn them into a pair of recessed electrical outlets? I donít know yet if there is enough slack to move the wires or if I will have to have new wiring run from the wall switch.

If I get a commercially made lighted mirror it will come with bare wires which would connect to a wall box the way lights normally do, but if I make my own mirror with LED strips then it would have a power transformer with a normal outlet plug.

Iíll be using an electrician to do the wiring and not doing it myself but I could use some input to make sure I havenít missed something important before I call in the professional.

Thanks!
 
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Old 09-14-15, 12:22 PM
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Could you make your mirrors Large enough to cover the existing boxes if you go with DIY LED mirrors? Then if the mirrors were mounted in an easily removable way you could use recessed receptacles behind them.
 
  #3  
Old 09-15-15, 07:53 AM
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Maybe, but I think the mirrors will be too tall if they have to go up that high. But it would certainly make my job easier!

My question still stands, is there some inherent problem with taking the wires running to the light fixtures and turning them into recessed outlets (that will only be powering lights)?
 
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Old 09-15-15, 09:28 AM
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Any 120 volt receptacles would require gfi protection.
 
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Old 09-15-15, 10:04 AM
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My question still stands, is there some inherent problem with taking the wires running to the light fixtures and turning them into recessed outlets
No, so long as the wires will reach and the receptacles are GFCI protected. But you aren't likely to find recessed GFCI receptacles so protection will need to be before the receptacles. If the wires won't reach any splice must remain accessible.
 
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Old 09-17-15, 10:04 AM
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Ok, so I understand putting in wall outlets is impractical because it would have to be both GFCI and recessed which I probably won't be able to get. But - if I were to take the low voltage transformer for the LED lights and cut the electrical plug (the 110V side) off and connect it directly to the wiring in a wall box, is that ok?
 
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Old 09-17-15, 10:45 AM
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The recessed receptacle itself does not need to be a GFCI type, but it does need GFCI protection. This can be executed by having another GFCI receptacle, faceless GFCI device or GFCI breaker upstream on the circuit. A GFCI breaker is probably the easiest, but will run ~$40-50. The other options are a little cheaper if you have the space to install another box somewhere out of the way (back of the vanity cabinet, in a closet, etc).

Cutting off the plug of any factory assembly is not permitted. If you do go with low voltage, you can install the outlet and transformer in the vanity cabinet(s) below, and run class 2 low voltage wiring up through the wall to the LEDs. This might be easier as you don't need the room for a junction box behind or beside the mirror.
 
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Old 09-17-15, 11:00 AM
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Good to know about cutting off the plug. I just realized that they make LED drivers that can be wired in (without the plug) so that's an option if I build my own mirror.

Thank you for your feedback, everyone!
 
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