Undercabinet LED kitchen lighting-Power Source?

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  #1  
Old 04-07-16, 01:52 PM
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Question Undercabinet LED kitchen lighting-Power Source?

Is it against code to pull power for kitchen undercabinet LED lighting from the basement below the kitchen? I have easy access and can plug into an outlet, or tap in a transformer easily since its all exposed. Is this against code to pull from a source outside of the kitchen like this?

Power requirements are 12V DC / 1.5 Watts per foot, and I'm running about 16 feet total (25 Watts).

I've read some posts how it is not ideal to pull power for undercabinet lighting from a small appliance branch circuit (SABC) so i'm looking for other possibilities.
 
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Old 04-07-16, 02:11 PM
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If you use all approved wiring methods inside the walls, you can power the kitchen lights from the basement circuit. In other words, a standard cord-and-plug cannot run through the wall. If your low-voltage wiring is rated class 2, that can go through the walls.

It is against code to connect hardwired lighting to the SABCs, or any other dedicated or quasi-dedicated circuit (laundry, bathroom, etc). Code does not cover plug-in lights as long as the wiring does not pass through the walls/floors, but stapling a cord to the kitchen backsplash isn't usually an aesthetically pleasing option.
 
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Old 04-07-16, 10:57 PM
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Thanks for that info. I did go with a thicker 18 gauge CL2 coated wiring since I was passing the wire through walls to get from cabinet section to cabinet section. So I should be good then with this plan.

I will plan to run an outlet in the basement below the kitchen on a general circuit and then snake the first wire lead after the 12V power source up to the first LED via the CL2 wiring.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 06:08 PM
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Exactly what I'm planning on doing!

After much thought about the project, I figured mounting LED power supplies in the basement next to a 110 outlet will be cleaner than having them in a kitchen cabinet and also allow for future expansion. Kind of a central LED power supply rack. The power supplies will be near a laundry tub so might as well use LEDs there too!

I didn't see anything in the code that prevented this type of installation as long as CL2 wiring is used behind walls as stated. Wasn't too easy finding CL2 wire. Use some CL3 14/2. Might be overkill but while I had the kitchen apart and the run is going to be kind of long figured better safe than sorry. Voltage drop should be small!

I used 18/2 thermostat wire for some short runs with few LEDs.

I was looking for a clean, professional looking installation and decided on this plan.

Good luck with your project and keep us posted with your progress.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 07:22 PM
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Rodster, your plan sounds good but I doubt you have a 110 volt receptacle in the basement. Residential voltage has been 120 volts for several decades.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 08:33 PM
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It's a very old outlet. Does you car have and engine or a motor?
 
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Old 04-08-16, 08:48 PM
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Both. In fact I need to replace one of the motors on the climate control system.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 08:54 PM
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Both? Sounds like you got one of them fancy hi-brids.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 09:17 PM
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@[email protected], glad I'm not alone!

I was torn between what CL2 wire to use, and finally settled on 18 gauge. This is the one I used in case you need more and want smaller wire. I was also after the same thing, a clean install with minimal wires in the cabinetry. I was at a friends over a holiday and he showed me his lighting and was so proud. He opened the cabinet and literally had wire on both sides, I was horrified and told myself I would never do it like that. So I drilled holes on the bottom lip into the walls, and snaked the line. Talk about a pain, but the job is as clean as it could possibly be. I have a power source at the exact same spot from old Undercabinet lighting, but its from the SABC so that's why I was asking about basement power. So glad I could do it that way safely.

Here is the wire I used in case you are still in the buying process:
Amazon.com: Monoprice 100ft 18AWG CL2 Rated 2-Conductor Loud Speaker Cable (For In-Wall Installation): Electronics
Reasonably priced, and ships 2 day amazon prime.

What LED's are you using? What switch?What power source? I'm going with the strip LED's on Amazon in warm white, and am considering a wireless switch. For power I have a 30 amp wall plug that works great, but I may switch it over to a transformer type power source depending if I want an actual switch in the wall or go with the remote control switch.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 11:22 PM
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For power I have a 30 amp wall plug
A general purpose 120 volt receptacle by code can not exceed 20 amps. Did you wire it with #10 or use smaller wire? Is your fire insurance up to date... wait it doesn't mater. When they see the 30 amp breaker they will deny your claim.
 
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Old 04-09-16, 08:35 AM
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A general purpose 120 volt receptacle by code can not exceed 20 amps. Did you wire it with #10 or use smaller wire? Is your fire insurance up to date... wait it doesn't mater. When they see the 30 amp breaker they will deny your claim.
I think he means 30amp 12v (360w) wall plug supply. Not to worry.
 
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Old 04-09-16, 09:03 AM
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@[email protected], glad I'm not alone!

I was torn between what CL2 wire to use, and finally settled on 18 gauge. This is the one I used in case you need more and want smaller wire. I was also after the same thing, a clean install with minimal wires in the cabinetry. I was at a friends over a holiday and he showed me his lighting and was so proud. He opened the cabinet and literally had wire on both sides, I was horrified and told myself I would never do it like that. So I drilled holes on the bottom lip into the walls, and snaked the line. Talk about a pain, but the job is as clean as it could possibly be. I have a power source at the exact same spot from old Undercabinet lighting, but its from the SABC so that's why I was asking about basement power. So glad I could do it that way safely.

Here is the wire I used in case you are still in the buying process:
Amazon.com: Monoprice 100ft 18AWG CL2 Rated 2-Conductor Loud Speaker Cable (For In-Wall Installation): Electronics
Reasonably priced, and ships 2 day amazon prime.

What LED's are you using? What switch?What power source? I'm going with the strip LED's on Amazon in warm white, and am considering a wireless switch. For power I have a 30 amp wall plug that works great, but I may switch it over to a transformer type power source depending if I want an actual switch in the wall or go with the remote control switch.
I agree, when I was doing my research I saw some really scary and sloppy installs! I didn't like the idea of a power supply hidden in a cabinet.

Got the same wire from a different seller. I used an online voltage drop calculator to determine the wire size then bumped it up one size.

I got my LEDs from an ebay seller since he has really nice aluminum housings that will look clean under the cabinets. I'll find his info for you. Thinking about going with RGBW for the wow factor.

Planning on using a remote control. Haven't picked a power supply yet. Depends what I find that works and looks the best.

Still doing other remodeling so the LED installation will be one of the last things done.

I will keep you posted here on what I find. Let me know how your project goes.

Rod
 
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Old 04-10-16, 07:50 AM
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Sorry guys, totally messed up the whole power requirements in that last post, it was super late and the technical specifics got jumbled. The power source I am considering using is a power brick you plug in, much like a laptop power brick. It is only 12V-2amp, not 30amp.

The LED's i'm planning on using pull 1.5W per foot, and I have about 16 feet worth. 18 gauge should be fine for that, no?

Rod, sounds like you and I are 2 in the same. We both like clean work, and research like crazy! AND are DIY type guys, cool.

What did you pay for your LED's? Have a link? Mine are just the plain jane strip with 3M tape on the back side. I considered fancier setups and the aluminum strips to bump the lights down a bit, then just settled. RGBW is way cool, but I know i'll never use it realistically so I just went warm white, but more power to you, disco party in your kitchen.

I bought a $5 remote control off Amazon that surprisingly works really good. I'm still debating on putting a dimmer in the wall with a 120V to 12V type power supply, but i'm still undecided. The controller worked so well, and a replacement would only be $5 if ever lost so it might be worthy.

What type of projects are you doing? I'm renovating my kitchen.
 
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Old 04-10-16, 08:01 AM
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I'm still debating on putting a dimmer in the wall with a 120V to 12V type power supply,
You would need to use a hard wired transformer. Code says a standard receptacle can not be on a dimmer. (There is an exception using a special receptacle but that requires also changing the plug and that can't be done on a power brick.)
 
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Old 04-10-16, 09:03 AM
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You would need to use a hard wired transformer. Code says a standard receptacle can not be on a dimmer. (There is an exception using a special receptacle but that requires also changing the plug and that can't be done on a power brick.)
Unrelated to undercabinet LED but related to dimming and you probably know the answer.

If I have an outlet that has the top wired to a switch and the bottom hot all the time, is it possible to use a dimmer on the switched side? Perfect example is outlets on either side of a bed.

I'm guessing code doesn't allow it but how could it be done to code?

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 04-10-16, 09:17 AM
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I knew what you were talking about since I'm doing the exact same thing! Scary, we think alike!

I'll get you the link to where I got my LEDs and fixtures.

18ga should be ok if the distance from the power supply to the leds isn't too long. Here's a good link I found on voltage drop info.

What is Voltage Drop? 12V LED Strip light wire gauge calculation in long runs

I don't need the RGB LEDs but read about a guy who spent $70K on a kitchen remodel and his wife liked the cheap RGB under cabinet LEDs the best! Thought about resale and what a potential buyer would think.

I am remodeling the whole 1st floor of my house so the kitchen is included. If you search for my posts here you will find some on flooring and nailers. When I'm done with the 1st floor it's on to the 2nd floor. Shouldn't be quite as involved.

Good luck with your project and keep in touch.

Rod
 
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Old 04-10-16, 12:20 PM
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If I have an outlet that has the top wired to a switch and the bottom hot all the time, is it possible to use a dimmer on the switched side?
No, not a standard receptacle. By code you can use a non standard dimmer receptacle that on a special plug fits. In the picture below notice the stop on the top receptacle that prevents using a regular plug and the recess in the special plug for it.

Name:  Lutron-Electronics-Introduces-Dimmable-Receptacle.jpg
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  #18  
Old 04-10-16, 05:52 PM
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Interesting, you learn something new every day! Can't say I ever saw one. I did some research and it seems the code was changed in 2002 to address this. My house was build before 2002 so I'm good.

Thanks for the info.
 
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