Help with recessed lights under cabinets

Old 10-31-05, 08:40 AM
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Help with recessed lights under cabinets

My brother emailed me today regarding some work in the kitchen. I've done some electrical work for him, but I don't know how do advise him on this. Here is his message. If you reply to this on the forum, I'll gather up the responses. Thanks again.
As you know we are re-doing our entire kitchen. Status of now is the cabinets are in along with the all appliances and floor. We decided to go with lights under our cabinets. Question regarding wiring; The contractor dropped what I thought was new wiring behind the three cabinets where the lights will go. Once the cabinets were in he hooked up to the under cabinet lighting. I showed him a dual dimmer switch that will be able to dim the light at the ceiling separately and the ones under the cabinet seperately. Well, when he finished he showed me that one needs to be "on" for the other to work. This is not want we wanted. We want to control each separately and independently of the other. What I realized is he only tapped into the existing ceiling light in attic. He tells me if we install a separate dimmer switch above the "dual" one both can work independently of one other and I will not have this problem. Please explain to me how could this be if he tapped into the existing light fixture won't one still need to be "on" for the other one to work? I'm upset because we paid alot extra for under cabinet lighting (looks nice by the way). Is my choice to have him rip out the new maple cabinet and start over if I want two separate switches? I am not sure if I am articulating the issue and doing a good job at explaining this? Please advise.
Old 10-31-05, 12:40 PM
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We don't have enough details to know, so we can only speculate. If he really did tap into switched power to feed the new lights, then the ceiling light will need to be on before the other lights work. However, just because he tapped power in at the ceiling does not necessarily mean that he tapped switched power.

Buy a $2 neon circuit tester. See if the power to the new wires is controlled by the kitchen's main lighting switch. If it is, ask him to come back and make it not so. Ripping out the cabinets should not be necessary. It should be possible with wiring changes elsewhere.

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