Hard wiring undercabinet lighting, wire exiting height at wall?

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Old 10-06-09, 09:16 PM
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Question Hard wiring undercabinet lighting, wire exiting height at wall?

Remodelling kitchen, now I'm down to bare studs, I plan to put undercabinet lighting, but not sure at what point I should bring out the wires. I have 8' wall, 12" soffit, and I'm putting in 30" high wall cabinets.

I would like to add round flourosent puck light if available. I'm planning to put those that do not use a transformer. Dont want to use halogen or anythign that uses too much electricity. Are this florosent puck light with no transformers available?

Want to turn on those cabinet lights when the kitchen lights are turned on, so I'm thinking no transformers, just use florosent puck lights, I'm putting in 10 of those under each cabinet.
 
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Old 10-06-09, 10:06 PM
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well, first you need to realize that having exposed wiring is not acceptable so you need to engineer an installation that would be legal.

what I do when I do not know the exact height of the cabinet and I am using some sort of flexible wiring system (AC or MC cable), I bring the cable out well above where I think the bottom of the cabinet will be and when the cab is installed, cut the sheetrock down so the cable will exit immediately below the cabinet.

If there is a skirt (or whatever it is actually called) on the cabinet, you would drill a hole through the skirt immediately below the bottom panel so as to not have to go back up to the bottom of the cab once you got out of the wall.

as to anything using too much electricity: a watt is a watt no matter what is using it. Find low wattage lights that provide adequate lighting for your use if electric usage is a concern.

You might be able to find some nice LED lights. They are always coming out with new stuff all the time and LEDs are starting to show up in more and more places.
 
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Old 10-07-09, 06:02 AM
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The smallest round fluorescent I have seen is at least 12" diameter. Are you thinking about LED?

Puck style lighting results in a very uneven distribution of light. Linear styles are much more even.
 
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Old 10-07-09, 06:15 AM
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And I question putting 10 lights under each cabinet, or did I read it wrong?
 
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Old 10-07-09, 06:44 AM
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Even though you have been posting since 3 this morning you still read it correctly.
 
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Old 10-07-09, 06:47 PM
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Have to get up early to get wifey off to work at the hospital. Morning is wasted anyway.
Oooh, change that. This morning there was a thunderstorm at 3 am and both dogs are spazoid about thunder, so I had to get up with them so she could sleep til 5am.
 
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Old 10-07-09, 07:57 PM
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I do pretty much what Nap does. Make sure the cable pokes out above the bottom of the cabinet. You can figure the lower cabinet counter hight is 36" and most uppers are about 19-20" above that so if you poke out the cable above 56" (go 58-60") you should be safe. When it comes time to install the cabinets you just slot the drywall and poke it out just out the bottom.

If you are going to use puck lights I suggest having a false bottom on the cabinets you can then run all your wires and make your connections there. Otherwise it will look like crap with wires all over.

Nap - its a valance.
 
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Old 10-07-09, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post

Nap - its a valance.
Thanks TI.

I should know that. I just got done with about 400 under cabinet lights that hide well behind their "skirts". (new hospital)

The terminology kind of fell out before I typed my response. Now that it is reloaded, I shall endevour to keep it contained for future use.
 
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Old 10-07-09, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
Thanks TI.

I should know that. I just got done with about 400 under cabinet lights that hide well behind their "skirts". (new hospital)

The terminology kind of fell out before I typed my response. Now that it is reloaded, I shall endevour to keep it contained for future use.
Valance, skirt, its all good.
Eeek 400 UC lights! My back hurts just thinking about them.
 
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Old 10-08-09, 11:33 PM
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1 light under each cabinet

Seems I cannot edit my spelling or what I wrote to clarify in my first post.

I just plan to install one light under each cabinet; I'm planning to put in 9 wall cabinet, so it be nine wall cabinet and one above the kitchen sink, there is a soffit.

My main question was, at what height should I bring the wire out from the sheet rock. I'm putting in 30" high wall cabinet under a soffit 12" High, as per Nap I understand that I can bring the wire out very close to the bottom of the cabinet.

Can I get away without putting a transforrmer, not sure what the benifits are for a low voltage compared to a regular voltage light.

I plan to connect the wiring direct to the kitchen light, this is because I have full access to all wiring since I took the sheet rock out completely.

I looked for books for cabinet lighting, found nothing in HD or Lowes.
 
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Old 10-08-09, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
well, first you need to realize that having exposed wiring is not acceptable so you need to engineer an installation that would be legal.

what I do when I do not know the exact height of the cabinet and I am using some sort of flexible wiring system (AC or MC cable), I bring the cable out well above where I think the bottom of the cabinet will be and when the cab is installed, cut the sheetrock down so the cable will exit immediately below the cabinet.

If there is a skirt (or whatever it is actually called) on the cabinet, you would drill a hole through the skirt immediately below the bottom panel so as to not have to go back up to the bottom of the cab once you got out of the wall.

as to anything using too much electricity: a watt is a watt no matter what is using it. Find low wattage lights that provide adequate lighting for your use if electric usage is a concern.

You might be able to find some nice LED lights. They are always coming out with new stuff all the time and LEDs are starting to show up in more and more places.
Thanks. Any tips to cover exposed wiring from wall to light?
 
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Old 10-09-09, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
If you are going to use puck lights I suggest having a false bottom on the cabinets you can then run all your wires and make your connections there. Otherwise it will look like crap with wires all over.
I suggest putting in a false, removable, bottom on the cabinet, up inside the valance.

Just remember all high voltage (120 volt) splices are required to be in a listed box. All boxes are required to be accessible. Low voltage splices can be spliced anywhere.

12" soffit + 30" cabinet: I would poke out the cable 40" down from the ceiling.
 
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Old 10-09-09, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
I suggest putting in a false, removable, bottom on the cabinet, up inside the valance.

Just remember all high voltage (120 volt) splices are required to be in a listed box.
All boxes are required to be accessible. Low voltage splices can be spliced anywhere.

12" soffit + 30" cabinet: I would poke out the cable 40" down from the ceiling.
but if done artfully, many fixtures have enough room in them to allow the joints to be within the fixture itself.


the false bottom is a good idea or depending on what you want to use for lights, what I just installed a boatload of were something like these although mine were just T8 x 2' fluorescent lamps:

http://www.cnet.com/i/bto/20090120/D..._2_610x285.jpg


they were mounted with their back right against the wall or rear valance and tight to the bottom of the cabinet.

try this google page as well as looking at the "images" for that same search. You will find dozens of styles:

low profile under cabinet lighting - Google Search


You might also try a lighting showroom. While not known for inexpensive lights (if that is what you are looking for) they often have a much wider variety of styles. Maybe you will find something you like.
 
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Old 10-09-09, 01:02 PM
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This lights and wiring that Nap describes is exactly what I have in my home, like to install and try to persuade customers to get. They look nice, come in many types of light (floursent, LED, Xeon), the wiring is nicely hidden, and depending on the fixtures, you only need to feed them once because they are linkable.

IMO puck lights are nothing but a PITA and sound like another word.
 
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Old 10-12-09, 08:52 PM
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Question

Originally Posted by nap View Post
but if done artfully, many fixtures have enough room in them to allow the joints to be within the fixture itself.


the false bottom is a good idea or depending on what you want to use for lights, what I just installed a boatload of were something like these although mine were just T8 x 2' fluorescent lamps:

http://www.cnet.com/i/bto/20090120/D..._2_610x285.jpg


they were mounted with their back right against the wall or rear valance and tight to the bottom of the cabinet.
Seems that leaner light is the way to go, light seems to be more evenly distributed, I like the light that I see at the given above link. Are these fluorescent and were those low volt or 110 volt?

I love to put these with the regular 110 volt, so I do not have to fool with transformers, and if I stick with fluorescent - energy efficent too.

I plan to bring power from my kitchen celing light, install the fixture flush with the botom rear wall of the cabinet (hense no exposed wire) [wire terminates in the fixture]

One more question, with the above senario - two wires comes to each hole, one bringing in power and one taking out power to the next fixture - am i doing this right? This is how I wired my recessed lights in the kitchen.
 
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Old 10-12-09, 10:16 PM
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that particular light is an LED light. I would just look at local suppliers and see what is available that you like.

and yes, the in and out is the proper way to run the wiring. Just be sure that whatever fixture you use does have adequate room in the fixture to make such joints. I have seem some fixtures that had so little room in them that just a single feed was a tight fit.
 
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Old 10-13-09, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
that particular light is an LED light. I would just look at local suppliers and see what is available that you like.

and yes, the in and out is the proper way to run the wiring. Just be sure that whatever fixture you use does have adequate room in the fixture to make such joints. I have seem some fixtures that had so little room in them that just a single feed was a tight fit.
Nap Thanks.

I went to home depot, they have nothing for hardwiring, all are plugins. I was told to vist local lighting supply stores. I searched the web, difficult to narrow down.
I have a good idea now.

One drawback of fluorescent is its inability to be hooked to a dimmer, is this still true?
 
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Old 10-13-09, 07:15 PM
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I doubt that you will find a dimmable fluorescent undercabinet light.

One other disadvantage of UC fluorescent is the dark spots you get at the ends of the fixtures, especially when they mount end to end.
 
 

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