Replacing direct wire Halogen under cabinet fixtures with LEDs

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Old 09-24-13, 06:28 AM
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Replacing direct wire Halogen under cabinet fixtures with LEDs

Hi all-
I've searched these forums and others and don't think I've found a clear answer. My real understanding of electrical systems is very minimal, so pardon the ignorance in advance.

Situation: I have halogen under cabinet light fixtures that came with the house, direct wired into a kitchen switch (picture below). I'd like to replace them with LEDs - in part as the bulbs burn so hot they affect food stored in the cabinets above them, and in part as they seem to burn out on a near constant basis. I like the overall look of LED light, the longer life, lower power consumption, and cooler nature.

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I'd have five of these 15" wide fixtures (10 bulbs total) on one switch, one more on a second (over a nearby kitchen desk). I've looked into replacing them with something like the Utilitech dimmable direct wire LED 12" light bar, and attaching them to a dimmer switch.

Question: Can I just straight swap an LED bar for the existing fixtures, or do I need to be concerned about the power source in any way? I've read various posts of people working through challenges on different currents, wattage, etc yet nothing directly comparable to my situation.

Thanks in advance for any pointers or help!
 
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Old 09-24-13, 03:15 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Can I just straight swap an LED bar for the existing fixtures, or do I need to be concerned about the power source in any way?
IDK. What are the power specs for each? Are they both 120V 60Hz fixtures?
 
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Old 09-24-13, 07:56 PM
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The LED bar I'd like to use is 120VAC 60Hz. I can't find any labels on the installed halogen lamps, but the bulbs at least are 20W 12V G4 Halogens. No idea if that's enough to tell, but I'll keep googling around. Thanks for the reply and the welcome.
 
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Old 09-24-13, 09:13 PM
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The 12V for the existing lights is a concern. You need to find out where the transition from 120V is made.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 10:34 AM
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Thanks Nashkat1 - Coming back to this project after a long delay (life and all...). Any idea *how* to find out where the transition from 120V to 12V is being made? The hardwiring was done during home construction and - to the extent I can see at least - there's no way to see if there's a transformer behind the wall short of ripping a hole in it.

Given the wires come straight from the wall into the existing Halogen light bars, is it reasonable to assume the transition is handled within the current bars themselves? If so, in theory I could just swap the new LED fixtures in and be done with it (best case).

Thanks again!
 
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Old 12-01-13, 12:30 PM
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The transformer should not be in a wall. It may be in a nearby cabinet or perhaps mounted in the basement ceiling. It should be close by to minimize voltage drop.
 
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Old 12-02-13, 07:33 AM
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Given the wires come straight from the wall into the existing Halogen light bars, is it reasonable to assume the transition is handled within the current bars themselves? If so, in theory I could just swap the new LED fixtures in and be done with it (best case).
Possibly. What is the voltage on those wires? Is is AC or DC?
 
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