Undercabinet LED for Kitchen Recommendations and Length

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Old 12-11-13, 09:48 PM
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Undercabinet LED for Kitchen Recommendations and Length

Hi all,

I have 12 gauge romex runs for undercabinet LED lighting in the kitchen, which need to be hardwired. First, do any of you know which brand/product may work well with 12 gauge since its thicker (needs to have a built in junction box).

Second, I have a run of 50" and 40"....for good light coverage do I need to get a light for the whole run?

Could I just do a 30" light for the 50" run and a 30" light for the 40" run? Will this have enough coverage?
 
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Old 12-12-13, 07:37 AM
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Double check the LED's that you are planning on using, some are low voltage and the romex will not work. If the transformer is at the begining of the line, then low voltage wire is needed. There are others that you can hardwire to the power in your kitchen.
 
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Old 12-12-13, 08:04 AM
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Actually Romex is fine for low voltage it just needs to be connected to the secondary of the transformer. Some low voltage wire in fact may not be suitable depending on installation because it isn't rated for use in walls.
 
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Old 12-12-13, 08:42 AM
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You mentioned 12ga romex but did not say if the cable is bringing 120 volt AC to the cabinets or if it is just a cable connecting cabinets for whatever lighting you choose. If the 12ga is bringing 120VAC is the circuit switched?

If doing LED's I would consider LED tape that has the emitters spaced evenly along it's length. It is extremely low profile and can be cut to length for whatever cabinet length and will provide relatively even lighting along it's length. All that I know of are low voltage so I would install outlets in the cabinets then you can plug the transformers in out of sight.
 
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Old 12-12-13, 10:35 AM
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I would try to cover the entire length of the cabinet with the lights.

As the others have said you are somewhat limited by what is already installed.
 
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Old 12-12-13, 05:04 PM
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12 gauge Romex wire runs each are individual runs that are spliced together to a lutron diva dimmable switch on my wall. All are 120v line voltage
 
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Old 12-12-13, 06:37 PM
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So you'll either have to change that switch or install lights that are dimmable. Is there a particular reason you're limiting your choices to LEDs?
 
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Old 12-12-13, 08:57 PM
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Nashkat, correct I will be using dimmable undercabinet lighting so I can use my wall switch. I am just looking for undercabinet lighting that is direct wire with built in junction box that can have room for the 12 gauge wire and wire nuts and still close.

Doesn't have to be LED, but I want energy efficient and not hot, and havent really been so excited with flourescents in the past.
 
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Old 12-13-13, 08:05 AM
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I don't know of under cabinet lighting that has a direct wire junction box, especially a box big enough to handle 12ga wire. I think that would make the fixture larger than needed and visible. Perhaps some old style fluorescent lights might be direct 120vac wired but they have mostly gone the way of the Dodo and are not dimmable.

One option would be to replace the dimmer switch with a standard on/off and install outlets inside the cabinet. Then install dimmable LED's. Many are available with wired and wireless dimmer controllers.
 
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Old 12-14-13, 12:11 PM
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Theres plenty 120v direct wire led dimmable under counter lights with knockouts to hook up to. The question is which one has the largest amount of room for the wiring.
 
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Old 12-14-13, 01:12 PM
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If there are plenty around than pick one you like and do it quick. They are a dying breed sorta like flash bulbs for an old film camera.

In my house the cabinets only have a 3/4" lip on the front edge. That does not leave much room for a AC junction box let alone one big enough to work with 12 ga wire and wire nuts. My local big box home center sells under cabinet LED and Halogen systems where the transformer would be hidden up in the cabinet. They have low profile fluorescents but they are intended to be plugged into an outlet and do not contain junction boxes.

Believe me I feel your pain. I built my house about 11 years ago thinking I had thought of everything. Now I'm cursing that the wires I buried in the wall are not the correct ones for today's technology. I've had to convert my kitchen under cabinet lighting from something like you are doing to LED's. It's a PITA and technology is only changing faster so prepare to be flexible in the future.

If you find a light that will work for you I suggest buying a couple extra to keep as spare parts donors to keep your system working as long as possible because the future is not AC lines running under the cabinets and certainly not big 12ga ones.
 
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Old 12-14-13, 08:23 PM
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True unfortunately I have 12 gauge and have to deal with it. I could also always mount a slim line junction box, cut the ends of a low voltage led strip light and splice it in the junction together with the 12 gauge and in the attic connect all my lighting runs for under cabinet to a 150watt dimmable led driver to connect to my wall switch.
 
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Old 12-15-13, 04:31 PM
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Juno TRAC 12 Low Voltage Lighting

I redid my kitchen completely 2 years ago. Went back to the studs, with new wiring, plumbing, cabinets, everything. Lighting was a big issue with me. I did not like the idea of ceiling can lights as I had previously reinsulated the space above the kitchen.

I found my solution walking through the local Sears; they had indirect lighting for a display that was just what I wanted. Individual LED modules mounted on a small width track.

I used the Juno Lighting TRAC12 system. I installed their 120v to 12v transformer under the floor. It is controlled by a light switch with a built in dimmer slider.

I ran individual #16 low voltage wiring from a terminal block at the transformer to each cabinet group; I have 6 groups of varying lengths of track with a total of 12 LED modules; from four modules to one module in each of the track groups. The total draw of the 12 modules at full brilliance is 14 watts. The setup provides more than adequate work area lighting with natural color rendition. They have a projected service life of 50,000 hours.

You should have some cabinet overhang, I had new cabinets built with 1 . The track is mounted about 3 back from the front edge. The LED modules are not visible unless you stoop down. The LED modules mount with a quarter turn at any point on the track.

The track is basically plastic with what looks like #12 copper wire imbedded. It cuts with a hacksaw to make custom lengths; attaches with small screws to the cabinet bottom. I did not have to use any joiners for my installation; all single pieces of track from 3 feet to 6 in length. As I said before, I wired directly to each piece of track from the transformer terminal block (6 sections of low voltage wire). The longest track has 4 modules mounted on it.

Since I had gone back to the studs I was able to install my low voltage wiring through the studs to each cabinet section; a big plus for me. If you are determined you could fish the low voltage wiring from below, doable but not fun.

I used the Juno TL575-40-BL transformer; that is 40 watts capacity, about twice what I needed.
I used 12 Juno TL201LED3X-3K-WH modules.
I used about 10 feet of Juno TL2W track with end connectors.

It was not cheap, I spent about $700.00 for everything but I do not regret a penny of it. It works like it is supposed to and we love it. We use it like a night light every night, it can be dimmed to just a bare glow. At full brilliance the LED modules are barely above room temperature. And I saved myself from digging around in 18 of fiberglass insulation to install can lights.
 
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