convert from flourescent


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Old 04-03-14, 11:29 AM
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convert from flourescent

My kitchen has a bunch of those little (4" and 6" - maybe an 8") fluorescent lights under the cabinets. The covers fit poorly on them and they burn out far too often for my tastes. Is there an easy way someone like me with very little electrical know-how can convert these to something else (possibly LCD)?

Thanks
 
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Old 04-03-14, 12:04 PM
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Yes, they are pretty easy to replace. Most home centers sell under cabinet light kits or they can be ordered online. Do your current lights plug into an outlet or are they hard wired?
 
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Old 04-03-14, 01:03 PM
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Pilot - anywhere I can find instructions on how to do this? They are hard wired to a wall switch
 
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Old 04-03-14, 02:50 PM
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Bogey, I think you're asking about LEDs, not LCDs. LEDs are, arguably, one of the best choices for under-cabinet lighting. LCDs, not so much.

That said, there's not really a one-size-fits-all set of instructions. It depends on which ones you choose.

Since you already have 120V switched power to your existing lights, look for new lights that are ready to use that power. (LED lights require a driver between that power and the actual lights. Look for ones that come with that.)

If you'll tell us exactly how the power is connected now, or post some pictures, we can help you figure out how to connect that to your new lights.

Tip: If you want to be able to set the new lights to any color and intensity you like, look foe ones that are RGB - red, green and blue.
 
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Old 04-03-14, 03:52 PM
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Thanks Nashkat - don't know how to post pix here . There appears to be two wires coming out of the wall and running to the various fixtures. I have pix but can't figure out how to post
 
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Old 04-03-14, 04:06 PM
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There appears to be two wires coming out of the wall and running to the various fixtures.
Two wires in one cable or conduit? Only one cable or conduit from the wall?

don't know how to post pix here... I have pix but can't figure out how to post
See How To Include Pictures.
 
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Old 04-03-14, 04:55 PM
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Two cables from the wall - they both go into one fixture and from there one cable goes right to one other fixture and one cable goes left to multiple other fixtures
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Old 04-03-14, 05:54 PM
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It looks like you have 120 VAC going to each light fixture. Whether or not you go any further will depend on how comfortable you are working with that type of wiring. If not, you could have an electrician install an outlet using your existing wires. The outlet would turn on/off with your existing wall switch. Then with a regular outlet to work with you can purchase whatever under cabinet lighting you want and any wires that need to be run would be low voltage and less scary to work with.
 
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Old 04-03-14, 11:08 PM
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I'm wondering why there are two cables. There's only one switch, right? Oh, well, that may become clear when you take it apart.

One thing "wrong" (less than ideal) with your current lights is that they're mounted toward the wall and throw the light toward you. I would mount the new lights tight against the face frames and have the light going toward the wall. Personally, I'd drill between the cabinets and run a continuous LED strip, but the choice of fixtures is really up to you.

Whether or not you go any further will depend on how comfortable you are working with that type of wiring. If not, you could have an electrician install an outlet using your existing wires. The outlet would turn on/off with your existing wall switch. Then with a regular outlet to work with you can purchase whatever under cabinet lighting you want and any wires that need to be run would be low voltage and less scary to work with.
I turn the power off when I'm working on wiring -- even 120V, which we refer to as "low voltage" in my specialty.

Also, I would not mount a switch-controlled receptacle above a kitchen counter. It would probably have to be GFCI protected if you did, which is an additional complication. It would also be too easy to mistake it for just another always-hot receptacle.

Once you connect the wiring to the driver you will only have extra low voltage after that anyway.
 
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Old 04-04-14, 09:29 AM
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You could put the receptacle in a cabinet. No dimmer can be used unless it is a special receptacle.
 
 

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