Undercabinet lighting

uroboros5April 7, 2011


I want to include under-cabinet lighting in my remodel.

The lights cannot be more than an inch thick.

They need to be turned on from a pre-existing light switch that is in the middle of the cabinetry. There will be two lines of under-cabinet lights coming from this switch, one to the cabinets on the left, the other to the cabinets on the right.

I'm asking the question because I understand that LED lights, for instance, need a transformer, and I'm not sure building codes would let an electrician connect a transformer to a wall switch, and have that transformer hidden inside the wall! Maybe it's a fire hazard?

What are my under-cabinet lighting options?

Thanks ahead.

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Uroboros -
there is a thread here that explains installing UCL and wiring to a switch. You can put the transformer in basement or attic or in a cabinet where it can be accessed. We put ours in the cabinet over the microwave but then ours are not wired to a wall switch.

also - ours are 1/2" thick.

the link to UCL install...

Here is a link that might be useful: UCL - DIY

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 10:29AM
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You can also mount a power supply (AKA 'electronic transformer') on the bottom of the cabinet.
Many are less than 1 inch thick.

The problem with remote transformers is that any wiring concealed in walls must be an 'approved method.'

Most of the time the smallest gauge you can find is #14, but if you have a high capacity transformer you are going to need larger wires.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 11:14AM
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So I would have to plug the transformers into an outlet.

And have the outlets connected to the wall switch.

Is that correct?

Would I need two separate transformers for the two cabinet sections?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 3:25PM
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Some equipment is available and listed for hard wiring without a receptacle.

If you use lights that require a receptacle it must be inside the cabinet and not in the counter back-splash.

Permanent lighting is also not allowed on the kitchen counter small appliance branch circuits.

It can take up almost no cabinet space if an electric box is recessed through the back of the cabinets into the stud cavity of the wall.
The receptacle plate is flush with the inside of the back of the cabinet.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 8:10PM
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