Need help with undercabinet lighting-confused

paulflyboyAugust 11, 2012

I am planning on installing undercabinet LED lighting. I have 3 different lighting "zones." I have one outlet in each zone that I plan to plug the lights into. My plan was to control those outlets with a dimmer switch (be able to dim all of the zones at the same time).

First off, is this possible? So far, I bought the utilitech pro light bar from Lowes:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_331391-1390-GU0312LD-BKSS-I_0__?productId=3335834

I bought that one (12") and some 24" and 18". Here is the dimmer switch that I bought: (Lutron Diva 150 Watt Single Pole/3-Way CFL/LED Dimmer - White)

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/electrical-home-automation-security-home-automation/lutron-diva-single-pole-3-way-dimmable-cfl-led-dimmer-white-119291.html#.UCW-p6Ms5bE

Each light has a dimmer knob on it, but I want to be able to control them all at one point. I have been reading on other treads about transformers, magnetic and electronic dimmers. I am thoroughly confused on what I need.

I just found out about environmentallights website and seems like they have some good things. I read where the Maxlites don't need a transformer. Would this keep me from having to put a transformer in each of my lighting zones?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

I cross posted this in the lighting forum also.

Here is a link that might be useful: Led light bar

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brickeyee

"Each light has a dimmer knob on it..."

You cannot feed a light with a dimmer from another dimmer.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:17AM
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mike_kaiser_gw

I don't think you can use a dimmer to control a receptacle. Well, you can but you need a special receptacle to keep "regular" stuff from being plugged into it.

Find under cabinet lighting designed to be hardwired and dimmed instead.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:57AM
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paulflyboy

Ok, back to the store. Thanks for the help. I guess the best thing to do here is take the recepticle out and hardwire the light into that box.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 3:21PM
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mike_kaiser_gw

I guess the best thing to do here is take the recepticle out and hardwire the light into that box.

Understand you need a light designed to be hardwired. You can NOT cut off the plug and hardwire the remaining cord.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 4:02PM
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paulflyboy

Mike,
Sorry I made that sound confusing. Yea, I am thinking that I will return these plug in light bars and call Evinromentallighting and get the direct wire lights from them.

I read that there are special receptacles that you can buy for dimmers. Still trying to figure out which way is best.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 8:11PM
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mike_kaiser_gw

Those dimmable receptacles aren't cheap and you'll need the matching plug too.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 1:02AM
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brickeyee

You can use twit locks usually if they are not used anywhere else.

Dimming of receptacles is not allowed unless they are different than 'normal' since you could easily plug in a load not suitable fr dimming.

We used to use twist locks exclusively for 400 Hz power (a common aircraft frequency) in a large facility.

3-phase receptacles and plugs 5 wire, H-H-H-N-G got a little pricey sometimes.

Single phase (H-N-G) was not nearly as bad, but still much more tan the cheap Chinese $0.69 standard style.

I think we had to spend a little less than $10 each.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 12:06PM
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paulflyboy

Mike,
Yea, your are correct on that. Looks like $75 an outlet plus the adapter to plug in. I would need 3 of those outlets, so that route is out. I'm gonna go with direct wire lights.

Brickeye, you are way above my head!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 4:01PM
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mike_kaiser_gw

It's a lot less than $75 per receptacle. I saw prices in the $25-$30 range for the receptacle and $10-$12 for the plug.

What Brickeyee is talking about is using recepacle/plug combination that one wouldn't normally encounter in a residential setting. The goal is to prevent the user from plugging in a device that could be damaged if it was plugged into a receptacle controlled by a dimmer.

A twist lock plug/receptacle would be one such example, as most people don't have them in their home.

I encountered a similar situation a few years ago and I seem to recall the code being a little vague on the subject of an acceptable substitute (beyond the Lutron offering).

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 11:46PM
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paulflyboy

oh ok, that makes sense now. I will have to look again for the outlets. thanks for clearing that up!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 12:15AM
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