direct wiring 120v puck lights w/dimmer?

mafreezeOctober 12, 2011

Under cabinet lighting is so common I really thought I'd easily find answers to the questions surrounding my own situation, but alas, gardenweb here I am! I've found this forum useful in the past and hoping someone may offer good advice again.

I have a small butler's pantry addition to my kitchen where my wife would like undercabinet lighting. Ideally, these lights would be direct-wired and controlled by a dimmer switch. The countertop is only about 60" long, so I'm thinking 3-4 puck lights will do the trick.

Currently, I have a 2-gang box at the backsplash wall with 120v power run to it via 14/2 NM cable on a 15-amp circuit. This technically isn't in a kitchen, nor is it a wet location.

I have a pack of 120v xenon pucks that have 18ga wire, each light having a plug designed to be directly plugged into a receptacle. Without breaking several portions of code I'm assuming those are unusable given the intentions I've described above. Is that correct?

I'm okay going low-voltage, etc. My only requirement is that they be direct-wired to a dimmer switch (if possible). Suggestions? Thanks!

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The 120 V puck lights tend ot have a very short bulb life.

The day to day vibration of the shelf they are mounted on kills the weak filaments very quickly.

There are a number of vendors that sell 12 V puck lights with small power supplies that also can fit under a shelf and are 30 W (60 W for a dual unit).

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 3:23PM
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I'm trying to envision how best to run the wire. I can easily extend the NM cable up the inside of the wall, so I'm thinking of wiring up the dimmer switch at the backsplash and then bringing the feed up and out to the top of the wall cabinets (they don't extend all the way to the ceiling) where I can place a box for the direct wire conections to the lights below (chasing the wires back down to the pucks inside the wall cabinets). Any issues there?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 5:15PM
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"I can easily extend the NM cable up the inside of the wall"

All splices for ermananet wiring must be in junction boxes that remain acceaable.

Lighting id also not aloweedf on the 20 amp small appliance branch circuits for the kitchen counters.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 9:41AM
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All I can say is those crap units are almost impossible for anyone to install to code, or IMO safely.
At least the low voltage ones could be made legal, those junk 120v things are useless.

OH, and this area you describe IS in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 8:55AM
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