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switch-controlled undercabinet lighting

Posted by emcloud (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 20, 13 at 18:30

Hello, this is my first post here, but I'm a longtime reader. The forums are an excellent resource.

I am remodeling my kitchen and would like to install undercabinet lighting to be controlled by a wall switch near the sink. I understand there are hardwired lighting options available, but I'd prefer to install an outlet and leave the LED lights permanently plugged into the outlet above the countertop.

Would this be a violation of the provisions for the two 20A small appliance circuits? I will of course have separate outlets above the counter on the 20A circuits.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: switch-controlled undercabinet lighting

The receptacle needs to be up inside the cabinets, not on the backsplash between the counter and cabinets.


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RE: switch-controlled undercabinet lighting

Correct. You can only have GFCI protected appliance receptacles.

In my prior house, I had hardwired undercabinet lights with a switched receptacle ABOVE the cabinets. That was OK, but I went a step further and put a dimmer switch on that single receptacle. That is a code violation about putting dimmers on receptacle circuits.


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RE: switch-controlled undercabinet lighting

Nothing prohibits you placing a GFCI on this receptacle.

I see nothing that prohibits using a switched receptacle on the countertop/wall area and placing it on one of the small appliance circuits. If it is located elsewhere, it is barred from being on the small-appliance circuits.

You can however place a switched receptacle in the kitchen on a 15A general purpose circuit is permitted in the kitchen (you still need to check to see if GFCI is required based on where it is located).

Note this switched receptacle no matter how you wired it up can NOT substitute for the required lighting outlet in the kitchen like it can in certain other rooms.


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RE: switch-controlled undercabinet lighting

UC lights are not allowed on the small appliance circuits.


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RE: switch-controlled undercabinet lighting

Thanks for everyone's comments so far. I think I will put the outlet in the cabinet above. It's not completely clear to me what code requires, but that seems easiest and clearly avoids the problem.

I was planning to have the switched receptacle on the lighting circuit, not on the 20A small appliance circuits and there is another overhead switched light.


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RE: switch-controlled undercabinet lighting

Thanks for everyone's comments so far. I think I will put the outlet in the cabinet above. It's not completely clear to me what code requires, but that seems easiest and clearly avoids the problem.

I was planning to have the switched receptacle on the lighting circuit, not on the 20A small appliance circuits and there is another overhead switched light.


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RE: switch-controlled undercabinet lighting

UC lights are not allowed on the small appliance circuits.

A lighting outlet is NOT permitted. He is not installing such on the small appliance circuit. Nothing prohibits you from plugging lamps into small appliance receptacles.


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