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Thread: Under cabinet fixture positioning tips

  1. #1
    DIY Member Bassman's Avatar
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    Default Under cabinet fixture positioning tips

    I'd like to mount some undercabinet fixtures toward the forward edge of the cab. Am I correct in assuming the way to do this is to provide some sort of chase between the wall and the fixture for the NM to run in?

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    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bassman
    I'd like to mount some undercabinet fixtures toward the forward edge of the cab. Am I correct in assuming the way to do this is to provide some sort of chase between the wall and the fixture for the NM to run in?
    I install mine towards the back, after all thats where the dark spot is, but nothing wrong with leaving an inch for your NM.

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    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Around here, everything is BX in the walls, and conduit when it's exposed. So I assumed they'd run conduit under the cabs? But they never do, they run the BX exposed.

    I think that means under the cabs is considered a protected location; but they might just be cutting corners... I doubt it, though, I've seen it done by five different electricians.

    Hopefully one of the resident electricians will drop by and illuminate us on that score...

    Anyways, I like to position them towards the front of the cab, facing back towards the wall; it lights up the work area, without being visible or causing glare when you're sitting at the kitchen table.

    Unless your cabs have recessed bottoms, you'll need a piece of trim attached to the bottom, along the front of the cab, to hide the fixtures.
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    DIY Senior Member Livin4Real's Avatar
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    They have some nice undercab LED lights now that look pretty easy to hide, most big box stores carry them.

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    G.C. 22+ years(in 3 states) Old Dog's Avatar
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    Smile Under cabinet...

    I would put some thought into this.I've seen quite a few kitchens that the under mount fixtures look like an after thought.You really want them to look like they were always a part of the plan from the beginning.
    Depending on the cabinet bottom you may have to trim out to hide it.
    BTW,I left a post on your framing question from earlier about the bracing...

    Quality is never an accident.It is always the result of intelligent effort. (John Ruskin)

  6. #6
    DIY Member Bassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Livin4Real
    They have some nice undercab LED lights now that look pretty easy to hide, most big box stores carry them.
    LED is out, I'm a prisoner to California's title 24 which requires 1/2 of kitchen lighting to be "high efficacy", which means fluorescent until other lighting develops.

  7. #7
    DIY Member Bassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dog
    I would put some thought into this.I've seen quite a few kitchens that the under mount fixtures look like an after thought.You really want them to look like they were always a part of the plan from the beginning.
    Depending on the cabinet bottom you may have to trim out to hide it.
    BTW,I left a post on your framing question from earlier about the bracing...
    I've seen what you refer to and that's why I'm looking for ideas. If I keep the light against the wall, no problem. The cab maker will make any size light rail I want to hide the fixtures.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You sure LED wouldn't qualify for high efficiency? They are more expensive, and sometimes the color temperature is off, but the newest ones are pretty good, and the bulb life is phenominal - way better than florescents. They actually give more lumens per watt, too.
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    DIY Member Bassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua
    You sure LED wouldn't qualify for high efficiency? They are more expensive, and sometimes the color temperature is off, but the newest ones are pretty good, and the bulb life is phenominal - way better than florescents. They actually give more lumens per watt, too.
    I checked the code and some LED's may qualify. Here's the poop:

    <15 w requires min. 40 lm/W
    15-40 " " 50 lmW
    > 40 " " 60 lm/W

    The problem is that if you want any incandescent, halogen or other lights, that wattage will exceed the 50% fairly easily. So, in my little kitchen, if I want, for example, 3 MR16's overhead and a couple of pendants, that could be 250 watts, and now I have to find 250 watts of high efficiency lighting to match. That's a buttload of fluorescent lighting in a 104 sq. ft. kitchen.

    Almost every contractor I know puts up crap fluorescents until the inspector signs off, but I love a challenge.

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    DIY Senior Member Livin4Real's Avatar
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    I thought most led's were classified as high efficiency these days?

  11. #11
    DIY Member Bassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Livin4Real
    I thought most led's were classified as high efficiency these days?
    You're correct. I went to a lighting store and checked them out today. My opinion is that they are not ready for prime time just yet. I really didn't like the look at all, but I know some folks do.

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