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Thread: undercounter lighting

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member rockycmt's Avatar
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    Default undercounter lighting

    Which is best? Hardwire fluresent or Low voltage

  2. #2

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    Depends on if you want to be able to dim them from a single location or dim them at all.

    I install individual xenon with the transformer in each unit that has a hi/lo switch. No dimming.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

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    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    I went with LED
    3 pull around 4w total, 1 transformer can power up to 6 puck lights
    Each puck light has 12 LED's - lots of light - no heat
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    DIY Member edlentz's Avatar
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    I got some inline LED strip lights. A 15" with 21 leds (I think) fits perfectly under the cabinet. They are powered by 110, no transformer. Not dimmable but at about 1 watt per strip we can leave them on forever.

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    We used these for years but the price of oil keeps going up and we may go back to dipping strings into wax again.


  6. #6
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    I still have quite a few of those lamps around
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    DIY Senior Member CarlH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edlentz View Post
    I got some inline LED strip lights. A 15" with 21 leds (I think) fits perfectly under the cabinet. They are powered by 110, no transformer. Not dimmable but at about 1 watt per strip we can leave them on forever.
    Who makes these? Where can I find them?

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member rockycmt's Avatar
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    If I choose to go with low Voltage… What is the best install procedure? I want them switched so should I

    Countertop switch to an outlet on top of cabinets to power a transformer.

  9. #9
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockycmt View Post
    If I choose to go with low Voltage… What is the best install procedure? I want them switched so should I

    Countertop switch to an outlet on top of cabinets to power a transformer.
    If you do choose low voltage, none of the wiring can be concealed in the walls. Makes for a tough clean looking install.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris75 View Post
    If you do choose low voltage, none of the wiring can be concealed in the walls. Makes for a tough clean looking install.
    I don't know that this is entirely correct. As long as the wiring is rated for it you can run it in the wall, yes? What if you used 14/2 romex between the xenon fixtures and transformers. Or what if you used 14 gauge in wall speaker wire?

    -rick

  11. #11
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    411.4 Specific Location Requirements.
    (A) Walls, Floors, and Ceilings. Conductors concealed or extended through a wall, floor, or ceiling shall be in accordance with (1) or (2):
    (1) Installed using any of the wiring methods specified in Chapter 3
    (2) Installed using wiring supplied by a listed Class 2 power source and installed in accordance with 725.130

  12. #12
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    411.4 Specific Location Requirements.
    (A) Walls, Floors, and Ceilings. Conductors concealed or extended through a wall, floor, or ceiling shall be in accordance with (1) or (2):
    (1) Installed using any of the wiring methods specified in Chapter 3
    (2) Installed using wiring supplied by a listed Class 2 power source and installed in accordance with 725.130
    Uh, Mike? They're DIYers. I doubt they have a copy of the NEC kicking around. Could you maybe explain, briefly, what's meant by "Chapter 3", "Class 2 power source", and "725.130"?
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  13. #13

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    It can be found on the internet Frenchie.

  14. #14
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    and 725.130 refers you to 8 other code sections
    Chapter 3 is probably a hundred pages or more
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  15. #15
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie View Post
    Uh, Mike? They're DIYers. I doubt they have a copy of the NEC kicking around. Could you maybe explain, briefly, what's meant by "Chapter 3", "Class 2 power source", and "725.130"?
    Well then why are they installing electrical circuits for if they don't have a copy of the rules?

    I have been doing this for over 40 years and I got to have a copy of the rules to know if it is right or wrong. Are they that much smarter than a old seasoned pro like me?

    I suppose that it would be a lot simpler to just go make the installation for them than to try and teach the NEC on a discussion forum but I will give it a go anyhow.

    Chapter Three of the NEC is titled;
    Chapter 3 Wiring Methods and Materials

    This chapter will contain the rules that apply to the wiring methods of all conductors, cables and raceways.
    The referral to chapter three in 411.4 means that any of the wiring methods out there and approved for branch circuits would be allowed to be used.

    A class 2 circuit is one that is supplied by a class 2 power source and the rules change. They can’t be around circuits that are bigger than they are as they might get hurt. There are about a half dozen conductors listed for the installation of class 2 power limited conductors. Speaker wires are not part of this listing.


    I feel as though I must ask you a couple of questions now.
    Do you really think that someone would undertake installing something that is sure to cause fires and kill without first doing a lot of research on the proper safety issues?
    Surly you don’t think that someone would undertake an electrical installation without first obtaining a copy of the current electrical codes and doing an in-depth study of said codes, do you?

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