Author Topic: undercabinet lighting help  (Read 4405 times)

lbmustache

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undercabinet lighting help
« on: January 08, 2016, 12:58:59 PM »
I am currently renting my parent's condo and trying to adjust a few things since I will be here for the next year or so. They got the kitchen redone years ago but chose to NOT hardwire any under cabinet lighting. They have one of those spotlight track light things as the main lighting, which is awful. Casts a bunch of shadows and I hate cooking under it.

So, I started adding under cabinet lighting. I found these plug-ins (http://www.lowes.com/pd_366089-1390-GU0924-5LBKI_1z0y4gr__?productId=3531556&pl=1&Ntt=utilitech+led+lights) at Lowe's which I really like. For the cabinet right above the wood block, I was able to drill holes through the cabinets and plug it into the socket above the range hood/OTR microwave. Looks great.

Now, the problem is I have 4 other cabinets (the ones on the sides near the fridge and stove) that need lights as well.  There are no hidden sockets behind the cabinets, all are open above the counter.  I was thinking I could just buy the lights, and plug them into the sockets... I would just put one light on each side, not two on each side - so there's only one plug to worry about. How do I do this so it looks nice? Does anyone have any wire covers they recommend? Is there another obvious solution I am missing?


Kitchen


Where I would need to plug it

Thanks for any help!

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: undercabinet lighting help
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 02:01:16 PM »
Open wires dont look good.

You can create a new outlet by extending a wire thru the wall from the existing outlet.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: undercabinet lighting help
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 04:37:00 PM »
Off the cuff here, but there is an outlet behind the fridge (likely a duplex) that you may be able to access through the cabinets on that side (as long as the wiring is protected) and the fridge should conceal most of the wires.

Personally I agree with cowboyandindian, installing a new electrical box directly above an existing one (and in a good place for you) is not too difficult . . . unless it is an exterior wall and then the insulation in the wall will expand your vocabulary.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: undercabinet lighting help
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2016, 05:49:58 PM »
Former lighting designer. Simplest solution:

Fridge side - bring your power from the fridge outlet, tuck wire either in the cabinet or right against back wall.

Stove side - the specs say the fixtures are linkable so link from the one you already installed up through the microwave cabinet (or, more visible, tucked under the microwave at the back) and back down. Avoids need to occupy another plug.

Track - hard to tell in picture, what kind of bulb are those? I'm guessing GU-10 in which case you've already got the widest possible beam angle but if there's something else in those, you might be able to get a wider beam.

Once the undercabs are installed, though, consider replacing the center light with a flush or semi-flush light. Now that the undercabs provide task lighting on the counters , you're much better off having a light fixture to provide bright, general lighting - will kill a lot of those shadows.

I'd keep the track over the sink. Task lighting is useful there.

Spork

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Re: undercabinet lighting help
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2016, 06:14:08 PM »
Before I started dragging cords all over the place...  Just wiring all the stuff directly shouldn't be that hard.  If you're going to have to drill in cabinets or put in new receptacles... just wire the stuff like you'd want to wire it.

Best would be to wire it to a common switch.  Second best would be to hardwire it and have each fixture have a built-in switch on it.  (Most of them I've purchased did.)

lbmustache

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Re: undercabinet lighting help
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2016, 08:13:36 PM »
Thanks for all your help everyone! I will look into extending the outlet, didn't realize it was that simple (or, it sounds simple..). The wall with the stove is an exterior wall (patio) but the one behind the fridge is shared with another unit. Will play around with it all and see what happens... worst case scenario I have a REAL job for an electrician, ha.

JaySherman5000

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Re: undercabinet lighting help
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2016, 10:42:18 AM »
Be sure to check your local building codes, too. Some jurisdictions forbid any lighting to share a circuit with the outlets along the countertop. If you choose to hardwire something in place, make sure you choose a code-appropriate power source.

Other than that, Thegoblinchief's comments seem spot-on.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: undercabinet lighting help
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2016, 04:28:31 PM »
Be sure to check your local building codes, too. Some jurisdictions forbid any lighting to share a circuit with the outlets along the countertop. If you choose to hardwire something in place, make sure you choose a code-appropriate power source.

Other than that, Thegoblinchief's comments seem spot-on.

You are likely right, looking at it for a moment, NEC requires two outlet circuits to the kitchen and if I remember correctly forbids additional outlets and lights to be on those circuits. Of course this may vary by location.

maco

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Re: undercabinet lighting help
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 10:04:31 PM »
Check out this LED strip light. It's peel n stick. The connectors just have 2-strand lamp wire, so you can easily solder in extra length between bits of lighting (rather than the lights ducking down where the edges of two cabinets meet, for instance) and between the lights and the plug to get the wire where you need it to go. There are remote controls and dimmers available for these systems too. That's what I've got in my display cabinet, and what my husband has under the shelves over his desk.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 10:07:13 PM by maco »

mb64

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Re: undercabinet lighting help
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2016, 12:08:05 PM »
Check out this LED strip light. It's peel n stick. The connectors just have 2-strand lamp wire, so you can easily solder in extra length between bits of lighting (rather than the lights ducking down where the edges of two cabinets meet, for instance) and between the lights and the plug to get the wire where you need it to go. There are remote controls and dimmers available for these systems too. That's what I've got in my display cabinet, and what my husband has under the shelves over his desk.

I could not agree more with maco - this type of stick on LED is the way to go.  It solders easily and it's cheap!!  I recently replaced 9 year old Xenon undercabinet light setup (over $700 in 2007) with less than 30 worth of LED strips and power supplies, the lighting quality is several times better!!

The LED strips are cuttable every 3 inches or so, very versatile.

Good luck!

lbmustache

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Re: undercabinet lighting help
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2016, 12:59:35 PM »
Thank you for that link!!! Those seem way easier!

D4NIM4L

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Re: undercabinet lighting help
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2016, 02:46:42 PM »
Yes, agreed. Just putting some in now at my house! Where on the cabinet did you install it - Front edge,  back edge?

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