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Old 02-13-2013, 02:49 PM
 
818 posts, read 2,378,719 times
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We had our kitchen completely gutted and rebuilt last year and my contractor knew I wanted under-cabinet LED lights, but for some reason that didn't get communicated with my wife and she told the electrician we didn't need them. The tile back-splash was done before realizing the mix-up, so we were kind of screwed at that point... unless we wanted to tear siding off the back of the house and punch holes in the drywall in the garage.

Thought I would ask if anyone has added LED lights and how it was done. Obviously I don't want any wires showing and would want a nice clean install. I've read a little online, but seems to be a lot of options.

Thanks
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
9,476 posts, read 16,330,502 times
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I had under-cabinet lighting added when I had the kitchen at my previous house remodeled. IIRC there wasn't a whole lot of work or time involved (my electrician did it -- he was adding/moving outlets around too, but he did those first, then the under-cabinet lighting was near the end of the whole remodel).

I don't live at that house any more (I rent it out) so I can't check, but I think the holes for the wiring (which wasn't too thick) were on the inner bottom of the cabinets (there was something like an inch overhang, so you couldn't see them unless you were sitting down and looking up at the bottom of the cabinets (and not too many people do that) -- you certainly couldn't see them just standing in the kitchen or working on the counters. And I must say I really loved having all that light whenever I needed, wherever I needed it.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:12 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
32,718 posts, read 76,547,031 times
Reputation: 40725
Quote:
Originally Posted by caspian65 View Post
I don't want any wires showing and would want a nice clean install.
Too late for that.

The best you can hope for now is discreetly installed.
Attached Thumbnails
Kitchen under-cabinet lighting, anyone added?-illumaled-circuit-diagram.png  
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,445 posts, read 48,005,074 times
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No need to worry. Happens all the time. Either by miscommunication or just by Mr Homeowner changing their mind later on.

Something similar as MrRational posted.

All quality made cabinets have an ear. This means your face frame extends a quarter inch past the side panels. With 2 cabinets together you now have a half inch gap between cabinet boxes. Go ahead and look underneath and you'll see the gap.

Now you can run your low voltage wires from the top down this gap and out the bottom, then extend the wire across the bottoms to the lighting. Your transformer can sit on top of the cabinets. The crown molding normally hides it. There should be an 110v outlet on top of the cabinets to plug in the soft wire.

If your top cabs go to the ceiling with no top access then you likely will hide the transformer (if your type lighting has one) inside any upper or lower cab box.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:01 PM
 
818 posts, read 2,378,719 times
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Yes, the cabinets have the gap between different sections.

The only 110V source I have is the outlet in the cabinet above the microwave. I could snake the wires out of there and place transformers up top. There's a window that separates one of the cabinet sections though, but there are only a couple inches on each side. If we were to place a valence at the top of the window, it probably could hide any small wires.

I guess the main issue is the on/off switch for this. Would be nice to use a regular wall switch. The only one I have available is for a sink disposal, which we don't have because we're on well/septic. That switch is to the left of the sink/window.

Attached is a pic of the room layout...
Attached Thumbnails
Kitchen under-cabinet lighting, anyone added?-kitchen.jpg  
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:10 PM
 
28,460 posts, read 80,765,272 times
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I think desertsun's suggestion is mostly good BUT that assumes that the electrican did, in fact, put some kind of electrical outlet or junction box SOMEWHERE that will be accessible SOMEHOW behind / above the cabinets and I gather that DID NOT happen...

Now the question becomes a little different, namely how much do you know about your house and what kind of electrician did you use?

See I have several friends that are still electricians of the "old school" mindset that work pretty much exclusively on the kind of new construction and "rough rewire remodels" where they have carte blanche on cutting huge holes into everything because "the dry wall crew" comes in AFTER they are done. I also know a few electricians of the "new school" mindset that use super long, strong fish tapes, tiny cameras, little sensors and all kind of neat "James Bond" gadgets to poke a wee itty hole in a wall or ceiling (often near / behind an existing surface mount fixture ...) and then "magically" fish wires down / around / behind damned near anything. You might pay a wee bit more but mostly these guys love to show off their "toys" and skills and are PREFECT for what you need (as well as stuff like rewiring your house for sound in every room all the "low voltage" goodies that new houses come with like video and internet jacks everywhere...

As to the actual "lighting product" there about a dozen or more "LED tape light" products that can be inserted into a TINY SUPER SHALLOW routed groove or slot (literally like a 1/10" by 3/10") that eliminates any need for other than a few very SIMPLE tools

Amazon.com: Dremel 335-01 Plunge Router Attachment: Home Improvement

Dremel TR750 3-Piece Straight Router Bit Kit - Amazon.com

Amazon.com: Dremel 4000-2/30 120-Volt Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit: Home Improvement

LED Strips -- White LED Ribbon Dimmable, 196.9 Inch x 0.3 Inch x 0.1 Inch , 600 LED's Per Reel
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,445 posts, read 48,005,074 times
Reputation: 10588
Quote:
Originally Posted by caspian65 View Post
Yes, the cabinets have the gap between different sections.

The only 110V source I have is the outlet in the cabinet above the microwave. I could snake the wires out of there and place transformers up top. There's a window that separates one of the cabinet sections though, but there are only a couple inches on each side. If we were to place a valence at the top of the window, it probably could hide any small wires.

I guess the main issue is the on/off switch for this. Would be nice to use a regular wall switch. The only one I have available is for a sink disposal, which we don't have because we're on well/septic. That switch is to the left of the sink/window.

Attached is a pic of the room layout...
Most all under cabinet lighting systems come with a switch. And it's usually about as thick as 4 quarters. It's shaped like a dome with sticky paper on the back. You stick it to the inside of the cabinet wall. This is a touch button that senses your finger body heat. It is all low voltage lighting after the transformer so just perhaps a 24GA wire.....nice and easy to run it.

Most outlets for micros are single, just replace it with a double. Quick and easy. You can indeed do it that way as you suggested.

For the record, many many many times I have hidden the transformer on the inside wall under and inside the sink base. There I could plug into the DW outlet. I can punch a hole in the back wall under the sink, then punch another hole just at the bottom of the wall cab. I can now run my low voltage wire out the back of the SB, inside the drywall.......up, and back out under the upper cab box.

You can use a 110v switch on the wall with the low voltage 24GA wire. Many people do it.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,445 posts, read 48,005,074 times
Reputation: 10588
Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
I think desertsun's suggestion is mostly good BUT that assumes that the electrican did, in fact, put some kind of electrical outlet or junction box SOMEWHERE that will be accessible SOMEHOW behind / above the cabinets and I gather that DID NOT happen...

Now the question becomes a little different, namely how much do you know about your house and what kind of electrician did you use?

See I have several friends that are still electricians of the "old school" mindset that work pretty much exclusively on the kind of new construction and "rough rewire remodels" where they have carte blanche on cutting huge holes into everything because "the dry wall crew" comes in AFTER they are done. I also know a few electricians of the "new school" mindset that use super long, strong fish tapes, tiny cameras, little sensors and all kind of neat "James Bond" gadgets to poke a wee itty hole in a wall or ceiling (often near / behind an existing surface mount fixture ...) and then "magically" fish wires down / around / behind damned near anything. You might pay a wee bit more but mostly these guys love to show off their "toys" and skills and are PREFECT for what you need (as well as stuff like rewiring your house for sound in every room all the "low voltage" goodies that new houses come with like video and internet jacks everywhere...

As to the actual "lighting product" there about a dozen or more "LED tape light" products that can be inserted into a TINY SUPER SHALLOW routed groove or slot (literally like a 1/10" by 3/10") that eliminates any need for other than a few very SIMPLE tools

Amazon.com: Dremel 335-01 Plunge Router Attachment: Home Improvement

Dremel TR750 3-Piece Straight Router Bit Kit - Amazon.com

Amazon.com: Dremel 4000-2/30 120-Volt Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit: Home Improvement

LED Strips -- White LED Ribbon Dimmable, 196.9 Inch x 0.3 Inch x 0.1 Inch , 600 LED's Per Reel
Yea don't we all hate those suckers. When those guys get done doing electrical modifications on remodels the whole inside of the house looks like swiss cheese.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Inman Park (Atlanta, GA)
21,870 posts, read 14,365,991 times
Reputation: 14312
I had an electrician install halogen hockey pucks under my kitchen cabinets. Here is what they look like. I love them!



Attached Thumbnails
Kitchen under-cabinet lighting, anyone added?-img_0679-1024x768-.jpg   Kitchen under-cabinet lighting, anyone added?-img_0680-1024x768-.jpg  
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:13 PM
 
28,460 posts, read 80,765,272 times
Reputation: 18656
Default Hot enough to melt...

...lead!

LED is way to go now, and the light quality is excellent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Chong View Post
I had an electrician install halogen hockey pucks under my kitchen cabinets. Here is what they look like. I love them!


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