|Home » Forums » Cabinetmaking » Message||Login|
You are not logged in. Consider these WOODWEB Member advantages:
Getting into cabinet lighting3/29
I've always let homeowners/contractors take care of cabinet lighting, mainly because I just didn't want to fool with it, but now I'm thinking about doing it myself. I'm only going to do LED lighting and my distributer carries Treco by reva-shelf. Puck lights in glass cabinets, and puck or eurolinx strips under cabinets. These lights are meant to be plugged into a power box and then into an outlet that is above the cabinets then the outlet is controlled by a regular switch. My question is, with the outlet and power box above the cabinets and crown molding all trimmed out if there was ever a problem like the power box malfunctioning then the crown would have to be taken down. Seems like a mess. Is this the normal way it's done? Are there other do's and dont's?
Hi Mike, it depends on where you live and electrical code. I know up here in Canada our electrician says a junction box or plugged-in transformer must be accessible, and can't be buried behind crown. He usually recommends putting it into a cabinet where it won't be seen much (i.e. back of the fridge cabinet, back of the blind corner), but sometimes customers don't want that so he has to make a junction box under the cabinet and then we usually make a larger 2" light valance instead of our usual 1 1/4" to hide that junction box, not as nice in my opinion.
We have electrician prepare an outlet inside cabinetbover fridge or in tall pantry and run all low voltage to that place and connect to a transformer which gets plugged into outlet, the electrician has that outlet connected to a wall switch at entrance to kitchen or on backsplash, we also run a groove into the bottom of our cabinets for an aluminum track that holds the led light strip .,we solder all wires and rest before we leave, there are cheaper places to buy the led light coils on line and a spool of red/white wire from HD will last a long time.
We have found that Hafele offers the best choices of LED lighting with their Loox line. Completely "plug and play" with fixtures in 3" increments from 6" to 45". LED drivers can be placed above cabinets or on the back wall of upper cabinets with outlets typically up high. Prices are excellent and choices cover every situation.
Mike, same here (Wisconsin ... almost Canada). Any juction box must be accessible so an outlet needs to be placed somewhere convenient and out of the way.
Harold, not trying to hijack the thread, but how are a you handling the boxes for the undercabinet switches? I have a designer that likes everything off of the backsplash, and still haven't found what I feel is a really nice and simple method to handle it.
I've messed around with LEDs in retrofit situations quite a bit. It's been a learning evolution. I like to boil things down to viable, repeatable systems from as few sources as practical.
Some bullet points:
Early on used line voltage switches and dimmers for control. Far easier to do on the low voltage side of things.
Switching and dimming can all be done after driver. It can be discrete because low voltage doesn't share the requirements of line voltage. Junction boxes, big wire etc. all out of the picture.
All LEDs strips are not equal. Lumens, quality control and expected lifespan can vary wildly. Tresco and Loox lead the way in quality and engineering. Tresco for me because it's locally stocked and they now cover nearly all the bases supply, installation and control wise.
In under cabs, I put all in channels with lenses now. It diffuses the light and gets rid of the snaggy, vulnerable raw strips I used early on.
Despite Tresco having couplings and elbows and such to connect, I've some to solder many connections because it offers more flexibility.
I typically run channels on upper cabs at the front with returns to wall at finished ends. Running channels at back close to wall will highlight weirdness of backsplash. Can look especially bad with small tile.
Just used Tresco's FreeDim wireless control system. Very cool and it eliminates figuring out how and where to wire switch...'cause it's wireless!
I usually steer clear of the higher Kelvin numbers. Things just look better and warmer in the sub 3000 range.
We make an L-shaped shelf that has 2.5" clearance and is removable that sits inside the cabinet and the electricians can run the outlet wire between adjacent cabinets, when they are finished , they just drop shelf back into bottom of cabinet. Just have to remember to bore bottom inge door for baseplate higher up the door,