Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Looking for tips on moving undercabinet lighting
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weldred
Looking for tips on moving undercabinet lighting

Hi gurus,

I have old fluorescent under-cabinet lighting that I'd like to upgrade. The existing lighting is under the cabinet against the wall. I'd like to move the new LED lights 10" forward to the front of the cabinet so there's more light on the counter top.

The problem: There's only 4" of NM hanging out of the wall.

I was thinking of putting an electrical box where the old light is (against the wall under the cabinet) and running another piece of NM to the light. Unfortunately, that's going to leave me with an ugly box under the cabinet (though it seems pretty easy).

So:
- Are there decorative boxes that I can leverage ?
- Any other tips ? All the examples I find assume I'm redoing the kitchen and have the luxury of working in the wall.

Thanks,

Ward

PS - tried to upload a photo, but TOH didn't like any of the files that I tried

A. Spruce
Re: Looking for tips on moving undercabinet lighting

Install a cut-in box (aka remodel box ) at the point the wire exits the wall. Install a standard outlet and simply plug in your LED system.

weldred
Re: Looking for tips on moving undercabinet lighting

Hi A. Spruce,

Thanks for the quick reply !

Unfortunately, the NM comes through the wall and through the back of the cabinet and then into the back of the light. I could do what you suggest, but I'd have to cut through the cabinet, the wall, and the backsplash. If there was no back splash and the wire didn't go throught he cabinet, that would be clean.

Ward

Re: Looking for tips on moving undercabinet lighting

You might look into a wiremold box from Home Depot.

weldred
Re: Looking for tips on moving undercabinet lighting

Hi Semi-Retired,

Thanks for the pointer to Wiremold - those boxes look a lot cleaner than your standard box !

Ward

Re: Looking for tips on moving undercabinet lighting
weldred wrote:

Hi Semi-Retired,

Thanks for the pointer to Wiremold - those boxes look a lot cleaner than your standard box !

Ward

You're welcome, let us know how it turns out:)

Mastercarpentry
Re: Looking for tips on moving undercabinet lighting

I'm not sure if it's code-compliant due to the enclosure volume minimums, but look into using a "pancake box" with a blanking cover. These are thin enough to hide under the cabinet apron and with everything enclosed it should be safe. I've done a few like this before and the only issue is attaining a secure mounting. I bolt them through the cabinet bottom with a flared-head machine screw (like a wood screw head) so they don't protrude into the cabinet inside.

Phil

MLB Construction
Re: Looking for tips on moving undercabinet lighting

i thought of the pancake box too but you can't put a wire into the side of it and out the other side. the only in and out is through the top.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Looking for tips on moving undercabinet lighting

In my fair city ALL exposed wiring over 12 volts must be metal clad.

Your mileage may vary

Re: Looking for tips on moving undercabinet lighting

Since the OP mentioned "NM" I assume he's talking about 120V wiring.

But LED's operate on 12V or less and in many cases can be treated as current limited wiring, except as the Houston Remodeler pointed out. The wiring out of the "transformer" or driver is usually around 12V. Which would require MC cable, metal conduit (EMT etc) or wiremold, if done in Houston.

1/2" "pancake" boxes as was mentioned lack the volume to receive power and feed a downstream 120V circuit. And again, can't receive connectors anywhere except the back.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Looking for tips on moving undercabinet lighting

Guess I forgot to mention that when I do this, I space the box with shimming as thick as the wire so I can feed from the back. Doesn't meet volume requirements but it does enclose the connection when you don't have enough wire from the original installation and I've never known of a problem doing it this way. In this case with far less than 15A used on the lighting, I don't worry about box volume as much as I do keeping the connection protected.

Best to do it right by code but that doesn't automatically make another method patently unsafe. To truly do this properly you'd have to open the wall and replace the original wire with one appropriate to the new purpose to eliminate all unnecessary splice connections which is good practice, so even though a splice in a proper box meets one standard, it doesn't meet another.

I've seen more than a few similar situations where somebody just wire-nutted and taped that extension. Thinking of the the sink nearby, water splashing, one hand grounded at the sink while reaching for something under that cabinet- it makes my spine shiver :eek:

Phil

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