installing 15 amp cabinet lights into a 20 amp circuit

Page 1 of 6  
Hi, I want to install cabinet lights in my kitchen and I'm not sure if what I want to do is safe (or code compliant).
The lights are an LED panel with a built in transformer, with bare leads intended to be hardwired inside the wall, and a remote switch.
Is it ok to install these lights behind an existing 20 amp outlet? The only input specs on the package are "120V". The output specs are "24V, max 14.7W"
Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It should be as safe as any lights. Hopefully the built in transformer will have a fuse internal to it rated for the lights.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/22/2016 11:53 AM, car13 wrote:

Two different issues, here.
First, neither the lights nor the circuit will care. The circuit can more than adequately supply the load. And, the lights don't care where their ~15W of power come from (as long as there are no YELLOW electrons involved! Damn pesky things... :> )
But, your reference to "behind an existing 20A outlet" suggests you want to hard-wire them to one of the two GFCI counter-top branch circuits intended for use in a kitchen. There, you run afoul of code as you are now installing a fixed load (albeit small) that defeats the purpose of having "two 20A GFCI circuits for SMALL APPLIANCES"
[I.e., why not connect the refrigerator there, as well? Ans: don't!]
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, February 22, 2016 at 2:03:59 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

IDK exactly what "behind an existing 20A outlet really means", but as far as the code goes, I think you probably have a point regarding code and connecting it to one of the 20A appliance circuits, which are supposed to be only for plug-in appliances. However, it is perfectly safe and for just 14W worth of LED lights, I know what I'd do..... Unless some other circuit is easily available, of course.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 22 Feb 2016 11:47:54 -0800 (PST), trader_4

Trader is right about the code. I don't see a huge problem but it is not really legal. If you have a general lighting circuit in there that would be the one to use and you can even make a case that it is legal on with the dish washer or disposal. Not the fridge
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/22/2016 7:33 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

We ran a separate drop off the lighting circuit feeding a pair of wall switches. The wall switches, in turn, feed two halves of a split duplex receptacle located above the sink (behind the sconce -- if that's what it's called?). There, installed a pair of power supplies the outputs of which then are routed down through the walls to connect to the under-cabinet light strips.
In this way, we can service the power supplies, adjust intensity, replace them, etc. without having to worry about "will it physically fit" at some future date. And, puts the switches controlling them in a comparable place as the other light switches for the room.
[considered "remoting" the intensity control but figured we could probably live with one setting. currently set for "workspace lighting", i.e. bright. If we later decided we wanted to use them as a dim sort of nightlight, we'd tweek that setting]
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, February 22, 2016 at 1:53:48 PM UTC-5, car13 wrote:

re: "Is it ok to install these lights behind an existing 20 amp outlet?"
If you install them behind an outlet, they are not going to cast much light. ;-)
What do you mean by "behind an outlet"?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 02/22/2016 12:32 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

He means wiring them into the wire nuts behind a regular outlet, ie not wiring them to a plug that is plugged into the outlet.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yep, what Jon said. Sorry, I'm not super familiar with electrical terminology (I'm a mechanical guy).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, February 22, 2016 at 6:44:43 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@google.com wrote:

In that case...
Safe? Probably. Code? Probably not.
See trader_4's response for the reason.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 22 Feb 2016 15:44:36 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@google.com wrote:

No you may not do that.
Why not just get one of those 6 in 1 outlets, that plug into to a duplex outlet (like you have) and have a center screw so they don't pull out when you pull out a plug. They come with 3 prong sockets.
These days, even a properly wired house is likely to have many more appliances and little black boxes than the number of receptacles, even if you don't use more than one or two of the big ones at once.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, February 22, 2016 at 11:04:29 PM UTC-5, Micky wrote:

He does not have a plug on the end of the leads from the transformer. The wires might not be suitable for adding a plug, perhaps because of physical issues, perhaps because of aesthetics.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 22 Feb 2016 20:18:23 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

Yeah, I missed that when replying to his second post, but then I read his first post again.

What phyical issues could those be?

It's the kitchen. Screw aesthetics. How bad can a plug be? Or a 6-in-1? What's your alternative?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I partly take this back. The big rubber plugs that go on industrial extensions cords would look bad almost anywhere -- I agree -- and those are still easy to get. I guess if that is all there were, that's what I'd use. But HD still sells one model that's small.
And I've been planning ahead so I have extra plugs, that I bought to be sure of having one when I need it; I have two really thin plugs meant to go behind a dresser, so they're less than 1/2" thick, with the wire coming out of the side**; I have the cords with plugs permanently attached: and before I throw anything in the trash, I take the cord, or the plug if it unscrews. I'm hoping to go to Guatemala within a couple years, and I think I'll see what they sell. I like shopping for hardware when I'm out of the country, if there's something I need.
**I'm saving these for where space is a problem, but if needed I could use them elsewhere and just remember where I'm using them in case I actually do need thin ones. They dont use screws, just metal prongs, but they work with standard lamp cord (which is also becoming less common.)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, February 22, 2016 at 11:28:20 PM UTC-5, Micky wrote:

I know you took this back later (partly), but even to have made this comment in the first place was almost enough to make me realize that this conversation probably isn't worth having with you. However, I'll use it as teaching moment.
Kitchens are often the most important room in the house and some people put more money into the blending of aesthetics and functionality in a kitchen than they do in any other room.

Going back to the aesthetics issue, you have no idea what the wires on the transformer look like. What if they look like this?
http://cdn.instructables.com/FQT/ORX7/GVOW55S5/FQTORX7GVOW55S5.LARGE.jpg
Are you just going to put a plug on these wires? I hope not, but since kitchen aesthetics don't matter to you, maybe you would.
As far as extending the bare lead wires with a spare cord, where would store the connections? The wires nuts would have to go in a junction box. After you've done that, how do you plan to have the cord come out of the junction box so you can plug it in?

My alternative is to wire it per code and keep aesthetics in mind as I'm planning the project.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 23 Feb 2016 04:40:23 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

Twice. Once in the next two words and once in the follow-up post.
To be honest, "Screw aesthetics" was directed to you, not the OP. I know he's not going to ignore aesthetics and I wouldn't either, but you got my goat with the absurd implication that a plug on the end of a wire could be unaesthetic, based perhaps on the absurd idea that a wire he would find** on his transformer could be too ugly for a plug. Most people with kitchens have things with plugs plugged in, the toaster, the blender, a George Foreman grill, a radio, a tv, a microwave, a Mixmaster, one or more device chargers, and maybe other things (an electric rotisserie?). Putting a plug on his cord will not detract from the appearance of the kitchen.
**An industrial strength extension cord would look bad plugged into a kitchen outlet, but you won't find that on a 25 watt device.

What's wrong with them? I'd put on the plug whose url I gave in the other post (in reply to his first post). If that didn't leave a long enough wire to mount the box somewhere decent, like under the cabinets hidden by the cabinet skirt (where I have my extra light) I'd add some wire too.

What connections?

What wire nuts? If the wire is not long enough, I'd solder more wire to it, with the connections offset from each other so there is no chance of shorting and so the bulge would be smaller, though longer.

What junction box?

That's a total non-answer. What is your alternative?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 1:13:06 PM UTC-5, Micky wrote:

Why do you consider that an absurd implication? He specifically said:
"with bare leads intended to be hardwired inside the wall"
not
"with bare leads intended to have a plug attached"
Neither of us know what those "bare leads" look like, but I'm leaning towards them *not* looking like the cord on my KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer. Since he said the leads were "intended to be hardwired inside the wall" we can be pretty sure that they did not use an appliance cord, because appliance cords are not intended to be hardwired inside the wall.
Of course, his description could be wrong. Neither of us know, therefore my "implication" is no more absurd than your idea of just soldering on cord with a plug.
A picture would, as always, be helpful.

You can't make that assertion without knowing what the "bare leads intended to be hardwired inside the wall" look like. Again, based on his use of the words "intended to be hardwired inside the wall" I lean away from the simple attachment of a plug being aesthetically pleasing. In fact, it may not even be to code.

It's obvious that you are picturing a totally different set of leads coming out the device than I am.
Once again, a picture would be, as always, helpful.

My alternative is to wire it per code and keep aesthetics in mind as I'm planning the project.
That is the only answer I can give until I know what the "bare leads intended to be hardwired inside the wall" actually look like. In the end, that will still be answer, but it will probably have some more details added once I know what he is working with.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 23 Feb 2016 13:58:34 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

This is all so silly since he could solve most of this by posting back and addressing our questions, implied and explicit.
But I took "intended" to refer to a drawing or instructions that came with the light and nothing to do with the wires' actual appearance. If you consider that possibility, we might have opinions closer to each other than they are now.

True.

Well, they don't look like alligators. They look like wires.

What in the code prevents connecting two 14, 16, or 18 gauge wires to a plug? ..........

So as yet, you don't have an alternative.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 12:07:48 PM UTC-5, Micky wrote:

True. They might even look like the wires that come with a bathroom fan. 3 loose wires (18g?) one black, one white, one green. Maybe it's a short run of Romex. Do you feel that putting a plug on those types of wires "will not detract from the appearance of the kitchen?"
If you think that either of those will be an OK look, then we have nothing further to discuss. If you agree with me that that that would not be aesthetically pleasing, then I repeat:
You can't make that assertion without knowing what the "bare leads intended to be hardwired inside the wall" look like.

I don't know. That's why I said *may*. You keep making statements based on your assumptions of what he is dealing with and I keep leaving it wide open until we know the details. You have no clue what the "bare leads intended to be hardwired inside the wall" look like, yet you keep saying things like "Put a plug on them! Solder on longer wires! It'll be beautiful! It will meet code!"
That make no sense.

As I said before, I'm not going to jump to a detail explanation of an alternative until I have all of the facts. My stated alternative covers the general situation based on the facts known at this time. To code and aesthetically pleasing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 24 Feb 2016 09:55:35 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

They would never put Romex on a less than 20 watt light.

Red herring. I didn't suggest those wires, you did.

What do you mean "no clue". I've seen 100's of electric lights.
The wires look just like I expected.
And he could put a plug on them. He just doesn't want to, and I understand that.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.