As part of my kitchen remodeling project, I am planning on installing
"hockey puck" halogens inside the tops of 3 of the wall cabinets that
have glass doors and glass shelves for display. These are full 110v
lamps, not 12v bulbs with a transformer. I do NOT want to run the
wires thru the bottom of the cab and plug them into an outlet...I
wanted to have them switched thru a normal wall box and light
These lights are wired with 18g "lamp cord". Is there any code reason
why I can't run it behind the drywall and into the switch box (of
course running it thru studs like romex)? I have not yet installed
the drywall and have full access to the studs. As long as the
connections end in a standard box, is there a problem?
Yes it's a problem. Lamp cord is not rated for in wall use. The long term
ramification is that the insulation will dry up, become brittle, and break
off. An acceptable alternative would be to install switched receptacles
above the cabinets and just plug the lights in. Put your switch where ever
you want it using regular Romex or BX wiring and the appropriate electrical
boxes. If the cabinets go up to the ceiling, mount adjustable depth boxes
in the wall and cut holes in the back of the cabinets around the boxes.
That way you will have receptacles flush inside of the cabinets.
THanks for all of the responses. Back to the drawing paper.
My cabs end 6" below ceiling height but the gap will be closed off
with crown molding. This means I can't put a switched outlet in that
space...unless I make an "access panel" in the molding...which I don't
want to do. It sounds like a switched outlet INSIDE each glass cab is
my only option?
Yes. Romex is designed to keep an overheated wire contained and minimize the
chance of an inwall fire. Running zip cord through a wall is a really dumb idea
- especially as you have access to the inside of the wall. Run Romex to an
outlet above the cabinet(s).
Hey Jeff. My cabinets did not go up to the ceiling, so I was able to
install an outlet above the cabinet, but since you are going to the
ceiling obviously that is not an option, but keep in mind the
manufacturers of these lights do not recommend recessing the light in
an enclosed space, so I don't know if the enclosed space above your
cabinets would be the same thing. These lights get hot and need to
dissipate the heat in open air. Even if you surface mount the lights
instead of recessing them, it would be inside a closed cabinet and
thus cannot dissipate heat.
My undercounter lights are surface mounted and believe me, they do
generate a bit of heat. Check some lighting stores and see if they
sell a recessed light that is approved for enclosed spaces.
As for where to put the outlet, could you not put an outlet in
adjacent cabinet with no glass doors this way you would not see it?
Also, is is it possible to make a change and not go up to the ceiling
with crown and leave about 3-4" space?
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