DC outlets for LED lighting

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by JubileeNeighbour, Dec 17, 2017.

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  1. Dec 17, 2017 #1

    JubileeNeighbour

    JubileeNeighbour

    JubileeNeighbour

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    Hello,

    My first post. Apologies if this is the wrong forum or area.

    I'd like to put LED strip lighting on the inside of a new cabinet that I am installing. The cabinet is directly above an existing 2x 120v standard wall outlet. The LED lights run on a DC 12V current (maximum of about 3A) for which I have a few small AC/DC transformers that vaguely resemble that which powers a laptop. I'd prefer to have these transformers inside the cabinet and out of sight, or even inside the wall itself.

    I could plug them directly into wall outlet but that would permanently take up one of the two receptacles and would require an ugly plug and a drilled hole in the bottom of the cabinet for the cord.

    So my question is -- is there a standard way of wiring 12V DC out of a transformer mounted inside the wall? Or, in lieu of that -- is it considered safe / building-code friendly to run a +120V/GND pair of wires straight out of the wall and into the transformer inside my cabinet? I would like to consult my regional building code :canadaflag: but it is rather voluminous and only accessible at one of our big libraries, and so I am seeking advice here first.
     
  2. Dec 17, 2017 #2

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I am not a pro. If your cabinet is parentally attached to the wall before I installed it I would run a 120 volt wire from the outlet below up inside the wall and out thru a hole as you suggested as the cabinet will cover the hole. I would then make a matching hole in the cabinet back and pull the cable thru at the time of install. I would then install a J box junction box to the back of the cabinet with two outlets and plug my low voltage lighting transformer in. They make low profile J boxes that only take up a little over an inch if space is a problem.

    By code you can’t just have 120V wires connected with wire nuts out in the open.

    Others will be along with their opinions.
     
  3. Dec 17, 2017 #3

    JoeD

    JoeD

    JoeD

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    1. If this is a kitchen you can't use the counter receptacle to power the lighting.
    2. You can not hide the transformer inside the wall. It must remain accessible.
     
  4. Dec 17, 2017 #4

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

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    What you may run into in attempting to run the power romex in the wall is insulation and fire blocking.

    Cut a hole for a "work box" near the top of where the cabinet will be, which is easily patched, and fish the romex down the length needed to reach the duplex recep. you are powering from, hopefully in the same stud bay. If there are no restrictions. proceed.
     
  5. Dec 21, 2017 #5

    JubileeNeighbour

    JubileeNeighbour

    JubileeNeighbour

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    Hello, thanks all three for your replies.

    It's in the laundry room. One of the receptacles is already used up on the deep freezer, the top of which is about 16in below the bottom of the cabinet.

    I think after reading all the replies, I will be running wire down the inside of the stud bay to the junction box for the existing receptacles, and then putting the transformer in its own hideaway box on the exterior of the wall, but inside the cabinet. Maybe the box will have a nice hinged door of its own for maintenance.
     
  6. Dec 21, 2017 #6

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

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    The point of powering from the recep. is to add another recep. in a box near the top of the cabinet, so that the transformer plugs in.
     
  7. Dec 25, 2017 #7

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    LEDs and fluorescent tubes are best powered by current sources. Transformers and wall outlets are voltage sources.

    For fluorescents, the ballast does the conversion. If the LED assemblies don't have built in convertors, you will at least get uneven lighting.
     

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