SlimShady218 New Reader
9/4/18 3:22 p.m.

The Mrs. and I are embarking on another kitchen remodel and are looking into under cabinet lighting options.  Has anyone ever looked into this?  We are wanting a hard wired solution, not a plug in type, and one that is dimmable and LED, we have no real preference between the strips and puck lights and doesn't need to change colors.  Just about all of the systems I have seen are the plug in type and the dimming is only through the included dimmer, not a wall dimmer.  We have about 25 LF of upper cabinets in 3 different areas and I'm tearing out the existing back splash so accessibility to the walls really isn't an issue.  I am envisioning making a single gang box a 2-gang box for a dimmer switch, running up to a transformer (if needed) that would sit on top of the cabinet and then run wires out of that to the locations under the cabinets.  Any suggestions?  What am I forgetting to take into account.


Thanks for the insight.

daeman Dork
9/4/18 4:58 p.m.

I'd go strip light over pucks, it's a much nicer effect.

The good part about led is after the transformer is low voltage, so extending the wiring should be fairly safe and easy. That'd at least allow you get the transformers up into the ceiling.

As for hardwiring the transformers, its obviously possible, but you'll need someone to chime in regarding the legality of doing it. All my led down lights are transformer type with batton outlets in the ceiling cavity. Means in the event of a failure I can climb into the roof, unplug the old and plug in the new without the need for an electrician (not that hard wiring is an obstacle to me, but it probably will be for the next owner)

As for dimming, if you bought units that are able to be dimmed, I'm pretty sure you can put a dimmer unit in series with the power supply to the transformer. I'm using my down lights for reference, being transformer type, I have a dimmer wired that way and it works as it should. But I'm not sure how it would work if you were to dim the infeed power to a transformer that has a dimmer built in.

As for the dimmer itself, if you go that way, you'll want an LED compatible dimmer, they're a bit more expensive than STD dimmers, but not bank breakers. Bonus is the ones I got are fully programmable. I can set them up so the dimmer knob doubles as the on off switch, set the max and min light levels, set what light level they come on at, fade in/fade out and whatever else I've forgotten.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/4/18 5:20 p.m.

Ikea has your back here. They have a modular setup that lets you mix panels, strips and pucks all off a central transformer. It's designed to be plugged in but the last time I installed a set I did as daeman suggested and hid outlets in various spots.

There's a little round wireless remote that can trigger multiple transformers with two light levels.

You'll need the lights, the appropriately sized transformer(s), a plug (!) and the remote control. It's a good setup, I've been running them for a few years.

SlimShady218 New Reader
9/5/18 9:54 a.m.

What a worm hole I just went down.  It eventually led to smart home technology and now I'm considering jumping on that band wagon.  Thanks for the input, keep it coming, at the point nothing is off the table.

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