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#82583 - 11/29/02 03:44 PM Low voltage undercounter lights
harold endean Offline

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
I know that these low voltage (LV) hockey puck light fixtures have been around for awile. I also know that the wiring of them have been argued about too. My question is, does the splice where the NM wire attaches to the flying lead of the LV light have to be accesible? Is there a code section that says yes? or no? How many times have you seen where the splice is made, then tucked back into the wall, and then have the wall sealed with either grout or a silicone. Then if/when you have to go and change lights later on, you have to cut open the wall to remove the splice. (Or maybe they don't remove the old splice, but just add a new splice on the outside.) Any comments?


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#82584 - 11/29/02 03:53 PM Re: Low voltage undercounter lights
Wirenuttt Offline

Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 267
Loc: Massachusetts
I've had a few installations of the hockey puck light and agree with you that it's not a very good application. I don't know how the lobbyist of this fixture managed to get through UL. It's been a few years since installing one, what I did is made the owner install a back plate out of wood inside his cabinet because I refused to burry it on my license. Not sure if this helps you.

#82585 - 11/29/02 04:11 PM Re: Low voltage undercounter lights
caselec Offline

Registered: 04/14/02
Posts: 557
Loc: San Jose, CA
We usually try to have the cabinet maker install a double bottom on the cabinets with a 1/2" space between the layers to run the low voltage cables and make the connections in. This way you can remove the fixtures and get to any of the connections.

I do have a problem with these new puck lights that Home Depot is selling. They no longer have transformers and are designed to connected directly to 120V. I have had several customers hand them to me to install and I quickly refuse. Why would UL list such a thing? I guess if you have enough money you can get anything listed.


[This message has been edited by caselec (edited 11-29-2002).]
Curt Swartz

#82586 - 11/29/02 06:46 PM Re: Low voltage undercounter lights
nesparky Offline

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 650
Loc: omaha,ne
When I have a customer who wants those puck light installed, I tell them that a splice box must be installed. Then we discuss where the box will be. Most of the time they do not want to see another box cover on the wall. Then they usually decide the try something else.
I do not care if an item is UL listed, If I do not believe it will be a safe installation, it is better to not put it in.

#82587 - 11/29/02 07:22 PM Re: Low voltage undercounter lights
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
I hate these lights but they are legal and they are only 12 volts. Whats the problem?

#82588 - 11/29/02 11:12 PM Re: Low voltage undercounter lights
stamcon Offline

Registered: 03/24/01
Posts: 322
Loc: So San Francisco CA
Scott, the new ones that are out now are 110/120v. They look like the low voltage ones except for the cord.

#82589 - 11/30/02 04:25 AM Re: Low voltage undercounter lights
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
I have seen the 120v ones and there are still 12v units also. All are a pain in the behind. I will only use them if the homeowner is not willing to go with my recomendations. I've run #12 lamp cord and I use crimp on butt splices accesible under the cabinet. When I supply fixtures I use Kichler Cabinet Lighting System. Having installed thousands of UNDERCABINET lights (drives me crazy when people say "undercounter") I find these are by far the easiest to install and the price is reasonable as well.

#82590 - 11/30/02 04:01 PM Re: Low voltage undercounter lights
Jim M Offline

Registered: 08/10/01
Posts: 453
Loc: Chestertown, MD, USA
I use crimp on butt splices from the NM-B to the 10 ga. wire tucked under the cabinet. If I need to cover the splices I use a Wiremold box at 3/4" deep with a blank plate.

As my NM-B leads from the wall are at 12V I don't see a problem with the splices being just tucked up behind the reveal of the cabinet.

How does the Kichler compare to the Seagull brand?

#82591 - 12/01/02 04:49 AM Re: Low voltage undercounter lights
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
Jim I haven't used the seagull brand so I can't compare. I have used Alkco and other local home center brands and Kichler is better and VERY fast and easy to install.

#82592 - 12/01/02 02:41 PM Re: Low voltage undercounter lights
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
i guess i can't see the original Q here , is the UC arrangement fed via regular nm from an x-former?

if so, is this intentional?, or an 11th hour change?

last job i did a switched receptacle was installed above the cabinets , so as not to view the x-former that served the UC lighting.

a savey cabinetmaker should know what a 'lightbar' is when requested, the fish spaces down can be predetermined and/or may exist already.

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