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LED/Low Voltage cabinet lighting -anyone used it?

1290 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Kevin_Wadsworth
I love those designs which incorporate recessed lighting in the soffits and would love to do it. However, by basement is virtually finished, as we just bought the place, I don't think the wife is gonna go for ripping all the drywall out.

My question is this:

Has anyone used the low voltage under-cabinet type LEDs lights for such? I understand many of these have touch-dim capabilities, and 24" cables -can those be lengthened? -can dimmers be added(if the non-touch lamps are used?

I would love to be able to use these on the underside of a soffit and rope lighting on top. -I realize this is a Fred Sanford approach :), but it would sure make life easier.

I would love to hear any succeses, horror stories even the your crazy comments.


R Davis
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The problem is that it goes against code to put the wiring for these type of lights inside the drywall.
My thinking was a wood soffit which is exosed on top, so the lights are not actually enclosed -my better sense is telling me to just suck it up and rip it down, but I'd like the opinions of others.
I was kicking around trying to use some kind of puck light or something, too. Not because I have an already-finished room, but because I'm trying to figure out how to put recessed lighting in the soffits in my room without penetrating the double-drywall envelope. I don't want to do sconces because I'm not crazy about the look and even the smallest line-voltage cans are 5-6" deep - way too deep for my single-stud deep (4" or so with drywall) soffit.

Gobble, I've seen entire houses wired with all low-voltage lighting. Not a newer house, I guess, but could you fill me in on that? There's all kinds of low-voltage wiring in the walls in houses, isn't there? What about built-in cabinetry? I know you couldn't do something silly like enclose the transformer in the drywall, but if the transformer was acessible, what would be wrong with LV wiring in the wall?

I thought about LED, but I'm not sure I'd like the color temp - I like the warmth of tungsten lighting - a lot.

The major concern I have (assuming it's even allowed) is dimming - which is a problem with low-voltage (inductive, right?) loads. Plus, I'd like to dim it externally with X-10. Anybody do that?

I was thinking about something like this in the soffits:

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I did some more research and everything IC-rated and designed as recessed lighting is 6-7" deep, ruling out installation in anything but at least a 2x8-depth space. I don't have that much room. Even non-IC rated stuff is at least 5-5.5" deep.

Now, I'm thinking of going the track lighting route. It's easy to install, makes way fewer (and much smaller) penetrations, and since they're line voltage, I won't have to deal with any dimmer issues.

Something like this should look nice:

I could either do track to be able to move the heads around, or I could use single-point power feeds and fix-mount the heads:

Cost would probably be comparable, but it would probably be a lot more work to do the single-point mounts - boxes on framing, lots of wiring and connections. Either way, cost is probably much cheaper (and much less work) than recessed lighting. IC-rated small enclosures are usually in the $40/ea. ballpark. These track heads are $11/ea.

I was thinking of setting it up like this:

- 1 circuit to control 3 floods on the soffit above the screen

- 1 circuit to control 9 floods (3 per side) on the side and back walls

- 1 circuit to control a spot or two over the front seats (for reading, etc.)

- 1 circuit to control a spot aimed at the rack in the back corner of the room.

Total cost should be in the $250 ballpark vs. $600 ballpark for recessed cans.

Well, I'm kind of talking to myself here - thinking out loud, I guess.

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Are you thinking of putting the lights on the soffit, or on the raised part of the ceiling? I'm thinking about doing something similar (no space for cans in soffit, and no real desire to penetrate double drywall either), but putting the track lights on the soffit lowers the already lower ceiling height. So I'm thinking about just mounting them somewhere near the middle of the room where they could shine on the seating area to enable reading in the room.
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