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Thread: LED Tape under cabinet install

  1. #1
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    LED Tape under cabinet install

    When roughing in a new kitchen what kind of wire do you use for in wall from the driver location to the under cabinet (tape light) location?

    I know the manufacturer sells an 18-2 that looks like speaker wire (stranded). I've also been told you can just use 18-2 stat wire.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Jun 2016
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    Tampa, FL, USA
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    I've had an installation of the speaker wire red tagged because it did not have wire markings. The thermostat wire is marked as class 2 and I've had no issues with it.

  3. #3
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    I've done a few kitchens in the past month with 14/2 in wall speaker cable. The boss had is leftover from a job a few years ago so it was a good use for it.

  4. #4
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    Marlborough, Massachusetts USA
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    Could the OP use 14/2 NMB, or is there an issue with the terminations because it is a solid conductor?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knuckle Dragger View Post
    Could the OP use 14/2 NMB, or is there an issue with the terminations because it is a solid conductor?
    14/2 solid NM cable would be an absolute nightmare to terminate on the tiny connection boxes that we use for the LED tape.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter d View Post
    14/2 solid NM cable would be an absolute nightmare to terminate on the tiny connection boxes that we use for the LED tape.
    I can appreciate that.
    The last time I installed the LED tape strip (about 4 years ago) I ran 14/2 NMB and the manufacturer had a terminal block that accommodated 14/2. The customer supplied the material on this one so I don't remember the manufacturer's name.

  7. #7
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    18/2 CL2 stranded cable. And I usually stub out a 14/2 NM on top of a cabinet to mount the driver.

    If you’re still at the rough-in stage, I’d recommend the Legrand adorne under cabinet lighting and power strips ....

    https://www.legrand.us/adorne/undercabinet-series.aspx

    Not cheap but my customers love these. I’d recommend the linear strip LED lighting modules. A nice effect is to have these under the cabinet with the LED tape on top of the cabinets. Average kitchen cost for the under cabinet strips is about $1400.

    FYI if you use these, run 14/3 for the Lighting section. The accessory circuit shares a neutral with the lights. The receptacle circuit just gets a 12/2. Right


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  8. #8
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    LED Tape lite adhesive

    Anyone ever have problems with the 3M adhesive on the tape light?

    I'm always apprehensive about the long term and whether 5 or 10 years down the road if there would be a failure of the adhesive.

    I also worry about down the road if the customer ever want to change their under cabinet lighting but they only have low voltage wire to work with...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sw_ross View Post
    Anyone ever have problems with the 3M adhesive on the tape light?

    I'm always apprehensive about the long term and whether 5 or 10 years down the road if there would be a failure of the adhesive.

    I also worry about down the road if the customer ever want to change their under cabinet lighting but they only have low voltage wire to work with...
    I would not worry about the last item you mentioned. nobody is going back to using Legacy under cabinet lighting.

    I've never worried about the adhesive being too weak, on the other hand I have worried about it being too strong and ripping veneer if they ever needed to be removed. Cleaning the surface with an alcohol soaked rag should resolve any issues with the adhesive not sticking.

    the only problems I've had with under cabinet lights are the connections, which vary quite a bit in style and effectiveness tween different manufacturers. some are extremely finicky and absolute garbage and will make you wish you had never heard of under cabinet lighting. others are so easy and reliable that you don't think anything of it.

    I like the track and lenses myself, it gets rid of the pin-dot effect on shiny countertops, tho they can add substantially to the cost of the job.

    Eta: the wire... should be listed for in wall use. Some cheaper speaker wire or zip cord is not rated for such. I also prefer 20/2 solid, because the IDC connectors I use are only good up to 19 gauge wire
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFletcher View Post
    I would not worry about the last item you mentioned. nobody is going back to using Legacy under cabinet lighting.

    I've never worried about the adhesive being too weak, on the other hand I have worried about it being too strong and ripping veneer if they ever needed to be removed. Cleaning the surface with an alcohol soaked rag should resolve any issues with the adhesive not sticking.

    the only problems I've had with under cabinet lights are the connections, which vary quite a bit in style and effectiveness tween different manufacturers. some are extremely finicky and absolute garbage and will make you wish you had never heard of under cabinet lighting. others are so easy and reliable that you don't think anything of it.

    I like the track and lenses myself, it gets rid of the pin-dot effect on shiny countertops, tho they can add substantially to the cost of the job.

    Eta: the wire... should be listed for in wall use. Some cheaper speaker wire or zip cord is not rated for such. I also prefer 20/2 solid, because the IDC connectors I use are only good up to 19 gauge wire
    The shop I work for uses literally several miles of LED tape each year. We've tried every type of IDC connector and pressure connector for the LED tape known to mankind, and absolutely nothing is reliable long term. We solder to the tape every time, and we have no problems; 20awg MTW leads, approximately 6" long, and then connected to "feeder" from the driver, typically 18awg or 16awg in-wall rated cable. Splice type varies depending on application. Use good rosin-core solder and a 25W iron, and you're good. Practice on some scrap tape until you're comfortable.


    SceneryDriver

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