Inside cabinet lighting

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by TresK3, Apr 24, 2008.

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  1. TresK3

    TresK3
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    Our old house had a nifty system of lights inside the kitchen cabinets. It was probably installed by a former owner from misc parts he/she picked up. Basically it was a set of pressure switches connected to night light sockets/bulbs. When the door was closed, the circuit was broken and the light off. Open the door, make the circuit and the light comes on. When we sold the house they buyer insisted on having me remove the lights (her inspector noted that we were not installed in a "workman-like manner"), so I have all the parts and pieces in the garage.

    Now I'd like to reinstall the system in a our new house. OR... some other similar system (ideas? suggestions?)

    I'm going to start by installing something under the sink cabinet. The challenge is that I'd like to have the lights come on when either cabinet door is opened. Also, I'd like to be able to ultimately tap into this initial install to run wires to adjacent cabinets. As I remember it, the old wiring seemed to consist of two or three wires (no ground, I'm certain of that) that ran from the wall with the cabinet lights strung off them like Christmas lights. I didn't take enough notes on the old wiring to figure how each set of pressure switches controlled just the lights in one cabinet, with out affecting everything else on the system. Any thoughts on how to wire this up? Any other resources you can point me to? Better ideas? Derogatory comments?

    Thanks,
    Tres
     
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  2. jebatty

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    You are looking at a 2-way switching, like for lights in your home, two switches, each of which can turn on or off a light. These are SPDT switches. Google 2 way electric wiring and you will find the wiring diagram for this. Your common is the hot wire, so you can extend this with a neutral and ground to other lighting circuits.

    Suggest using LED low voltage lighting. Safe. Radio Shack or an electronic supply store should have SPDT push buttom switches, just look around some.
     
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  3. seige101

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    Minor correction a single switch is a single pole, and switches that can be turned on or off from multiple locations are 3-way and 4-way switches. 2 3-way switches will turn off the switch from 2 locations add as many 4-way switches as you would like in the middle.
     
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  4. jebatty

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    Correction is correct - a 3 way not a 2 way. But still my answer was OK for a 3 way, as those are SPDT switches. Regular single pole light switches are SPST.
     
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  5. begreen

    begreen
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    Regardless of how they are switched, I think the original problem with the night light circuit was that it was line voltage and probably was wired with lamp cord. I would scrap the old system and go to a low voltage system. Either halogen lights or LED should work.
     
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  6. Jay H

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    Have you thought about simply LED motion sensor lights that would sense the opening of the door? They're fairly cheap, like $8 at Harborfreight. Just a word of warning that the LEDs last long, the motion sensor's themselves seem to be suspect. Not sure if it was just mine but I did have a motion light in my basement foyer area so I could see and unlock the door. The motion sensor died after about a year's of working. Now I have a LED bank but with a regular switch on it. They run on usually AA batteries..

    Jay
     
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