Best approach for built-in lighting - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 02-27-2014, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Best approach for built-in lighting

Hello All,

I am starting a large project to build out a study with desk/work areas below, and a combination of cabinets, bookcases and cubbies above. The builit-ins will consume all wall space on two adjacent walls, forming a 12' by 12' "L" built-in from floor to ceiling (10')

I am planning to build the cabinets as individual units and will utilize a faceframe to tie them all together. The design has the entire built-in going up to within 4" of the ceiling with crown molding finishing off the built-ins and tying into the ceiling.

My question, generally, is how should I approach wiring the lighting, both in the cubbies/bookcases/cabinets (with glass doors) and the under cabinet lighting which will provide the needed task lighting on the desks/work areas?

I am planning to run two new circuits to the built-in:
  1. Under cabinet circuit for task lighting
  2. In cabinet / cubbie lighting
Should I install outlets in one or more walls and then connect the lighting to the outlet with a plug? This would provide a "modular" approach and provide the benefit of a switched outlet if the built-ins are removed in the future.


Should I hardwire the lighting by running Romex out the wall (behind a cabinet) and make the connections directly (wingnuts or similar)?

Should I pre-install the lighting in each cabinet and then make connections between units after they have been hung, or hang the cabinets first and then install all the lighting?

Should I use (or must I use) flexible conduit to run Romex to each lighting unit, or can I just daisy-chain the fixtures together?

I do not have the lighting fixtures selected yet and that may answer some of my questions. I am leaning toward LED ribbon lighting, but welcome your suggestions on this as well.

I've attached a rendering of the room design below.

Apologies for the long post and thanks in advance for your input.
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post #2 of 3 Old 02-28-2014, 12:18 PM
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Look into LED strip lighting for the inside of the cabinet. It lights well and are easily concealed. For the lighting under the cabinets I normally use puck lights. To hide the wiring I make a 3/4" hollow cavity under the bottom shelf where I run the wires and attach the lights to a piece of 1/4" plywood tacked to the blocking under the shelf. Generally on the wall cabinets I make the bottom rail 3/4" to 1" wider when installing lighting to hide the fixtures.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-01-2014, 06:03 AM
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I've used led tape lighting inside glass door cabinets attached to the vertical backside of the face frame. Keep in mind a transformer is needed but can be remotely located.

Kirsch lighting makes a reasonably priced under cabinet light fixture that can tucked behind a front light apron

Cut it twice, measure once and it's still too short.
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