3. In-Line Switch w/ Y Cable Setup
This kitchen lighting is a plug and play system using a plug in power supply, in-line switch, two custom flex strips and an over the microwave “Y” cable.
Measure available space for flex:
Start by measuring out the entire length of the area where the flex strips will be mounted. Once you have the full measurement you will need to subtract 3” in order to make room for the cable connectors on each side. For this project, the customer had decided to mount the flex strip along the front edge of the cabinet facing towards the backsplash in order to highlight the backsplash and help eliminate the reflection off of the counter top. This also allowed the customer to use one long strip on the right side of the microwave instead of having to use two flex strips and another cable.
Dividers under cabinets:
This cabinet set had dividers underneath them that separated the cabinets. When there are dividers under the cabinets you can make a slight modification to them to make installing the LED flex easier and more affordable. The two modification options are to either make a slot in these dividers for the flex to fit in or drill a 1/2” hole in them for the flex strip to slide through.
Mounting the flex strip:
Next you will want to clean the bottoms of the cabinets, where you plan on mounting the flex, with isopropyl alcohol to remove any dust or dirt. As mentioned earlier, this cabinet design had the flex mounted on the front trim facing towards the backsplash. The other common mounting option would be placing the strip 2” away from the front of the cabinet facing down on the counter top. Mounting the flex straight down would give you more task light but may cause a reflection on the counter top. A good way to decide on which mounting option you prefer is to use painters tape to hold the flex strip in place so you can see how the lights will look.
To hide cables from being seen, you will want to drill a hole in the front bottom corner of the cabinet so that the cable can be hidden up behind the stile (vertical pieces of the front frame). When using Inspired LED’s Interconnect Cables you will need a drill bit that is 3/8” in diameter for the connector to fit threw. Once the hole is drilled, run the cable up through the inside of the cabinet behind the stile. Use Inspired LED’s Cable clamps to hold the cable in place as well as any loose excess cable.
The wiring set up for this job is a little trickier compared to other jobs since the outlet used is in the middle of the two LED strips, instead of at the end of the run. In order to control both of the strips with the same in-line switch, a “Y” cable was used. The power supply cable was first ran down the inside of the cabinet to the bottom so that it can plug into the in-line switch. The “Y” cable will then plug into the second input on the in-line switch. Be sure that the portion of the “Y” cable plugged into the switch is the side that has the single cable coming out of it. The “Y” cable will have two cables split apart on the other side, one being 4 inches and the other being 12 feet long. The 4” section will plug into the strip light under the cabinet and the 12’ cable will be ran back through the same hole the power supply cable is in and over the microwave to the light strip on the other side. Note: the hole that has the microwave “Y” cable and the power supply cable going through it, may need to be drilled a little bit bigger.
Plug in the power supply into an outlet or switched outlet if you want to control it. In this case the power supply is plugged into an extra outlet in the cabinet above the microwave. Normally with a regular outlet the lights would stay on at all times. However, this customer wanted to be able to turn their lights on and off so they have decided to install an In-Line switch.
Mounting the In-Line Switch
When mounting the In-Line switch you will want to place it directly after the power supply so that it controls all of your lights. In this case, since the power supply is plugged into an outlet inside the cabinet above the microwave, the switch will need to be mounted on either the left or right side of the microwave. Ideally the switch will be mounted on the underside of the cabinet so that it is hidden from view behind the trim of the cabinet. Be sure that the switch is mounted so that the cable inputs are facing away from the side of the cabinet. The cable inputs to the switch are interchangeable so the power supply plug can go into either option.