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I have a home office, which currently has a couple of wall lights (controlled by switches on the wall, so part of the normal lighting circuit).

I'd like to install some wall-supported shelving, and the lights are in the way. I'd also quite like to have some lighting (possibly LED strips) under the lowest shelf to light the desk.

It seems to me that I should be able to just extend the wiring from the wall lights down the wall, and connect the under-desk lighting that way, so that it continues to be operated from the wall switches.

My question is: what's the correct way of going about this? I expect the light fittings will just have some wire coming out of the wall - should I install a backbox and some sort of front panel (with a socket, or just a fuse?) Should I angle-grind a channel in the wall and extend the wire, and if so how should I terminate it then? Or can I just chocbox the wire outside the wall and fill it in a bit?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes you can just extend wiring. However, exactly how will depend on the particular circumstances of your wall.

You can get plates that just have hole for the wire to come out of - this one from B&Q or this one, also from B&Q for example - so you could fit one of those. If the wire would get in the way then cutting a channel down to the correct height is the best bet. Make sure you use suitable conduit to protect the wire. You can then fit the plate at the lower level. You can use a blanking plate over the existing outlet, if you have enough depth you might be able to fit the plate flush with the wall.

I wouldn't chocbox outside the wall - that wouldn't pass code.

This might be one of those jobs that you have to get an electrician for - given the regulations.

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Would I need to have a fused plate? –  xorsyst Jun 1 '12 at 11:22
    
@xorsyst - It might be a good idea, but I don't think it's essential (but I'm not familiar enough with the current electrical code to say for sure) –  ChrisF Jun 1 '12 at 11:24
    
@ChrisF Can you clarify your "plaster over the hole" statement, as it sounds like you're suggesting to cover up a junction box. It is against code and dangerous to have hidden junctions. Any connections must be accessible and contained in a proper box. –  gregmac Jun 1 '12 at 15:08
    
@gregmac - good point - I was unclear. I'll correct it. –  ChrisF Jun 1 '12 at 15:09
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