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I'm considering LED strip lighting for a pantry and for the stairway to the basement. I see three types of power supplies for the strips: with an AC plug, with pigtails, and with screw posts. The ones with an AC plug are easy to use and I might consider that for the stairway, but I can't easily hide the plug and outlet in the pantry (it wouldn't look "clean").

The power supplies look to be too large to fit inside an electrical box.

I could mount the pigtailed power supply outside the box and run the wires to the inside where I attach to 120 VAC. But, I'm concerned you can't have exposed AC wires (going from the supply to the box). What's code compliant? Do I put them in some sort of conduit?

What about the supplies with the screw posts?? I'm pretty sure I can't wrap tape around it to isolate the AC (tape could come off). These mystify me.

Thanks,

Jim

p.s. Got asked for examples...First is an example of one with a plug, second is an example of one with pigtails, and third is an example of one with screw posts:

Power supply with plug Power supply with pigtails Power supply with posts

  • The drivers I've seen with screw posts, the posts are actually under a cover. Sometimes a product photo doesn't show the cover. I'd agree that you don't want exposed line voltage. It would help if you would provide data and photos about the specific products you're considering. – Peter Duniho Nov 7 '19 at 23:26
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    Just FYI you can get electrical boxes of just about any size you want -- you're not limited to the tiny ones used for light switches and outlets. That may not help you in your kitchen cabinets however. – Nate S. Nov 8 '19 at 0:34
  • I didn't know that--thanks. I did a quick search and see pretty large size PVC boxes--not sure how they mount and how you attach wires (I don't see knockouts). I'll keep looking. – AdirondackJim Nov 8 '19 at 3:43
  • @AdirondackJim some NEMA enclosures (aka "big electrical boxes") come with knockouts, while others don't, as you're expected to use a punch (metal) or holesaw (plastic) to make your own KOs in such boxes – ThreePhaseEel Nov 12 '19 at 1:16
  • ThreePhaseEel, thanks for explaining what I saw. – AdirondackJim Dec 11 '19 at 21:17
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I'm pretty sure the proper way involves using a (large) electrical box (Thanks Nate S). They make them in a variety of sizes--some quite large, like the ones holding your circuit breakers. I saw a picture of a large one containing a large switching power supply. You mount it some place out of the way, like in the basement, or in the attic (if you have access) and then run low voltage wires to the room/led tape.

If the power supply is pigtailed, I also think you could butt it up against an electrical box and have the high voltage wires enter where it butts up. That way no high voltage wires are exposed--kind of how I see the doorbell or boiler transformer mounted to a box. I'm basing this solely on the transformers I've seen.

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