I will be installing built-in bookcases to the right and left of the fireplace pictured below.

LED strip lighting will be installed in the bookcase.

I'm having trouble deciding the best/easiest way to run electrical to both sides of the bookcase.

Option 1) The blue lines in the photo. I could try to pull power from the can lights near the fireplace and feed wire to make a receptacle on both sides of the bookcase. This option would require cutting holes through several ceiling joists ... yuck.

Option 2) I could pull power from the outlet that is currently near the fireplace. The orange lines in the photo show this option. I would have to cut holes through 2x4's and a corner. Then I would have to figure out how to get it to the other side of the fireplace.

Any suggestions? I could use it.

enter image description here

  • Orange has a switch, blue does not. ?? Which direction do the joist run. ?
    – Alaska Man
    Apr 30, 2020 at 19:21
  • Both options are gross (from a homeowner's perspective), and this isn't a question for the internet. Decide which drywall you want to repair and cut some channels. You won't fish either option in the blind unless you have access from behind.
    – isherwood
    Apr 30, 2020 at 19:31
  • That's because Orange's power would be pulled from the can lights, which are already connected to a switch. The joists run parallel to the fireplace. Apr 30, 2020 at 19:32
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    @isherwood LOL - How is this not a question for the internet? I would theorize that there are NO questions "not for the internet". The internet is for learning and sharing with each other. Apr 30, 2020 at 19:49
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    Because it's almost entirely a matter of your prerogative, and because such matters are specifically off-topic on this site. You're right, though. Somewhere on the internet someone will give you their opinion. I'm just not sure what good it'll do you. :) Good luck with the project.
    – isherwood
    Apr 30, 2020 at 19:57

2 Answers 2


Use low voltage as your secret weapon

LED strip lights are more readily available in low voltage anyway, and low voltage not only makes it a lot safer, but sidesteps most of the Electrical Code. Now you don't need to think so hard about how to get power from A to B using Class 1 wiring methods!

At that point I would probably have a DC power supply plugged into the "orange" receptacle, then come straight over laterally to the bookcase, then conceal the remaining wiring in the bookcase. As far as getting across to the other bookcase, you could tuck a small cable in the lip above the brick. You have a lot of freedom in low voltage.

  • 1
    Are you going to put crown molding back up? If so you can run laterally inside of that.
    – DaveM
    Apr 30, 2020 at 20:36
  • @DaveM I used molding to hide a several foot run across the ceiling, next to a beam, for a chandelier. That minimized the actual cuts by the electrician (and patching by me), and you wouldn't know it was a coverup if I didn't point it out. Apr 30, 2020 at 20:41
  • That's how RCS retrofitted my GF's condo. Cable through the closet, then follow around the room. Drop vertically in the wall to a plate.
    – DaveM
    May 1, 2020 at 2:17

If you need to do either option 1 or option 2, I would go for Option 2, but as the other poster stated, there is the third option, the low voltage (LV) LED lights which does not require any electrical work.

Option -3
If you are installing full height bookcases on both side of the fireplace, I have layout a LV LED lighting plan that is very easy to install with no electrical work. The On/Off, color, mood setting can be done by your smart phone, Bluetooth, wifi, or IR depending on the lighting strips selected. Just plug into your current outlet, use the LV LED connector kits and cut the strips to length needed. In my picture, the Yellow is the LED light strips and the red is the LV wiring.

If the total length of all the strips is greater than 30', You would separate the left and right side. You could plug the left side into an outlet on the left side of the room if one is available.

enter image description here

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