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Ok, so I have a dimmer that controls a light in an alcove. I'm adding built in cabinets and adding LED strip lighting on the back side of the trim. The LEDs will be powered by a UL rated dimmable power supply. This will be mounted in the cavity between the ceiling and the false ceiling of the built in cabinet as will the driver for the Halo remodel canless recessed light. The cavity is about 6" tall. I'd like to be able to switch the LEDs and the recessed light separately. However, the current switch panel is a 3-gang and no room for a 4-gang to run an additional wire and switch.

What I'd like to do is use the existing switch for the recessed light to power 2 separate single pole switches in a 2 gang box in the ceiling of the cavity, accessible by pulling the canless light out. The power from these would then go to each respective driver. I'd use wifi switches so using them day-to-day would be no hassle. I know its a little weird, but is this ok to do?

  • How about plugging the cabinet lights into an outlet and using a smart plug or wireless smart switch? – Alaska Man Aug 18 at 19:04
  • why do you even need the hidden switches? If using strips, once you get power into DC, you can do almost anything you want wiring-wise, which is why i always run the dimmer and lights off the same 12v line. – dandavis Aug 18 at 19:05
  • @AlaskaMan, that is doable, but the driver for the LED cabinet lights is hardwired. Its UL recognized and the connections are made inside the box. I could wire those connections into a cable plug and plug it in. Just figured using a wifi switch skips that step. – Guest7171813 Aug 18 at 19:13
  • @dandavis I'm just wanting to control each light source individually. The power from the primary switch controlling the current canless recessed light is obviously at the light. Need to split the power to both loads, was going to use a 4" round box, but then thought a 2-gang could work perfect in its place. The current switch is already a dimmer (Lutron Maestro), so just using a dimmable power supply for the strips. But figured before the power gets to the power supply to be able to switch it in the event we want to use one light source or the other, or both. – Guest7171813 Aug 18 at 19:18
  • Can you mount a second switch box above or below the existing switch box? – ThreePhaseEel Aug 18 at 23:49
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I purposely left out a big piece of information as I really didn't want to add another visible switch. While I probably could have used my original idea, like I said, I knew it was weird. I also began thinking about the wifi switches and the fact that when the master switch was turned to on from off that those switches may or may not default to their last on/off setting. Possibly always starting as off, requiring turning lights on from app each time. At the very least always causing a delay in the lights turning on. I hadn't yet filled the drywall work from when I first added the recessed light. Also I didn't want the switch in the closet. Contacted Lutron, no dual LED dimmers, no plans to make one. Thought about tinkering with the Maestro dual dimmer for incandescent/halogen and adding a resistor to the load, but its just more trouble than its worth.

So I gave in, and just added another switch.

Thanks for all the help

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  • Yeah, while Lutron and Legrand make dual dimmers, they're single-pole-only devices. – ThreePhaseEel Aug 21 at 0:01
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I would instead merge the two 3-way switches into a dual 3-way switch

Since you don't have room for a larger box, or another box for that matter, what I would do instead of burying switches in the ceiling (while technically Code since they can be treated as disconnects for the lights they control, bringing them under Exception 2 to NEC 404.8(A), your plan would have eventually confounded somebody down the line) is to consolidate the two three-way switches inside the existing switch box into a dual 3-way switch such as a Leviton 5640 or equivalent. This will free up space in your box for the switch for the new lights.

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  • I actually thought about that, but have not found a dual 3-way dimmer that is compatible with LEDs. If I could, instead of replacing the other two switches I could just use it for the alcove. This would be my ideal situation. I know Lutron makes a dual dimmer maestro switch, which would be perfect as it would match the others in the box, but they do not recommend it for LEDs. Maybe I'll call them and as what to expect if I use it for LEDs. Just want to add, I really appreciate your time. You definitely are critically thinking through this for/with me! – Guest7171813 Aug 20 at 1:10
  • @Guest7171813 -- ah, if you had said that the other two lighting controls were dimmers to begin with...:) – ThreePhaseEel Aug 20 at 1:44

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