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I plan to add under cabinet RBG LED Strips. I have a 1-gang light switch box that controls my pendant lights. I plan to convert that to a 2-gang box and tap into that existing power to add another light switch for the under-cabinet lights.

I plan to have 1 switch that controls all the-under cabinet lights. There is also a hood-vent between cabinets I plan to go up-and-over through the cabinet.

I feel pretty confident in this project, but have a few questions.

  1. Is there any reason I wouldn't be able to tap into the existing 1-gang switch as a power source? My buddy told me that I have to use an existing outlet, not an existing switch, but I didn't think he was right.

  2. This is on a 20amp circuit with 12/3 wiring, not 14. So, I'll have to use more 12/3 wiring. Is there any reason that would be an issue with LED strips?

  3. I am not sure what type of wiring to use between the counters where the hood-vent creates a gap. There are cabinets above the hood-vent I plan to run the LED Light wiring through to connect LED strips, I am just not sure what type of wiring I need to buy for that. I haven't been able to find a clear answer. Does anyone know?

Thanks!

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  • 12/3? Are you sure? Black/White/Ground is referred to as 12/2. So if this is really 12/3 Black/White/Red/Ground then either you have an MWBC (one level of complications) or you are looking at a switch Hot/Switched Hot/Neutral (which is actually a good thing, but a different type of complication). Most helpful would be a picture of the wires going to the existing switch. Jun 29 at 14:29
  • If that circuit controls the countertop receptacles it would be a code violation to tie the lighting in. If it is a lighting circuit with the feeder in the box you could continue to use a 1 gang box and Jude get a double switch. (Gang refers to the width)
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 29 at 15:17
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  1. assuming there is a permanent live and neutral available at the switch then there will be no issue in making it a double gang switch switching 2 lights. And running the new switched live and the neutral to the led.

  2. that should be no issue at all. Though for only a switched live and neutral you only need a 12/2.

  3. if you have a single led driver (which converts to low voltage DC) and then run the low voltage across the hood, the guage depends on the max current that the driver is capable of emitting using the same rules as for mains wiring.

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