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this is my first post here. I searched for my question before posting and didn't find it, apologies if it has been discussed before.

Is there any reason I can't run the wiring for my kitchen under cabinet lights on top of the cabinets? As long as I use conduit and a junction box. This would let me drop wires behind the drywall and between studs down to each individual light.

I don't plan to ever add anything on top of the cabinets and this would be much easier, require minimal tear out of the walls, and wouldn't have to drill through studs. Just want to make sure there's not a section of code I would be violating.

Thanks!

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  • Think if it is in conduit it is okay, the wires are protected. Just a cable in the open is not allowed below 8 feet.
    – crip659
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 22:13
  • Kitchen on the counter lights are usually low voltage lights
    – Traveler
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 22:38

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Yes, this is absolutely fine. But you may want to consider using low voltage lighting. That has the advantage that many (most) of the rules are relaxed. Your mains voltage (120V AC) to low voltage (e.g., 12V or 24V DC) power pack has to be wired properly, but beyond that you have a lot more freedom, because the risk of damage to wires (fire or electrocution) is far lower.

In general though, unless you are in a place like Chicago, you may not even need much conduit. Conduit serves two purposes - it protects individual wires (which always need protection) and it protects NM cable (a.ka. Romex) (which needs protection in certain locations.) NM cable can be protected in other ways, and where it is high up or in the wall, etc. it doesn't need any extra protection at all. But conduit is always a safe and legal method.

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  • Thank you! Will absolutely look into low voltage options. I figured I'd put the wiring in conduit on top since I've seen people put things on top of their cabinets before. Already enjoying it here on the forum! Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 23:37
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    low voltage and line voltage. high voltage is something else. Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 1:41
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The general go to for under cabinet lighting is low voltage.

Run a 18/2 wire from an accessible jb to each light location or to where each light would start. My ele puts it in the cabinet next to the sink. Then if you choose light strips the strip is hooked into one of these 18/2 wires which all go back to the jb and are then hooked up with the transformer. The wiring is harder if you are doing low voltage puck lights. I think most people go with the strip lighting these days. You also put a switched outlet near this low voltage jb for the transformer.

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