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I'm replacing a series of small, under cabinet lights and don't know how best to proceed. The lights come with a connector already attach (Picture A below), but the original lights were hard wired into the house (Picture B). I'm in the United States if electrical standards matter here.

The new lights as purchased

the wiring for the original lights

What's the best way to connect the lights? Should I clip the end of the lights' wires and attach using wire nuts, or is there an adapter I need to add to the existing wires (and if so, what is that even called)?

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    Please add a model number or a link to the manufacturer's instructions. It's not easy to ID a part from a photo. Apr 17 at 4:32
  • how were the original light cables connected?
    – jsotola
    Apr 17 at 5:22
  • Do you still have the old light? Is there anything on that label? Apr 17 at 11:58
  • "hard wired into the house" could mean 120VAC, could mean low voltage DC with concealed power supply somewhere in the house. If the new lights are not the same type & voltage the power supply needs to be one that matches the new lights. Edit the question to give details of new and old lights. The conector appears to be a standard Molex, you'd need the mating polarized 2-pin with female contacts. But if you don't use the right power supply, the magic smoke may leave in a hurry.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 17 at 13:51
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    Looks like a pretty standard molex connector. digikey.com/en/products/detail/molex/0003092022/61294 Double check dimensions because they have a few varieties, but these are pretty common connectors.
    – dberm22
    Apr 17 at 16:54

3 Answers 3

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Even within one LED system manufacturer's products, the connectors and electronics may be different for different products, and the parts of the system are not interchangeable.

Example: in my old job in a cabinet shop, my boss used Hafele LED lights. Hafele offered at the time 12V DC, 24V DC, and constant current 350mA DC systems. Plugging the wrong light into the wrong driver would destroy the light or the driver or both. If I remember correctly, the connectors were different for each version.

You won't be able to tell just by the connector or cable what to replace your existing lights with. You'd at least have to power the driver on and test the electricity output with a multimeter, to check voltage, DC, AC, constant current, etc.

To be respectfully honest, splicing the wires together, with one of the cables "hard wired into the house", is dangerous. This electrical work may be beyond your skillset. It would be a bad idea for you to attempt.

Your best bet is to abandon whatever is there now, rip it out and recycle it. Then get a new fully-compatible low-voltage system from one manufacturer that you like.

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Posting this as an answer in the interest of safety.

Neither the connector to the new lights or the wiring out of your cabinets are standard for US wiring. ( not showing identifiable hot, neutral, ground.)

There are too many questions here to be able to give you a proper answer.

What is the voltage requirements of the new lights? What is the voltage from the wire out of the cabinets? Where is the ground wire? Is there a voltage reducer or convertor, driver box still in or under or above the cabinets?

Your new lights could be usable if they are compatible with a low voltage coming from the existing wiring...but we don't have that information. Get the answers and add to your question or delete this one and post another.

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    Hot/neutral/ground assumes they are line voltage. These appear to be LED.
    – Huesmann
    Apr 17 at 13:06
  • Appear...but not confirmed. That's the point. We do not know what the OP is dealing with here. It would not be prudent to just advise on connecting wires just based on pics that do not provide any known or common information. So where is the house wiring with hot, neutral and ground? We don't know!
    – RMDman
    Apr 17 at 13:35
  • I mean, you can see the panel's individual LEDs in the pic.
    – Huesmann
    Apr 17 at 13:36
  • Even so, it is not clear as to what the OP want to connect the new lights to. It may well be ok, as I stated in my answer. However we do not know.
    – RMDman
    Apr 17 at 13:39
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To add to what Triplefault already said

  1. Most LED fixtures are DC, not AC. You should never wire an LED fixture with that sort of connector directly into AC wiring (unless you want to let the magic smoke out in a Fourth-of-July explodey kind of way)
  2. I have some hard-wired LED fixtures, and the AC wires run into a metal box where the DC conversion happens. In every case where I've done that they had twist-on wires with a wire nut. It's possible you only bought part of a set. For stuff like thus, it's possible there's a driver device you need to buy separately. Go back to the store you bought the light from and see if there is one.
  3. Those wires in your second picture make me nervous. If I had to guess, I'd say they're braided 16 or 18 gauge. That's not wire you ever want to see connected to an electrical circuit. Either someone cheated badly and used extension cord wire to bring power in, or there's a hidden plug somewhere nearby where there's a lamp cord plugged into a receptacle. Either way, these wires need to go.

If I were you, I'd start over if possible. Start with where you can safely get power. Then work out how to get the power to your lights. Then buy lighting that works with AC wiring.

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  • The second picture shows high-temperature "fiberglass" sleeving. It is very common in high-temperature environments, usually enclosed luminaires, halogen lamps and heating appliances. It's called MG wire, for mica/glass.
    – user71659
    Apr 18 at 1:17

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