The people that lived in the house before me did something odd. They evidently intended on putting in under cabinet lighting in the kitchen, so when they tiled the back wall all around the area, they put in a wall switch that ends in two wires that are currently connected to an extension but going nowhere.

Here are the pics of the items:

Picture of the rocker switch (Taped in the off position): enter image description here

Picture of the wall (Note the tile goes directly up to the cabinet): enter image description here

Up close of where the cord comes out from the base of the cabinet: enter image description here

I would like to run LED lights for under cabinet lighting, and I've been looking at some of the linkable 6" and 12" strips.

I would like to correctly wire LED lighting to this switch. The runs of light strips that I would need come out to 142" (Cabinet lengths are 36", 2 @ 31", 28" and 16"), with a total of 87" of junction runs between lights (There is an in cabinet microwave that I would need to run around, which accounts for 75" of that run.)

How can I correctly fix and wire the LED lights without causing major damage to the current tiling? (For reference, I was looking at these power supplies combined with these light strips, if there is a better solution I would appreciate those suggestions as well).

Update: I used the online chat support on the site I was considering ordering the lights from, and they recommended these lights with this power supply and the appropriate connectors.

When I asked about the current wiring in the wall, he sent me this picture: enter image description here

So, I am guessing that I need to run the 3 wire segment from the light switch to the transformer junction, but what do I do with the ground wire? Just add a screw in the cabinet for it, or how does that need to be grounded?

  • 2
    You're planning on mounting the transformer to the bottom of the cabinet, with the romex wire that comes out of the wall directly hardwired into the transformer? I'm not sure if you can hardwire it like that exactly, but you most definitely can't have the contacts on the transformer exposed like that- it would have to be in an enclosure. A picture of where the wire comes out now may help someone provide suggestions.
    – gregmac
    Jun 2, 2014 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


Romex is not supposed to just stick out of the wall. Any in-wall wiring is only supposed to connect to out-of-wall wiring through a junction box. The cleanest way to do that is to put in an electrical outlet.

You can get retrofit junction boxes that just hold on to the drywall, which makes it quite easy to add an outlet.

retrofit box
(source: homedepot.com)

Also, those power supplies may be way overkill. How much lighting are you planning to install? I just installed about 8 feet of strip LED lights and it's using about 2 watts. If the power supply is over-rated by 10 times, it's wasting power just sitting there turned on.

  • 2
    If it's just lamp-cord running inside the wall from the switch, that's even worse (there are in-wall fire-resistance requirements on the wire insulation which lamp-cord is not rated for typically). I would really replace that cord with romex from the switch to an outlet junction box.
    – Grunthos
    Jun 3, 2014 at 16:51

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