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Replacing old cabinet lighting

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by gazfocus, 21 Aug 2021.

  1. gazfocus

    gazfocus

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    I am ripping out the kitchen in our new (to us) house, and have come across the attached connectors that were connected to 20 year old under cabinet fluorescent lights.

    I am wanting to install LED light strips so I was wondering if I can swap the connectors on the end of these cables for a single plug socket which will then turn on with the kitchen lights (as I assume the old lights did).

    Would appreciate any thoughts.

    139083E3-8643-4B4E-9BE6-D136CC848473.jpeg
     
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  3. plugwash

    plugwash

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    I would not want to make assumptions about how something is fed. I would want to confirm how things were connected before doing any permanent works.

    Putting 13A sockets on the lighting circuit is frowned upon (though not explicitly forbidden), there are a couple of reasons for this.

    1. If a large load is plugged into the socket it's likely to cause overloading.
    2. While under current regulations both sockets and domestic lighting are required to be RCD protected, RCD protection of sockets has been a requirement for considerablly longer than domestic lighting. This is unlikely to be an issue if you have a modern CU but if you have a CU from the 1990s or early-mid 2000s it's likely that sockets are RCD protected while lights are not.

    So where possible I would try and avoid using a 13A socket for connecting equipment to the lighting circuit. If it can't reasonablly be avoided then I would try to locate the socket in a location that is unlikely to be casually accessed.
     
  4. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I also had connectors like that, I traced back to a junction box so right side of cooker DSC_5231.jpg fitted a light bar, but left was still working so that was done latter, same wall fused connection unit feeds both junction boxes but wanted to fit Lidi colour changing strip lights so fitted a socket where it would not normally be seen DSC_5235.jpg not really what should be done DSC_5237.jpg but since visitors will not know it exists unlikely to use it, and is protected with the fuse in the FCU, so net result DSC_5238.jpg however I know whole house is protected by RCBO's and who ever fitted the cupboards were kind enough to fit junction boxes, and the surround is low enough to hide the socket.

    With most work it is a compromise, used water pump pliers to squeeze the cable clips in place so not relying on sticky back which came with strip lights. And there is the option to turn strip lights to white but needed phone. The big problem is so many lights come with wallmart power supplies so need a 13 amp socket, had I been installing the cupboards I would have put the sockets above the cupboards, but not the access, some day we will have a new kitchen and I will fit more sockets and tile around them, but not ready to remove tiles yet, so have to work with what I have.

    The plug could be 230 volt, and I would be looking for a class II set of lights not requiring an earth until such time as the kitchen is refitted, at which point clearly you re-wire as required before you fit any units. You seem to be saying you are doing that now, so once all units are off the wall, you will likely see how it was wired, then is the time to take pictures and ask any questions, while the units are in place it is anyone's guess what is there.
     
  5. gazfocus

    gazfocus

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    Thanks for the replies, very useful.

    The old units are completely out now but I can’t see where the wiring is coming from. There are just 3 holes in the walls, each with a wire with connector on for the old lights.

    My plan was to put a single socket on each wire and mount them above the new units if I can get the cable up that far, but I might also just push the cable back into the wall and get some battery powered light strips instead (there are some on amazon that come on when they detect light which would work well).
     
  6. BS3036

    BS3036

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    In my opinion that's a good way to set the house on fire. I think you need to work out what is there first. You can't just decide that anything past that hole has nothing to do with you.
     
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  8. gazfocus

    gazfocus

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    Genuine question but how is it a good way to set the house on fire? If the cables remain terminated with the connectors that are present, I don’t understand why that could cause a fire. You can see from the photo we are not talking a lot of cable, probably half a meter if that coming out of the wall at present.
     
  9. BS3036

    BS3036

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    It's not the specific case, it's the general approach. You do not want to end up with unknown hazards inside your walls. For one thing (regulation-wise) they are not in safe zones.
     
  10. gazfocus

    gazfocus

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    Ah I get you. Yes, makes perfect sense :)
     
  11. ericmark

    ericmark

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    We all have a cross to bare. We have often bought properties which previous owners have done something daft, in my case I found turning off the main isolator did not isolate the sockets in the main house, careful inspection and I found a hole in ceiling with this 20190529_081332.jpg other side of the hole, so it transpired the lovely installation certificate we got when we bought the house only covered the old garage.

    It was not on my plans, but clearly I had to fit a new consumer unit with some urgency, as nothing in main house RCD protected.

    But you say
    so this is perfect time to correct any problems. With no units on the wall rearranging the electrics is easy.
     
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