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Replacing under cupboard kitchen lights

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by jonnyw, 3 Jan 2021.

  1. jonnyw

    jonnyw

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    We currently have 9 under cupboard halogen spotlights driven off 4 transformers that are wired into the lighting circuit (I assume lighting circuit, as they are controlled by a 2 gang light switch, with the other gang controlling the kitchen ceiling light).

    These lights have never worked that well (bulbs are forever coming loose etc), and I want to replace them with some LED linkable lighting strips. As such I have purchased various lengths of the following LAP Linkable LED Cabinet Striplights to go under the cupboards of either side of our galley kitchen (3 blocks of cupboards in total).

    The units come with 3 pin plugs (I suspect detachable VCR type connectors). In the Q&A when asked if they can be mains wired screwfix either say, "no it will invalidate the warranty", "no it is not recommended" or simply "no they cannot be wired into mains". However, lots of the reviews say that they have successfully managed to wire them directly into the mains!

    The first, and most important question: is there any reason (other than invalidating the warranty) that the plugs shouldn't be cut off, and these lights then wired into the main lighting circuit? I'm thinking with regards to safety.

    Secondly, if there are no safety issues, would it just be a case of:
    - isolating the circuit
    - removing existing wiring from male side of under cabinet connectors (leaving the female connectors wired into the lighting circuit alone)
    - removing existing halogen fittings and transformers
    - cutting plug off new lights
    - wiring the cables back into the (now empty) connectors

    Pictures of existing connections below (1 wall has single T&E cable, 2 walls have 2 T&E cables coming out)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 3 Jan 2021
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  3. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    think it will come with one of these:
    https://www.screwfix.com/p/sylvania-led-cabinet-link-light-switched-mains-cable/5570j
    If you are comfortable stripping the old tranformers etc out and working out a way of connecting the remaining mains cable and this new cable, that is all that's required.

    Is there any form of existing 13A socket for the existing lights?
    Or even does the existing light system have small 2 pin plugs and sockets? They may just plug in.
     
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  4. jonnyw

    jonnyw

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    There are an abundance of regular mains sockets, which I could fall back to, but as there are 3 separate sections (2 on one side separated by cooker hood, one on opposite side) I'd prefer they were all controlled by a single switch.

    It "seems" straightforward, but I'm asking on here just in case. Once the connectors in the photos are disconnected, removing the old transformers/lights should be a case of undoing a few screws (from the cabinets, and the wiring out of the connector.

    I just wanted to know if there is any safety reason not to wire directly to lighting circuit (assuming it is done correctly), and then to clarify on how to actually do it correctly (i.e. do I just take plug off, and wire into existing connector, ensuring that the same coloured cables go in the same places?).
     
  5. flameport

    flameport

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    None of the photos are visible.
    Drag/drop or copy/paste photos directly into the reply box. Not necessary to use other sites for them.
     
  6. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    I can't see the images you posted so don't know the current arrangements, quite often the under cupboard lights use wall warts [transformers built into 13A plugs] and I wondered if thats what you currently have.

    All you'll require is a junction box of some sort to join the new flex to the existing T&E cables.
     
  7. jonnyw

    jonnyw

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    Apologies, the images should now display properly. If not please let me know and I'll re-attach them here.
     
  8. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    Oh good, in that case keep those connectors in place and connect your cable into the existing plugs
     
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  9. jonnyw

    jonnyw

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    Just to check we're both on the same page, you mean wire the cable from the cut plug into the other half of the connector (shown in the last photo)?

    Also (I hope I don't regret asking this!), I'm assuming this isn't notifiable, as despite being in a kitchen I'm replacing existing lights rather than adding new ones?
     
    Last edited: 6 Jan 2021
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  11. Taylortwocities

    Taylortwocities

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    Not notifiable. In this regard, (and unfortunately) for England no electrical work in a kitchen is now notifiable, unless it is a new circuit.

    Some of the colonies have different rules.
     
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  12. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    Untitled.jpg
     
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  13. jonnyw

    jonnyw

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    Right, an update!

    I've installed the lights (hooray!), and they've passed the initial smoke test (no smoke and I'm still here!).

    I ended up opting for some warm white strips that I found at Toolstation, like this which came with live-end cables - so no need to cut any plugs.

    Two of the three light connectors (that I removed the old light fittings from) had their neutral and live wires in the wrong way round. One of the three mains connectors had the cables the wrong way round too.

    Like this:
    Connector 1 - [Mains correct] [Light correct]
    Connector 2 - [Mains correct] [Light incorrect: brown to N and blue to L1]
    Connector 3 - [Mains incorrect: black to L1 and red to N] [Light incorrect: brown to N and blue to L1]

    I made the decision when connecting the new cables in to connect using the correct terminal colour matchings (brown to L1, blue to N).

    My assumption was given the connector into the LED light strip is not polarised (I don't think, see final image below), it didn't matter either way. I decided to correct them, as it felt wrong wiring to wrong terminals. The connector 3 disturbs me the most, as the mains end of the connector still has the wires the wrong way round.

    Is it common for lighting wires to be placed in any terminal? Is what I did ok? Was it sensible? Or should I have taken it that the last person to work on the electrics new something I didn't and wired it like for like (even though the colours didn't match the terminals)?

    It now looks like:

    Connector 1 - [Mains correct] [Light correct]
    IMG_0965.JPG

    Connector 2 - [Mains correct] [Light wires were brown to N and blue to L1, now brown to L1 and blue to N]
    IMG_0966.JPG

    Connector 3 - [Mains incorrect - I've left alone] [Light wires were brown to N and blue to L1, now brown to L1 and blue to N]
    IMG_0967.JPG


    LED light strip connector IMG_0955.jpg
     
  14. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    It took me a few moments to realise what had happened here. the connectors have been used the wrong way round. I'd suggest turning them round as the live pins will be exposed if unplugged.
    Other than that looking OK. upload_2021-1-9_20-0-0.png
     
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  15. jonnyw

    jonnyw

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    Ah, that makes a lot more sense. Thanks for your advice so far - it's really appreciated.

    One of the terminal screws was pretty chewed up, so if I'm disconnecting I should probably take the opportunity to replace with new connectors. What is their proper name (a quick search for "connectors" on screwfix throws up a lot of results!)?

    Also, the included live-mains cables were quite long. I probably should have trimmed at least one of them down (but didn't). I did try to make sure it was spread out. The photo below is the worst of the three. Is it ok to leave this excess cable (if I use some more cable clips to tidy/make more secure)?
    IMG_0960.jpg
     
  16. Taylortwocities

    Taylortwocities

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  17. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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