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Electrical Wiring in the Home/hardwiring rope lights on dimmer


Hi. I want to replace the halogen under the cabinet lights in my kitchen. There are currently 3 halogen under cabinet lights and 2 cans over sink that are all on the same dimmer switch. I purchased Hampton Bay super-right rope lights from Home Depot (they of course have a plug). In addition, the current wiring might not be installed correctly; the wires simply come out of the wall and the wires are joined and covered with the screw on cap/cover. Can I simply strip the extension cord on the rope light and join wires? Do these rope lights have a ground cord? Please advise.

Yes, you can hardwire them into the switch. But you cannot leave the wires exposed, even with the wire nuts on them they cannot be exposed. It is a serious shock hazard.

You have a couple of choices; you can install a box extension (or wiremold box) on top of the switch box, or you can install a junction box under the cabinets.

The hot wire needs to be "switched", which it probably is but just make sure.  If the neutral accidently gets "switched" the lights will always be hot and that is a shock hazard.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Greg Hughes


Troubleshooting electrical including appliances and HVAC.


34 years of experience.

Both college and tech schools in this field.

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