Under cabinet puck lights

Just booked inspection for tonight and took a quick look at the report for the client who referred me when my eyes caught a common issue I find but never see discussed here.

Under cabinet Halogen lights are popular and run on low voltage of usually 12 volts ,so they often run conductors through the cabinets by drilling holes.
The low voltage wiring is not much of an issue but these lights are feed by transformers that are meant to be plugged in to an 110v outlet.
Often times I am unable to locate the transformer meaning it must be buried inside the wall.
What if anything do you guys write up in the report if anything about the fact that a 110v transformer with appliance plug may be buried in the wall cavity?

Here is a link to the type I am speaking of in case you are not sure what I am referring to.http://www.eclectic-ware.com/Eclectic-ware/Hera/Hera_ARFS_halogen_lights/hera_arfs_halogen_lights.html

I’ve never seen the transformer buried in the wall.

They are a brick that either plugs in directly to an outlet or has a cord to an outlet.

Either way they need to remain accessible.

Make sure that they are, in fact, 12 volt. Look at the reflector in the puck…it should have a sticker for the wattage/voltage. There is usually a 1 second delay, when flipping the switch, if they are low voltage. X-formers are usually placed up on top of the cabinets, below the cab’s in the basement, within the sink base or up in the attic.


In this area I find them in many of the new Condos and never seem to find the transformer because it is in the wall somewhere.
Betting many forget to check for that situation and thought this would serve as a good reminder or tip for those that forget the supply goes to a transformer.
Good practice would of course be sure to check for the transformer location.

Sounds simple but I am willing to bet many guys forget to check.

Anyone else notice this issue alot?

I have often found them on top of the cabinets.

How could they be in the wall?

I know of know transformer that is not a plugin for these lights.

A delay much like florescent lights.(good tip Jeff)

I always check those locations but am sure that they are putting in the walls often.

I find them weird just because they are meant to plug in to a outlet and are not a permanent fixture like all the rest,ceiling,closet,exterior deck lights ,etc.
(P.S I hope they are 12 volt as those are the lines running through walls and cabinets).

Here is an example of a transformer on top of a cabinet that still had issues.
Anybody see what they are?
Puck lights issue.jpg

Time to buy a thermal camera Bob!

You can find a transformer for a cell phone plugged into a wall outlet in an adjacent room…

Next time I need to find a cell phone charger I will run down to Kmart and pick one up David.:slight_smile:

That picture is for a Halogen lite transformer however :).

I have built many homes and have used these to illuminate recessed niches and other accent lighting areas. Bob is correct that the transformers are often buried in the wall. this is how it happens:

You stub out wire through the drywall – come back at trim out and cut hole for puck light — direct wire transformer to stubbed out wire and push the entire device into the wall – place light over cut out hole and you are done. I never had an issue with an inspector.

Please show me transformer that permits being buried in the wall.

Does anyone have a problem with Bob’s photo?

[quote=“Robert_Meier, post:12, topic:51552”]

Does anyone have a problem with Bob’s photo?

Of course.

They cut off the plug.
Have 120 v wire connections outside of a junction box and ran non rated wire back into the wall cavity.

It’s a mess.

[quote=“mlarson, post:13, topic:51552”]

…and often times that is how it may look inside a wall cavity.
I pretty much just want to remind everyone that if you do not see a transformer then something is wrong.

“They are not meant to be in walls”.

I installed under cabinet halogen light strips in my kitchen. Placed 12/2 wiring per manufacturer recommendations, 12V system. Large transformer mounted on the basement wall.

[quote=“belliott, post:14, topic:51552”]

Bob, post a picture of a transformer in a wall to end this controversy. Thanks.

[quote=“ldapkus, post:16, topic:51552”]

In case Bob didn’t have one available, here’s one…
Hope this Helps

[quote=“jwicklander, post:17, topic:51552”]

We found someone that knows how to silence Linus.:):):slight_smile:

I don’t see any wires leading to a transformer behind a wall. I think Bob is playing make believe or assuming.

So Linus ,please show me a type halogen puck light with no transformer.:cool:
Please also tell me how I can show you a transformer that is hidden behind a wall without destructive testing or removing plates and receptacles.

If it is not found then the seller should give info as to location.