GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Using LED strip lights

pjpfeiff | Posted in Building Code Questions on

Does anyone have tips or best-practices for hiding the power supply of a permanent LED strip light installation? 

This question might be more of a lament than anything.  I *think* the best thing to use is a 3-comparment junction box which separates the AC junction, power supply, and DC junction.  However I am greatly perturbed by the fact that these simple metal boxes cost more than the power supply I intend to use.  I also wonder if they are actually used much considering that (it appears) almost no one sells them.  Perhaps I just don’t know how to search for them.

In any case, my thought is to put such a junction box in an accessible attic above the fixture.  Is that allowable?  It seems to me if I were to put it in the wall, then I would need a hole in the wall big enough to allow access to the entire box/power supply, which is not appealing.  Perhaps I could use a normal (and cheap) junction box for the AC connection.  Could I put that in the attic without any access to the junction from below?  Would the DC junction (operating at 24 V) also require a junction box?

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. Expert Member
    Akos | | #1

    I've had good luck with:


    Both fit inside a standard octagonal junction box. As long as the low voltage wires you run are rated for the line voltage and there are no other circuits inside the box, it should be fine, but I would check local code.

    Be careful with magnetic drivers for fill lighting. These product a very noticeable 120Hz flicker.

    1. pjpfeiff | | #2

      Interesting, thanks. That may be useful for a future project. For the current project, I should have mentioned that they are wall fixtures using aluminum channel set into the dry wall. That is, it is this product, but will be in a wall rather than a ceiling:

      My thought is to put the power supply in the ceiling (attic floor) and run low voltage wires to the fixture.

  2. Expert Member
    Akos | | #3

    That is possible. Just get one of the drivers with a built in junction box like:

    Make sure it is not buried in insulation.

  3. scsiguy | | #4

    Much of the general lighting in our house is via LED soffit uplighting. I used KLUS aluminum channel and the "UltraBright" industrial LED strip lighting from All the strips are powered by 96w Lutron Hi-lume LED drivers. This model comes in a direct wire compatible enclosure with a movable divider between high and low voltage wiring. Some of the lower wattage models mount to the top of a standard metal electrical box for connection to high voltage.

    I don't know if you need dimming in your application, but with either a Lutron 3-wire Maestro dimmer or Lutron "Eco-System" control (we have both applications in the house), this driver is continuously variable from 1% to 100% with no flicker or noise.

  4. seabornman | | #5

    Not to hijack your thread, but... I'm looking to build an LED suspended strip light. Is it ok to use the hanging wires as the low voltage connection from the driver to the strip? Is there an available cable with insulated internal wire that can be used for this purpose? I don't want the look of a separate wire or a larger cable.

    1. Expert Member
      BILL WICHERS | | #6

      There is a type of cable known as “bus drop cable” that is intended for hanging things. It’s available commercially, but you’ll probably have to deal with minimum orders.

      Another option might be some stainless steel or vinyl coated aircraft cable. You could wrap some silver lamp cord around it for a clean look. There is also cable made for suspended office lighting, but I’ve never seen it sold separate from the fixtures. A lighting supplier may be able to get it for you.

      Generally you’re ok with open wiring when under 24v, but your technically supposed to have a “listed” fixture (UL, CSA, etc have tested and approved it). I personally am not a fan of open/exposed low voltage wiring.


    2. Expert Member
      Akos | | #7

      A while back when I did some class 2 LED lighting, the only thing the inspector cared about is the labeling on the supplies. Anything after the supplies was up to me. For suspended lights I used black LVT wire, one for plus and one wire for minus. The only issue is the markings, you can slide heat shrink over it to hide.

      I know the rules for class 2 and lighting have changed, so I would check with your local authority about what you can do.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |