Cover the hole with the return air grill, as shown in Figure 5b and you have hidden the low voltage transformers while still providing easy access, as well as providing the low voltage lighting transformers with air ventilation. If the return air grill is painted the same color of the valance it will blend into the valance and not stand out.
Figure 5b - Grill over hole in valance
- The second alternative is to use one of the base cabinets, other than the sink base cabinet, to hide the low voltage lighting transformers.
There are two slightly different methods.
- You can cut a hole the same size as a standard air vent grill. Then mill 4 wood corner blocks that the grill will sit on so that the top of the grill is flush with the top of the floor of the kitchen base cabinet, as shown in Figure 6.
- The second method is to cut the hole smaller than the grill, about 1 inch in both directions and then using a router make a rabbit around the hole in the floor of the base cabinet, for the grill to sit in, so that the grill will fit flush with the floor of the base cabinet, as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 6 - Cabinet floor grill mounting block
Figure 7 - Rabbit in cabinet floor
The purpose of the air vent grill is to prevent items from falling into the hole while still allowing for some heat dissipation and easy access to the low voltage lighting transformers.
If the kitchen cabinet you have chosen is a drawer cabinet, there is no need to mount the air vent grill. The drawers will prevent objects from falling into the hole. Access is gained by removing the drawers from the kitchen cabinet.
If you choose to use the toe kick area of a base cabinet to hold the low voltage lighting transformer I would also recommend that you cut a hole in the front of the toe kick and cover it with an air register as shown in Figures 8, 9a and 9b. This will increase the air flow and hence the heat dissipation of the low voltage lighting transformers.
Figure 8 - Hole in cabinet toe kick
Figure 9a - Toe kick register
Note: Toe kick registers are available in wood grain, as shown in Figure 9a and an assortment of metalic colors as well as plastic.
Figure 9b - Air register placed over hole in cabinet toe kick
Note: There is a very large negative when installing low voltage lighting transformers in above cabinet valances or in the toe kick areas of base cabinets and that is forgetting where they are. It could be 15 to 20 years before you need to access the transformers, are you going to remember where they were installed?
I highly suggest that you place a label similar to label 1 or 2 on the inside of the base cabinet door if the low voltage lighting transformers have been placed there or on the inside of the closest wall cabinet door to the low voltage lighting transformers position if they are installed in the valance.
You should also consider placing a label on the inside of the circuit breaker or fuse panel.
Label 1 - Label for transformer under cabinet floor
Label 2 - Label for transformer behind grill in valance
You may copy the labels by right clicking on the label and saving it. You can then print the labels on self adhesive paper.