Shower Niche Light Issues

The niche light was a disaster. It did not go as planned. What I wanted to do and what happened were not the same. I wanted a sleek row of LED lights that were waterproof or damp proof in the shower. The wiring was 120 volt because it was prewired for a strip light. The lights that I ordered, however, did not match the specifications for a shower light so had to be returned and after I researched the problem, I found out I could use a 12 volt LED light strip and driver instead.

120 volt romex wired to switch
120 volt romex wired to switch

We believed that since the wiring was for 120 volt we had to add an electrical box to wire the dimmer/driver. Later my son said we could have used the romex for 12 volt wiring and installed the driver remotely. That was unfortunate news after struggling to install a box large enough for the device in a cutout on top of the niche.
The top of the niche was spaced down with some scrap boards and another piece of Kerdi board to accommodate a dual gang 12 volt electric box.

Top marble installed with gap for electrical box depth
Top marble installed with gap for electrical box depth

At first we planned to use a shallow box but that box frame would not tighten properly in the opening.

Box for LED driver
Box for LED driver
Deeper box installed
Deeper box installed

Then I realized that the waterproof box cover had screw holes at the edges not in the middle like a regular cover. So I had to find a way to attach the cover to the box.

A box extension fit inside the 12 volt box and had bolt holes at each corner where the cover had holes.

Deep box with frame to attach lid
Deep box with frame to attach lid

In order for the bolts to be held in the corners I glued the nuts under the bolt holes. Unfortunately they kept breaking off.

Frame to accept waterproof cover
Frame to accept waterproof cover

Eventually I had to take the frame off and bolt the cover on holding the nuts in place. Then I just friction fit it into the larger box. I placed industrial velcro above the box and on the driver to hold it in but allow it to be removed if necessary and I screwed the orange DC wire box up into the top of the gap in the niche. I had to remove the wiring a couple of times to remove and replace the box extension.

Driver wiring
Driver wiring

Once I got it all together with the cover on and I could not fit the light strip behind the box. I had to slice off part of the cover and take out the whole box to move it over the edge of the hole. While I was cutting the hole inside the tile a little bigger with the multitool I rested it on the niche and of course knocked it off with my elbow and scratched the new tub!

Tub bottom scratches
Tub bottom scratches

I was very angry at myself for that accident. I should have covered the tub with cardboard or a blanket while I was working. I have ordered some Porce-a-fix in Bootz white to repair the scratches. This product was recommended by the contractor.

The cut for the cover was rather uneven as the box is not quite straight.

Cut off to fit light strip
Cut off to fit light strip

I used double sided 3M tape to attach the light to the upper tile and held it in place with some extra tile pieces overnight. The next day I snapped on the light strip cover. Thankfully that part was easy.

Niche with electrical cover.
Niche with electrical cover.

The dimmer switch does not have much of a range. It is difficult to tell whether the LED’s are at full light or at the least light.

Lighted niche
Lighted niche

But with the light on the electrical cover is much less noticeable. I’m sure I will ignore it after some time passes, but it is not what I had envisioned.

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