LED under cabinet lights

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Homeownerinburb, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Does anyone have recent experience with fitting under cabinet LED lights in a kitchen that they would like to share?

    There are SO MANY choices, and frankly I am sure half of them are poor choices.

    I want to pump a fair bit of light onto the counter top.

    I have hard wired NM coming out of the walls at all three places I need to fit this stuff, and the cabinets have a 1 1/4" return under them, so I would expect to be able to find a driver that will fit up under the cabinets pretty discretely.

    Anyone?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,804
    Location:
    New England
    By their nature, a single LED tends to be quite directional and a point source of light, i.e., it doens't spread out a lot. It can if the lense design is good or they use lots of them. The important specification to look at is the color tempurature...incandescents tend to have more red in them, and are termed 'warm' while some LEDs can be quite bluish, and can make things like food, people look sickly. LEDs tend to be single color and may provide an unnatural lighting effect, although can be quite efficient while doing it. Since different people perceive colors in different ways, sometimes the only way to tell if it's a good match for you, your cabinets, counter, etc., is to try one. Also, if they try to push lots of current through the things, the design of the heat sink is important - keep the heat managed and they can last 10's of thousands of hours, but overheat them with an inadequate heatsink, and they could expire rapidly. Sorry, I can't be more specific...I've not looked into these much. When I did my remodeling, I chose a mini track with low-voltage bulbs. I did put them on a dimmer (and I recommend you look at lights that CAN be dimmed as it can really set up the mood) that works well. Mine are low enough profile that you only see them if you are sitting down and can look up at the underside of the cabinet, and then not by much since they are near the front edge of the upper cabinets (to get them centered on the counter and help provide more even lighting) since the track and the fixture are quite shallow.
  3. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    My understanding is that "warm" LEDs are readily available.

    This brand of strip lights looks interesting to me:

    http://www.lalightingstore.com/prolite-3-watt-flexible-led-strip-12v/

    They offer spools of 16' at 1.5 watt or 3 watt per foot.

    That is current draw, not lumens. I'd like to know the value in lumens

    The client has very white cabinets and very white subway tile backsplashes, with fairly light colored counter tops.

    I've installed recessed LED lights all thru the ceiling. I seem to remember that they are 3000k. The light looks pretty acceptable to me, but I have not chopped vegetables in there yet.

    Or a nice rib roast. The wrong color will make that look poorly.
  4. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

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    328
    Location:
    USA
  5. big2bird

    big2bird IBEW Electrician

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    Anaheim, Ca.
  6. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
  7. big2bird

    big2bird IBEW Electrician

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    Anaheim, Ca.
    Yes, they are spendy, but they are line voltage, have a lens, and also have physical protection. Strip LEDS fed by low vo are okay in a safe place. Under a counter I would consider a tad more hostile. Steam, coffee pots, children, wives, sh*t happens.
  8. big2bird

    big2bird IBEW Electrician

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    Anaheim, Ca.
  9. big2bird

    big2bird IBEW Electrician

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    Anaheim, Ca.
    counterdone 018.jpg
    My entire kitchen, including the recessed cans are L.E.D. If all the lights are on, it draws 80 watts. Laundry is 16 watts. Bathroom is 30 watts. I hate high electric bills.
  10. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Looks like they are really effective.

    Like the marble.
  11. big2bird

    big2bird IBEW Electrician

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    Anaheim, Ca.
    Thank you. It's called "Kodiak" granite, quarried in Brazil. Kinda busy, but really looks great in person.
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