Anyone installed LED ribbon undercabinet lights?


D

Don Wiss

The state-of-the-art these days for undercabinet lighting is LED ribbons
that you can cut every couple inches to get continuous (and energy
efficient) lighting along the counter.

I first tried to find who makes these. It isn't so easy. The web is filled
with retailers that don't disclose who made what they are selling.

These seem to be the major manufacturers:
http://www.diodeled.com/category/products/features/dimmable/
http://inspiredled.com/Shop-by-Project/kitchen-lighting
http://www.gmlighting.net/products/12vdc-high-output-flexible-led-linear-ribbon
http://www.futuralighting.com/led-ribbon-lighting.html

My first question is how many watts per foot makes sense? I find one
0.73/watts. Too low. The next level of brightness is 1.44-1.52/watts. That
seems to make sense. Then comes 2.4-2.6/watts. And one manufacturer has
5/watts. Way too much.

I hear that some people go for a higher wattage and then put a dimmer on
them. Other than over a dining table I'm not a big fan of dimmers. I'd
rather pick what is appropriate upfront.

Then comes the color choice. People are into the warm colors as that is
what they are used to from incandescent lighting. But what is so bad with a
cool white? Especially in a kitchen that is supposed to be sleek. Looking
at the manufacturers I find colors all over the place, with each having a
different color temperature for warm white, neutral white, and cool white.
What I'd like most of all is the undercabinet LEDs to be the same color as
the MR16 pendants that will hang over the sink and over the eating
peninsula. But the MR16s have different color temperatures for WW and CW
and again they vary my manufacturer.

Then I just stumbled on Diode LED's new High Output Tunable Color Strip
Light. You have two sliders. One to change the color and the other the
brightness. Seems like overkill.

Has anyone in this group installed these and can give us their experiences?

Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
 
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A

Art Todesco

The state-of-the-art these days for undercabinet lighting is LED ribbons
that you can cut every couple inches to get continuous (and energy
efficient) lighting along the counter.

I first tried to find who makes these. It isn't so easy. The web is filled
with retailers that don't disclose who made what they are selling.

These seem to be the major manufacturers:
http://www.diodeled.com/category/products/features/dimmable/
http://inspiredled.com/Shop-by-Project/kitchen-lighting
http://www.gmlighting.net/products/12vdc-high-output-flexible-led-linear-ribbon
http://www.futuralighting.com/led-ribbon-lighting.html

My first question is how many watts per foot makes sense? I find one
0.73/watts. Too low. The next level of brightness is 1.44-1.52/watts. That
seems to make sense. Then comes 2.4-2.6/watts. And one manufacturer has
5/watts. Way too much.

I hear that some people go for a higher wattage and then put a dimmer on
them. Other than over a dining table I'm not a big fan of dimmers. I'd
rather pick what is appropriate upfront.

Then comes the color choice. People are into the warm colors as that is
what they are used to from incandescent lighting. But what is so bad with a
cool white? Especially in a kitchen that is supposed to be sleek. Looking
at the manufacturers I find colors all over the place, with each having a
different color temperature for warm white, neutral white, and cool white.
What I'd like most of all is the undercabinet LEDs to be the same color as
the MR16 pendants that will hang over the sink and over the eating
peninsula. But the MR16s have different color temperatures for WW and CW
and again they vary my manufacturer.

Then I just stumbled on Diode LED's new High Output Tunable Color Strip
Light. You have two sliders. One to change the color and the other the
brightness. Seems like overkill.

Has anyone in this group installed these and can give us their experiences?

Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
I waited to see if anyone replies ... so far, none. I also, have been
wanting to do this. I do have a friend in the Chicago area that did it
and it looks pretty good. Right now I have 3 8 watt under cabinet
fluorescent fixture in my kitchen. I originally had warm white bulbs,
but I accidentally replace one with a cool white bulb. Either of these
gave plenty of light for our uses. Well, because the wall is a pinkish
color, it made almost no difference in the look of the color. But, the
cool white is a little brighter. Normally I don't like cool white on
anything inside (or outside, for that mater), but this seems to work
here. I was thinking of using the warm white LEDs. I don't think I
need the double density strips. And, I think mounting the strips to the
front of the upper cabinets will be much better than the fluorescents
which are now nearer to the wall. I have another friend that put them
in his theater organ console to light the stop tabs and give light to
the keyboards. Normally, there are 6 or 8 12 volt bulbs equally spaced
around the stop rail. He used double density and I think they are way
to bright for that application. I might try the single ones on my
theater organ console, but because the present lamps work, it probably
won't happen soon.
 
D

DerbyDad03

Don Wiss said:
The state-of-the-art these days for undercabinet lighting is LED ribbons
that you can cut every couple inches to get continuous (and energy
efficient) lighting along the counter.
....snip...

My first question is how many watts per foot makes sense? I find one
0.73/watts. Too low. The next level of brightness is 1.44-1.52/watts. That
seems to make sense. Then comes 2.4-2.6/watts. And one manufacturer has
5/watts. Way too much.

I hear that some people go for a higher wattage and then put a dimmer on
them. Other than over a dining table I'm not a big fan of dimmers. I'd
rather pick what is appropriate upfront.
I can't speak to LED lights, but I do have a thought on your dimmer
comment.

I find that the amount of "appropriate light" changes depending on time of
day, job to be done, etc. I have dimmers in just about every room for that
reason.

Simplest case: The bathroom. I need a lot less light to use the toilet at
2AM than when I'm getting ready for work at 6. All I need to do is see the
toilet enough to take care of my business.

In the bedroom, if the wife is sleeping, I don't want to fully turn on
either the overhead light or a nightstand light. The dimmer on the wall
allows for just enough light for me not to hurt myself.

I even have a dimmer on a switched outlet for a floor lamp. Don't worry,
the outlet is behind a heavy hutch and also protected by a cover that
requires a screwdriver to remove. The only thing plugged in is the floor
lamp.
 
D

Don Wiss

I can't speak to LED lights, but I do have a thought on your dimmer
comment.
Simplest case: The bathroom. I need a lot less light to use the toilet at
2AM than when I'm getting ready for work at 6. All I need to do is see the
toilet enough to take care of my business.
I've thought about that one. I am a big fan of LED night lights. Especially
of the type that is on the right in this picture:
http://www.lowes.com/pd_161886-53058-98820501_0__?productId=3744055

I've also bought a couple similar to what is shown at the left. They are
useless. The plug is polarized and I could only plug them in standing up
like shown there. They light up the ceiling. I want the floor lit.

I have these night lights in all halls, and in the bathroom. I do not turn
on hall lights at any time. I do not turn on a bathroom light in the middle
of the night. My eyes are dilated enough then that the light is adequate.
In the bedroom, if the wife is sleeping, I don't want to fully turn on
either the overhead light or a nightstand light. The dimmer on the wall
allows for just enough light for me not to hurt myself.
One or two of these would work for that too.

Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
 
?

=

Ed Pawlowski said:
How do you compare actual light output? The strips I saw had 439 lumens.
I have an 18" florescent bulb that, according to this chart is 900 lumens.
http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Technical/Lighting/L1_Regs/Lumen_Complies.htm

If that is the case, half the light would be very disappointing,
especially at $50 or so for the fixture as compared to the $6 fixture
there now. I've been able to replace the entire fixture for about $1 more
than the cost of the bulb. And you get a new cover that has not yellowed
over the years.
Light is measured in lumens so a lumen comparison will be correct. Usually,
the lumens are given only for the light source, not the fixture and the
fixture will absorb some light if there's an enclosure, lens or shade. I
usually estimate the fixture losses at 20% for a lens and 40%% if there's a
shade.

Tomsic
 
D

Don Wiss

I do have a friend in the Chicago area that did it
and it looks pretty good.
I was in a kitchen/bath fixtures showroom this afternoon. They had these
lights. It was a single strip and the bulbs were about 3/8" apart. From my
notes it appears that this is one of the 2.4-2.9 watts/ft. The amount of
light seemed fine. But what was very noticeable is the row of white dot
reflection that ran across the counter. Also across the chrome fixtures,
but I'm planning on matte stainless steel and satin nickel.

Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
 
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D

DerbyDad03

Don Wiss said:
I've thought about that one. I am a big fan of LED night lights. Especially
of the type that is on the right in this picture:
http://www.lowes.com/pd_161886-53058-98820501_0__?productId=3744055

I've also bought a couple similar to what is shown at the left. They are
useless. The plug is polarized and I could only plug them in standing up
like shown there. They light up the ceiling. I want the floor lit.

I have these night lights in all halls, and in the bathroom. I do not turn
on hall lights at any time. I do not turn on a bathroom light in the middle
of the night. My eyes are dilated enough then that the light is adequate.


One or two of these would work for that too.

Not a bad suggestion for someone looking for a solution, but my dimmers
were installed long before motion detecting LED lights were on the market.
Since the dimmers are already installed, work just fine, and don't take up
any receptacles, I'll stick with them.

Thanks anyway.
 
D

Don Wiss

Not a bad suggestion for someone looking for a solution, but my dimmers
were installed long before motion detecting LED lights were on the market.
Since the dimmers are already installed, work just fine, and don't take up
any receptacles, I'll stick with them.
Those are not motion sensitive, but light sensitive. Though some motion
detection ones do exist I don't have any. Here's the one I like without the
superfluous standing erect ones:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_353220-53058-98812401_0__?productId=3408702

I also have a few rectangular ones that are even brighter, but I don't find
them now at the Lowes site.

Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
 
D

Don Wiss

Round lights shown in picture are incadesent bulbs, lence can be turn 360 Deg.
No. I have the exact ones. They are LEDs. Not incandescents. Plus the web
page states they are LED. You are correct that they can turn almost 360
degrees. This allows one to aim them at the floor, irrespective of the
orientation of the outlet.

Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
 
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I have the Sylvania Mosaic in my kitchen and its perfect. It can change between 15 different colors and its dimmable. Plus its only 40 bucks for the starter kit. I got my at Costco.
 
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I installed LED ribbons in my kitchen under the wall units. Works a treat. I used cool white rather than warm white and it looks much better. They are 10w per meter and I got them from here. You need 10w to get some decent lighting.
 
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