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Under-Cabinet/Under-Counter Lighting: How to Choose?

Monday 25 October 2004 at 12:10 pm We are busy living in 2 rooms of our home, as the rest of our home is currently under construction. Both Jen and I are extremely excited about it being done, but also really sick of it not being done. We live in either our bedroom or my office, which houses the TV and the Internet, both obviously vital to our sanity to distract us from the dust-covered filth and holes surrounding us.

My job, being the lighting freak I am, was to find some under-cabinet (also called under-counter, though it lights up the counter, not under it) task lighting for the kitchen. Sweet! I'll find something really cool. But wait -- it must not generate a lot of heat, and Jen specifically said no to halogen. No problem, I think, and get to work.

My first thought is LED rope light! But alas, while the color of the light is nice and warm, similar to incandescent and halogen, it's not enough light. So what about LED bricks? A few companies sell LED bricks that put off a warm white light, similar to incandescent. Sweet! Until I saw the price. 24", 60 LED's, $400. What? No. Moving on.

Then came Xenon and Fluorescent. Now I haven't seen a Xenon light in use yet, but somewhere I read that its color temperature was like 5000K. Anything above 4000K are considered "cool" light sources, such as fluorescent. 3000K would be incandescent, and anything at or below that is considered "warm" light. Now I found a warm white fluorescent light rated at 3000K, and while it was better than a normal fluorescent, it was still very white.

I read somewhere that Xenon pucks "put out a similar very white light" with half the heat of halogen, and last 4 times as long. Well, that's cool, but I need to see it to believe it. Otherwise, I'll need to go convince my wife that halogen is just the way to go.

Maybe I'll get her a personal fan.
nine comments

I have some information that may help you decide on my website, with photos. You can also ask more questions about what you see if you like and I would be happy to answer.
Paul (URL) - 11 11 04 - 21:38

I have been looking to add low voltage LED’s under my kitchen counters for years and just now figured out a cheap way to do it. I had bought some closeout halogen puck fixtures from Kmart when they were getting rid of 12v 3-packs with plug in wall transformer for the newer versions that are 120vac bulbs. At the time, I was going to use them until I figured how much energy and heat was at stake as they are 20w each and I needed at least 10 and I wanted to leave them on a lot. I discovered http://www.superbrightleds.com sells a 1.5 inch square circuit board with 24 leds (white slightly bluish) with wires epoxied into a 1156? rv light socket base. I bought them and took apart halogen pucks and discarded all but housing and found LED circuit board fits inside perfect and puts out nice 2 foot circle of light onto counter while drawing 1.3 watts! I put colored gel filter bought at professional musician/theatrical equipment type shop that corrects light color of leds to warm the color. The 24 LEDs on circuit board sell for $15 each and the website also sells 25watt 12vdc power supplies for $40.00. When it is all installed I will have all kitchen counters in giant kitchen as well as counters in adjacent laundry room lit for under $250 and only draw around 15 to 20 watts. My plan is to mount power supply inside steel box in attic (for fire safety) and to run all low voltage wires to it out top of cabinets as ours go up to ceiling. The power will come from light fixture over kitchen table that we have on most of time with a low draw compact flourescent bulb. When we don’t need the big banks of ceiling kitchen lights on we can have light over table on which will also light all counters with LEDs. The table light and undercounter lights should all add up to maybe 30watts or so. Thought you might be interested in my discovery….Jim Hill
Jim Hill - 18 11 04 - 00:07

Excellet idea, Jim! How far apart did you space the 24 LED units? BTW they also have 26 LED units, as well as linear modules that can be daisy-chained.

Norman Parent (Email) - 01 12 04 - 09:37

I have not got them up yet but manually holding the LED’s up under counter displays a 2 foot diameter circle of light down onto counter surface. They could be 1 foot from ends and 2 feet apart but to increase light intensity I think I will put more up closer together probably a foot from ends and a foot apart or so. I am aware of the contiuous daisy chain LED strips but am not aware of a 26 LED similar circuit board. Is it a car taillight LED bulb you saw? I was looking for thinnest light source and the 24 LED circuit board is 3/8 inch or so which is ideal. I wondered if the linear strips would put out enough light where as I could adjust my version spacing to get enuogh light by adding more halogen pucks (now converted to LED) closer together….Jim Hill
Jim Hill (Email) - 03 12 04 - 01:53

Wow! Y’all are really into these LEDs. I never knew. Ok… so I have 1999 Subaru Outback with a schoop on the hood that really don’t do anything… just there for looks. What type of stuff would I need to create a Knight Rider KIT type of look in this front schoop. I would need some LEDs to trace back and forth. How do I get that tracing action to work? It sounds like y’all are the people to ask.
Russ (URL) - 07 12 04 - 17:45

Dear Sir or Madam,

How do you do!
It is our pleasure to have this chance to contact with you.

This is Author Lighting Manufacturing Co, Ltd in China. We obtained your
information through your webstile. With this message we are intending to
build a long-term and strong business relationship with your company in near future.

Author is the one of the leading manfacturing company in indoor lighting field in China,
we are specialized in manufacturing Cabinet Lights, our other products including.
Wardrobe Lights, Cornice Lights, Picture Lights, Bathroom Lights, Electronic Transformers, etc.

Shall you have any interesting in our products, please do not hesitate to
visit our website http://www.author-lighting.com for the details.

Shall you have any needs, please feel free to contact with us.

Thank you and best regards,

Peter Tang
Author Lighting Manufacturing Co. Ltd
Chukeng Industrial Zone, Dongkeng Town, Dongguan, China
Zip Code: 523455

Tel: 86-769-3694880
Fax: 86-769-3694860
Website: http://www.author-lighting.com
Peter Tang (Email) (URL) - 18 08 05 - 08:22

Where in Indiana, USA can I observe this cabinet lighting! Thank you very much.
rsbrammer (Email) - 26 10 06 - 20:42

USA can I observe this cabinet lighting! Thank you very much.
happy car rides (Email) (URL) - 29 04 18 - 05:52

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