LED and single switch for ceiling and under-cabinet lights

SparklingWaterFebruary 16, 2013

Hi. I have a single wall switch in my kitchen which currently turns on the incandescent ceiling light as well as under the cabinet florescent lights in each of ten wall cabs (if on). Since incandescent is slowly being fazed out, I am considering replacing these with an LED ceiling mount fixture and LED under-cabinet lights.

My question is, in my kitchen remodel (not to studs, more a pull and place with ample wall outlets and switches between the kitchen and pantry) may I use the same single wall switch for the both ceiling and under-cabinet LED's? If yes, where does the dimmer switch go? On a second switch? Is there a transformer box that sits somewhere (I've heard in a sink cab) that controls the LED dimming?

There are some lovely broad spectrum LED ceiling light fixtures (800+ lumens or is it diodes) which I believe work well for us. I have two 200 amp panels with openings.

Thank you very much for your help.

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If you intend to use low voltage for the UCL, 2 separate switches are essential.

If you use direct wire, 1 switch (dimmer possible) may be possible. There will not be a separate transformer box.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:48PM
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davidtay, thank you. I've read your LED discussion.

What do you think of a broad spectrum LED ceiling fixture or pendant? The fixtures are not that expensive, but I understand the bulbs are. If I put them in each center ceiling parallel ceiling fixtures, there will be bright light: enough with the LED uc's to avoid recessed lights? I currently do not have recessed lights, as I dislike swiss cheese holes in a ceiling immensely.

This post was edited by SparklingWater on Sat, Feb 16, 13 at 21:24

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 9:15PM
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Further comment on controls
For purposes of flexibility, you might want to have 2 switches (both can be dimmable) - one controlling the lights and the other the UCL. That way, you can have either the UCL alone or main lighting alone or both on.

Broad spectrum LED fixture or pendant
Ceiling fixtures work best with galley kitchens as the counter spaces will not be too distant.

Broad spectrum lighting is a simulation of real sunlight (as it appears to the human eye). Most LED lighting will not come close to being really broad spectrum.

If you're planning on using something like the L prize bulb, you will have very efficient but not really broad spectrum light. Otherwise, you'd be using lighting with a higher color temp (3500K - 5000K).

Recessed light comment
The swiss cheese symptom becomes very noticeable when the lights are not placed in a regular pattern and if the holes are of different sizes (eg - mix of 4", 6").

The downside to recessed lighting is that it can more complicated in terms of planning than typical surface mounts since more are typically used vs 1 central mount.

However, it is always worth spending the effort planning proper lighting, even if you ultimately don't use recessed lighting.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Thanks again, davidtay. I am beginning a formal lighting plan for the kitchen remodel and will have professional electricians and lighting designer input as this is not my forte, yet key decision.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:21PM
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