please help me select led ucl for my kitchen reno,

renosarefunMarch 31, 2014

I read many of the posts in the long thread about led but I'll be honest, I just don't have the time to read through all the post and I also can't retain all the information about a dozen posts. If you could give me some suggestions I'd appreciate it. I want to have dimmable rgb led's but have determined I can't get the lumens (brightness) I want so I'll have to go with rgb for mood lighting which can be purchased easily, but the more difficult decision is the white led's which will be used 80% of the time, so I'll need two separate switches. It is for a U-shaped kitchen that I'm presently building the cabinets for. These are my requirements for the white led's which will be used most often.

1. Non dimmable.
2. Under cabinet valance will be 1.5"
3. Light output needs to be high in comparison to my existing fluorescent fixtures.
4. I prefer daylight or color temperature between 5000-6500k
5. Shortest length will be 18" longest will be 48" with a total span of 17' with two extensions needed for window and range separation.
6. Budget is $250.00.
7. I'm set up for line or low voltage.
Below is the present brightness I'm looking to replace.

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Here is another angle/view.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 8:51AM
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The cheapest route (when replacing) is to use the same power source as the existing lights.
It looks like you currently have t5 ucl?
Presumably, you'd want to retain or improve the same level of lighting.

$250 will probably not suffice for the white light. If you intend to deploy RGB lighting as well, your best option will be the Philips hue strips & their eW profile.

You'd need to do the work measuring...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:35PM
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Thanks for the reply davidtay.

Yes the present set up is T5 flourescent at around 4000k totalling 16' and I agree in that I would want to retain if not improve the same level of lighting..

Since I'm building my own kitchen and doing my own wiring, therefore staying at 120V or stepping down to low voltage isn't a problem and not very expensive so it's still an option.

I couldn't find an rgb that was capable of the lumens per foot that I needed, (or maybe I just didn't know where to look), therefore I decided my only other option would be to use two separate runs/switches, one for rgb and the other dedicated to bright white lighting. I believe you're saying I can't obtain ultra bright led lighting with a length of around 17' for $250.00? I budgeted about $100.00 for rgb lighting since they can be purchased even at Costco for less than that.

I checked into the hue strips and there seems to be too many options and not enough time to do enough research as I was waiting for the coat of varnish to dry somewhat before I apply another coat.

I'm not sure what you mean by "You'd need to do the work measuring". Can you give me some more info on what I need to measure?

Thanks again davidtay.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:03PM
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If the upper cabinets are being replaced, you need to know the amount of flat space on the bottoms, whether the underside forms a contiguous flat space from one end to the other.

If you intend to have the led bars joined end to end to provide a seamlessly lit zone, you need to know the total length so that you can get the correct lengths.

If you go low voltage, you need to consider the wiring gauge for each low voltage wiring run.

In addition, the power supply has to be accessible.

The power supply pricing has also to be factored in.

If you desire good color rendition, high output - over 200 lumens per foot, the cost goes up. If the lights need to be low profile- under 1" in height, expect to pay more.

If you want a run for RGB, you will need to include a DMX controller... The Costco RGB strips are plug in flex strips that will not provide sufficient lighting and may not pass inspection.

Ultimately, if you want seamless color changes, both the white and RGB strips need to be controlled as one which adds more to the budget.

In short, it would be prudent to include the price for every component.

All the info is a repeat from the DIY ucl thread and continuation. The starting post in each thread should be looked at.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 3:26PM
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Thanks again for the reply davidtay;

Yes the upper cabinets are being replaced and I have the dimensions for each cabinet as well as the space at the bottom of each cabinet. I don't know if posting the dimensions will be helpful as I thought it was all about the length of run that the led's needed. In other words, does it matter that the cabinet is 13" in depth not including the door as one cabinet is L shaped at 60" X 40" and so on. No they're not continuous as there is a range and window in between but I was going to link them by way of 120V line voltage or low voltage wire.

Yes I was going to have them seamless with the exception of the window and range and do have the length at hand as well as a total length of 17'.

I understand that low voltage lighting has a certain amount of voltage drop over a length of run, but we're talking 36" and 40", which I don't think that's much of a concern with phone it?

I've made provisions for the junction box and or receptacle to be accessible.

I figure if it's 120 Volts then 15 amps would be more then sufficient, if it's low voltage than 5 amps would be more than enough for my requirements.

I don't need more then 200 lumens per foot as that's most likely more than the florescent.

I wasn't thinking of going the way of dmx as the amount of effects weren't really needed but I would still consider it.

You're correct that the Costco rgb leds would provide enough task lighting for under counter but an inspection isn't needed since it's not the main lighting for the kitchen. It just has to pass an electrical inspection, or maybe we're not on the same page.

I've never seen a rgb led transition to white, unless you specifically request white, via a command.

As it stands now, it would appear, I don't have enough knowledge to make an informed decision on my own, With that said, I may have to purchase something for the time being and change over when I become more knowledgeable. Unfortunately that's a waste of money as I was hoping for some specific recommendations could be made to avoid the unnecessary initial purchase.

Thanks again davidtay.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:50PM
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There will typically be 1 or more runs of cabinets. In a U shape kitchen, there might be 3 (space for the hood). Each run of cabinets will be made of individual cabinet boxes that are installed in a manner that makes the final product appear contiguous.

Depending on how the boxes are made, the bottom could be flat across the individual boxes without any intervening obstructions (styles). If that is the case, you can just use the inside measurement for the run (typically 3/4" less from the outside on both ends) to figure out the lengths of bars/ tape possible (~ 1/2" has to be deducted at each end in addition to the 3/4").

If not, each cabinet box will essentially dictate the length of the bar to be installed underneath.

There is also the question of how far forward (to the cabinet front) the bar should be placed.

T5 output is probably more than 200 lumens. The excess light helps create the illusion of a continuous run even when the t5 tubes are spaced > 1" apart (end to end).

I drew up the diagram showing 3 separate branches from a power supply for low voltage wiring on the DIY UCL thread continuation.
There will be low voltage wiring from the power supply (often mistakenly called transformer) to the actual run of lights. Those lengths of wire could be pretty long (10' or more) depending on how the wire is run behind the wall.
Phone wire cannot be used as the gauge is too small.
Wire gauge calculator

For a professional look, the UCL should not be plugin.

The UCL will have to pass the electrical inspection. If you use the existing 120V wiring, it would be easier.

The Philips Hue strip can transit between different colors and to white based on the commands issued. Even so, the CRI of the white produced is not great.

To achieve the same effect today at a lower price point, separate runs have to be used - 1 RGB , 1 white, both controlled simultaneously so that the illusion of seamless transition is achieved.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 9:52PM
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Thanks for the reply davidtay, especially since you're the only one that has replied so far and I do appreciate it.

Sorry for the late reply, I only have 4 more cabinets to build but will reply to your post.

All the bottoms will be flat with a 1 1/2" valance along the front. You're correct in that there will be a gap between the window above the sink but I will also have a valance along top, but have no problems routing wired behind the cabinets or elsewhere.

Would you be referring to the diagram below?

I have two options, one run for rgb led's and another for white only. Second option is to find a rgb led that has enough lumen's per foot to eliminate the second run of white only rgb led's. As it stands now I can't seem to find option 1 within my budget of $400.00 for both sets of rgb led's and the second option isn't within my budget also with a 16.5 to 17' run.

Thanks again for the reply david as I have to get back to my cabinet build.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 8:34AM
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Yes. If you use the existing wiring, it will be cheaper and not need to be inspected. However, that means 120v AC.

Another option would be to reuse the existing Ucl. The color changing Hue type strips are not going to be cheaper any time soon.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 10:02AM
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Thanks for the reply davidtay,

Reusing the existing T5 is not an option as the depth of the fixtures are going to be greater then the dimensions for the valance I'm using. I also would like something that is slightly more efficient then fluorescent and prefer the instant on type effect. My other issue is fluorescent does not give the option of color changing (rgb) and if I went with T2's for white only then I don't find it money well spent.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 10:15AM
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The unfortunate thing is that good LED UCL options are not cheap. The price increases for profiles
Color changing LED strips are expensive today.
The Hue strips today have the best controls and probably are easier to install.
However, having the lights transition from white to some other color shade would require
1. Separate strips (with off the shelf lighting strips available to consumers today).
2. Automation. If you're into home automation, Zigbee based equipment would be a good choice.

Both of which bump up the project complexity and cost significantly.

If cost is a significant concern, I'd keep the T5s around for a while longer and keep looking for more cost effective alternatives to the uniLume.
A separate 120VAC circuit should also be pulled for the RGB strip, but left unconnected.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 1:40PM
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Thanks once again for the reply davidtay;

I have a budget of $500.00 for both the rgb and white led's and I can go over but if I did that will all items in my kitchen reno, well you know how that goes.

The only white only led's that I've seen in person that I like are the Richelieu 26121100 which would cost me $80.00 per 20" strip and I'd need about 10 strips. They're 120v and at around 600 lumes per strip they're very bright, I just don't know if I can dim them. Yes it's way over my budget but so far it's the ones my wife likes the most. I could always use the Costco Sylvania rgb leds for effect only which is way under my budget.

My search continues...........

Here is a link that might be useful: Richelieu led

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 6:55PM
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They don't appear to be dimmable.
If you are intent on using rgb lights as well, dimming would help with the transitions between color and white task lighting.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 11:39PM
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Thanks once again for the reply davidtay:

If the Richelieu led strips are not dimmable which I believe you're correct, than it would be a deal breaker as I feel 600 lumens per 20" strip could be a bit too much for everyday evening use.

Just so we're on the same page davidtay, the white led's (hoping to be approximately 200 lumens per foot) are for everyday evening use. The rgb led's would only be used for special occasions such as when company is over, etc. Sort of a fun novelty and it would appear to get the best of both worlds, I would need two separate wall swtiches, one for white only led and one for rgb led.

The search once again continues.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 8:31PM
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Did you take a look at
The Color Rendition Index may not be there, but if you're willing to experiment...

Here is a link that might be useful: RGB W led tape

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 11:59PM
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Thanks again davidtay;

I did about a week ago and the closest I could find that was waterproof and had the most amount of lumens per foot in an rgb led strip was listed below, see link.

Based on my calculations it would produce 244 lumens per foot and I would assume that's in white mode, although it's unknown which color temperature. That would be bright enough to not need a separate white led run on it's own switch. I would also need a 12 volt 40 watt 4 amp power supply and a controller. If my math is right at 16.5 feet costing approximately $160.00 add a controller and power supply it shouldn't be much more than $200.00?

I wonder if this would work. By the way I have one more cabinet to build then onto the doors.

eam Pattern 180 degree Color RGB
Current Draw @ 12 Volts DC 3295mA Current Draw per Foot 201mA
Water Resistance[1] Weatherproof IP65 Number of LEDs in Unit 300 LEDs
LED Type 5050 SMD LEDs per Segment 3
Length 500cm(197in) Lifetime 40000 Hours
Lumen 4020 Lumen Max Run[2] 1
Polarized Yes Price Per Foot $14.38
Standards And Certifications CE/FCC/ISA Approved/ROHS Compliant/UL Listed Strip Width 12mm
Suitable for Vehicles Yes Total Power Consumption 39.5 Watts
Type Flexible Light Strips/High Density Operating Voltage Range 9~14.8 VDC
Wattage per Foot 2.5 Watts Wavelength 470 nm/525 nm/626 nm
Wire Length 48.26cm(19in)
Dimensions: 500cm(196.85") x 1.2cm(0.47") x 0.275cm(0.11")

Here is a link that might be useful: Superbright led rgb strip

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 9:43PM
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I just noticed another one but it's non waterproof with more lumens. I've never heard of RGB+White LED and the color temperature is around 5000k. A bit more expensive but withing my budget, albeit non waterproof.

Any thoughts?

Here is a link that might be useful: Superbright RGB+White LED

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 9:55PM
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Waterproof lighting isn't necessary for indoor kitchen environments.

You might want to add aluminum channels + diffuser to the list of items. The al channel could help make the install easier (instead of directly gluing the strip to the cabinet) and hold the diffuser plastic lens in place.

5000k is closer to daylight white and approx what you have right now from the t5.

Another site to look at is

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 11:40PM
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Thanks for the reply davidtay;

Maybe I'm just tired today but I find the Environmental site more difficult to understand, therefore maybe I should stick with the Superbright RGB+White LED. I'll I need now is to figure out which controller and power supply to get.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 12:15PM
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You could call env lights up or send them email inquiries. At least get a second quote...

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 2:41PM
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