Under Cabinet Lighting - NEWBIE

krkahnApril 27, 2012

Our cabinets are on order, we just ordered the chandelier for our DR and now I'm starting to look into countertops and under cabinet lighting. I like the idea of the LED lights but everywhere I go when I see them I notice each individual bulb shining on the countertop. Are the displays set up incorrectly or is that really how it will look on our countertop? I can see each individual bulb shining on the countertop which looks bad IMO.

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The UniLume led bars don't have individual dots of light. Link in the last message of the discussion thread below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ucl continuation

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 10:54AM
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Only about $10 per inch of length also.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:57PM
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I've used this product and method since before it was in vogue.

Its the JUNU T-12 track system (the same track is used for both XENON and LED)
I mount the track directly behind the face frame and install 2-1/2" crown molding at the bottom of the face frame.
This masks the lamping from reflecting on the countertop and by strategic placement of the lamps combined with the distance, the "saw effect" on the backsplash is eliminated.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 11:15PM
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Off-topic a bit, but just how much of a recess is typically available under upper cabinets to hide under cabinet lighting? Or is there no "typical" space?


    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 8:05PM
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It varies from cabinet maker to cabinet maker. Usually the min is ~ 1 inch. Check with your cabinet maker.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 11:10PM
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Also, while the face frame can hide the direct, head-on view of the fixtures, the surface bounce, reflections, are still there.
The fixtures and lamping are also visible while sitting.
However, many cabinet suppliers offer a variety of additional moldings that can act as masking, as well as architectural elements.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:27AM
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I have the same question as the OP. Looked at the Unilume bars that the extraordinary davidtay suggested and love them, but they are a bit pricey. Are there any other alternatives? I will only have 3/4" beneath the cabs to cover the fixtures, so I will need low profile as well.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 7:14PM
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My contractor was going to use rope/tape lighting. Any feedback on these? I had read that those with a frosted lens or casing would help cut down on the reflection of a polished counter.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 11:41PM
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Alternatives would include the MaxLite, eW Profile direct wire bars.

Tape lighting produce generally lower output than rigid bars since the emitters are lower powered (put in simplistic terms).

You still need to figure out whether it will be usable for more than accent lighting, calculate the voltage drop, ...

More details in the LED UCL DIY thread...

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:48PM
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I just posted this on another UCL thread so excuse the repeat post but thought it would be helpful here too:

My husband bought all our LED UCL from Environmental Lights. com. We got the bar type MaxLite that are in 12'' sections click together for whatever total length you want. While they are no cheap (we spent about $500 in total) we like them a lot and so much more than non-LED lights or ones that are pucks and make a very definitive blotch of light. These spread the light nicely. And my DH called the company with questions and they were very helpful. I would encourage you to do the same.

Here is a link that might be useful: Environmental Lights - UC LED lights

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 10:42PM
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Why are you down on the tape lights? Tape lights come in many formats including double density and 5050 which does 219 lumen per foot. That's within 20 lumen of the the bars at a fraction the cost. Also, you can run tape at the specific width of the cabinet. With bars you are limited to the length of the bar which could leave you with parts of cabinets unlit.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 5:03PM
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3 things about tape lights
1. Heat dissipation is not as good as those mounted on metal bars. The higher the output, the thicker/ wider the pcb, making it less flexible.
2. Relative fragility - the led emitters are smd or surface mounted devices on a flexible pcb.
3. Mounting these lights typically requires double sided tape which could delaminate over time. Some people may also have difficulty dealing with long lengths of sticky tape. The lights have a greater chance of being damaged during installation than rigid bars.

With tape, it is possible to get a closer fit, but in reality, in most applications, rigid light bars (both led and fluorescent) can bridger the gaps with higher output. Cove lighting is one example.

If the inherent fragility and generally lower output is taken into consideration and worked around, you could come up with a good looking installation.

In certain situations, you might have to use flexible strips though and should be aware of the limitations/ constraints.

With led Ucl DIY installations, you need to consider the entire system, the effort necessary to put it all together and maintain the system. The least effort would be direct wire lights, followed by rigid bar low voltage lights and flexible tape in that order.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 11:46PM
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