soft white led lights same color as incandescent?

lblueApril 15, 2011

I am seeking to add undercabinet lights (kitchen is already done) to my inset style flat bottom (no recessed lip) white cabinets. I like the look of xenon, but the thinnest fixtures I have seen are 1 inch.

I came across the very low profile soft white led premium environmentallights online & they look like they might be similar warm white tone to xenon/incandescent at a color temp of 2600-3000. I am wondering if anyone has experience with this product in the soft white color & if it is similiar to the same warm white of xenon/incandescent?

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In addition to an appropriate color temperature - 3000K will be closer to most halogen than 2600K - I suspect that what you're looking for is high CRI (color rendering index). Low CRI is what makes colors look flat or wrong in some kinds of low-cost and older fluorescent and LED lights.

Incandescent has a perfect CRI of 100. On the other hand, a sodium vapor light might have a CRI of 20. Some old linear fluorescents were as low as 50-60 CRI, but most linears today are at least 76-78, and the good ones are in the 82-86 range.

Most CFs also run around 82-86 CRI. Good (read: pricey) LED run anywhere from 80 to 90 CRI. Cheap ones can be much lower, however.

Others here (Davidtay, are you listening?) are more familiar with LED UCLs than I am, but of the little I've seen of them, my impression has been that the light quality varies quite a bit. Since some of the low end LED manufacturers fudge on incandescent wattage equivalence, I'd tend to be a bit skeptical about their claims for CRI - if they even make any.

You won't get 100 CRI in LEDs regardless, but whether what you CAN get will satisfy you is really a matter of your own taste.

I know, it costs more to go to a local lighting store, but at least there you can see what the light actually looks like. And with some stores you can return it if you find it isn't to your taste (be sure to inquire before laying down your cash).

Again, I'm speaking more from theory than from experience. I wouldn't have written at all, but for the fact that no one else was responding. Maybe this will prompt someone else to comment.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 11:02PM
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Check out the LED UCL DIY thread on this forum. Some folks have used the soft white LED bars from environmentallights.

I chose the neutral white.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 12:26PM
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