Preferred way to switch undercabinet lights - single or separate?

seosmpMay 3, 2013


I'm trying to finalize my lighting plan.

I will have recessed 4" Cree LEDs (dimmable) - basically centered in aisles since I will have undercabinet lighting for lighting the counter while working.

I plan to use LED undercabinet lighting (tape/strips) on a dimmer.

Now, my question is - what is the typical / preferred way to switch UCL This will include cabinets to the left/right of the cooktop, corner cabs, and left/right of the sink/window (basically an L shape).

Is it more typical to put all of these on the same switch? Or maybe put the cooktop area on one switch, and sink ones on another, or each disjoint area on separate switches (left of cooktop on one, right of cooktop on one, etc.)?

I'm leaning towards a single switch just for ease of turning them on/off, but I can see how you might want to turn just the one on where you're currently working???


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If you're using tape lighting, it would probably be low voltage lighting attached to a power supply stashed in an accessible location.

One switch would be saner.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 3:53PM
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seosmp-great question. with an L design I take it you can run led ucl continuous more or less, so one good compatible dimmer makes a lot of sense. The low voltage draw is so low.

You mention you may put your 4" cree cans centering on aisles due to the ucl. I've been thinking the same: led light is non-diffusing, so if the led ucl can have a high enough CRI (color rendition index) for true tasking, it seems recessed LED might work lighting the path way. But then what about seeing into the upper cabinets for pulling items out?

I might just leave one flush or semi flush incandescent ceiling light in my plan and use the chandelier bulbs for diffused path light through the room. But that's another circuit/switch then. Incandescent is the opposite of going full led, but those bulbs are considered specialized and are not in phase out like the 60,75,100 watts here in the US.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 7:15PM
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davidtay - thanks! So it's possible with the low voltage lighting to use a single dimmable switch, correct?

SparklingWater - thanks! Where would you put your incandescent ceiling light? In the center of the room? I actually can barely reach the second shelf, so I won't be accessing things in the top 2 shelves very often! Your kitchen may be bigger than mine as well (around 14' x 14' space), so I think the recessed cans will provide enough light to see. My aisles are only 42" / 39" and 45" on the short end. I will also have pendants over the island.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:54PM
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Yes, if you have the dimmer controlling the input to the power supply. See the simple diagram on the Ucl thread

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 11:14PM
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