# led ucl diy

jem199June 17, 2010

Instructions for LED DIY

1. Measure the inside bottoms of the front width of your cabinets, between the sides (called fences). This assumes that the upper cabinets are completely flat bottomed.

2. Create a box diagram of your pper cabinet layout on paper and include the measurements.

3. Decide how many lighting zones (circuits) youÂd like (groupings with their own switch or dimmer). Decide if you want dimming in each zone. You will need a transformer and a switch for each zone. Purchase dimmable transformers and switches for the zones that require dimming.

4. If you have lighting levels in your current kitchen you like, determine the lumens (light output) of those lights to be sure you are adding similar brightness. I used the following

Â Incandescent are typically 14 lumens per watt.

Â Fluorescents are typically 60 lumens per watt.

The lighting should be determined by a desired lumens per linear ft basis. The type of lighting (xenon, halogen, fluorescent, led, EL) possible could be dictated by conformance to local laws (eg - title24) FWIW, http://www.greentorch.com/LED-Strip-lights.htm has a claimed output of 83 lumens per watt. Environmental lights has their lumens here:

https://www.environmentallights.com/categories/1306_2402_3417/under-cabinet-light-bars

5. Determine the lengths of lights for each cabinet. You want at least one light every 30". Many have suggested getting the widest you can for each cabinet and then putting them on a dimmer to give you the most flexibility for task and ambient lighting. You can stack two or more lightbars parallel and connect them with jumpers for more lumens over a high-task area, such as a sink.

6. For each zone, add up the volts for the lights in the zone so you can select the appropriate transformer. Add 15% to your total. Here are the conversions I used (This is specific to the environmentallights type light bar)

Â 15 cm = 5.9" = 1.65w

Â 30 cm = 11.8" = 3.3w

Â 60 cm = 23.6" = 6.6w

Â 90 cm = 35.4" = 9.9w

7. Decide where you will place your transformer(s). Transformers should be placed in a wall, but in a cabinet, basement or attic where there is circulation and you can access it, if needed. You need one transformer for each lighting zone. By code, the transformer(s) have to be in an accessible location. One transformer per lighting zone is required if independent control of each zone is required. If multiple transformers are required, you need to ensure that there is adequate electrical branch wiring to the locations where each transformer is located. The necessary switch controls need to be planned for.

8. Add your lights to your box diagram. This will help you determine the accessories needed and where to place the wires. The lights in each zone must connect to each other and each cable must reach the transformer. For new installs, you can pull the wires back through the wallboard. For existing installs, bring the...

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tommytailspin

Any recommendation on how far back from the front of the cabinet that the LED light bar should be installed? Or is it strictly try it and see how it looks?

June 17, 2010 at 12:29PM
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jem199

Putting the lightbars as far to the front as you can will drop the light on the center of your counters. You can always buy the plug adapter and experiment, but I recommend front & center placement.

June 17, 2010 at 3:02PM
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tommytailspin

Thanks jem - my box of lighting parts just arrived from Environmental Lighting today. Countertops are being installed tomorrow so I will be installing lighting this weekend. Definitely getting psyched.

June 17, 2010 at 8:40PM
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jem199

Glad I could help! Davidtay helped me tremendously. Even so, it took me hours to figure out what was what and what parts I needed. I thought it would be a shame not to share this solution with others looking for a cheaper and warmer LED lighting plan.

June 17, 2010 at 10:54PM
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David

You're most welcomed.

There are a number of alternate vendors for the same light bars.

For alternatives to the above mentioned lightbar
Flat LED lighting
Electroluminescent lighting - usually monochromatic, but interesting nevertheless.

Here is a link that might be useful: Other vendors

June 18, 2010 at 12:52AM
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midwest28

Emeralight.com
A very good low cost LED under cabinet product.

June 19, 2010 at 4:27PM
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shouts

What's wrong with the transformers from the Taiwan place as opposed to Environmental Lighting?

June 21, 2010 at 10:02PM
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David

The primary difference is that the environmental lights transformer is UL listed for damp locations.

June 21, 2010 at 10:22PM
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jem199

One more detail (thanks again, David!). When directly splicing the connector cables to the low voltage wires in the walls that connect to the transformer, tie the red and white together and keep the black separate.

June 22, 2010 at 11:13AM
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shouts

Great job, thanks for the help. The lights worked great, we even rigged them to work with the standard wire in the walls, so we didn't have to run new wire!

I tried the transformer from the Taiwan source. It works fine, but apparently it's only dimmable with their dimmer? Could that be possible? Seems a shame to go buy an overpriced one from environmental lights when the 35w one works just fine!

July 2, 2010 at 10:46PM
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David

The dimmer from Taiwan goes between the light bar and the power supply. It is a rheostat/ potentiometer.

The alternative magnetic transformer uses a magnetic dimmer @ 120v and costs more.

For alternative sources of transformers (to environmentallights)

http://www.electricsuppliesonline.com/m250-24p.html

http://usalight.com/transformers/commercial-magnetic-transformers/indoor-magnetic-transformers/primary-and-secondary-breakers.html

July 3, 2010 at 12:41AM
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jterrilynn

Hey any one here? For (7) 30cm 11.9" each dimmable led under cabinet lights from the ebay seller above...when you say a transformer/adepter is needed are you talking about the 48 watt 24 volt DC dimming power supply??? I just called environmentallights.com and the sales woman when catching me off guard and learning I did not buy lights from them, was RUDE and unhelpful. She said they were out but she would take my name and put it on a list were people who bought lights would be first, she wouldn't answer my questions and nearly hung up on me.

July 13, 2010 at 4:13PM
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David

The power supply size depends on the number of bars and the lengths of wire involved.

You need not get a transformer per light strip.

E-mail me if you have more questions.

July 13, 2010 at 5:13PM
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dakall

I've got about a 9 foot run of cabinets I wish to put LED strips under. Would it be too bright if I connect them all together so it's a continuous run? Or should I do smaller sizes with some space between them? It's a white counter top and white glass tile backsplash.

Any one have photos of installations?

July 14, 2010 at 10:28PM
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jterrilynn

I just looked at the spec sheet for the Taiwan transformer, the one the ebay seller has listed http://sz0085.wc.mail.comcast.net/service/home/~/nes-15-spec%5B1%5D.pdf?auth=co&loc=en_US&id=79680&part=2
The spec's say it is UL certified.

July 14, 2010 at 11:18PM
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David

It should be continuous.

Here's a photo. The only interruptions are a window and a hood

An alternative is to use LED flat panel lighting.

July 14, 2010 at 11:40PM
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David

jterrilynn,

All power supplies sold in the USA should have the UL label.

The more expensive and bulky ones are dimmable from the AC line side.

The smaller ones are probably not dimmable from the AC line side although one can still put a potentiometer on the output for dimming.

July 14, 2010 at 11:58PM
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dakall

@davidtay,

Photos look great. Thanks.

Are those the cool white light bars? Are you able to dimthem? If so, is that full brightness?

July 15, 2010 at 6:35AM
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David

Yes they are fully dimmable. No, I don't run them at full intensity.

They are on a 3 way dimming switch. Leviton Monet.

I got the main components from environmentallights some time ago. Right now, there are alternative sources for the lightbars, transformers, interconnects and switches.

July 15, 2010 at 11:47AM
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jterrilynn

You can get the exact same led light bars that enviromentallights sells from the eBay seller ledpro-twÂ The same light bars shown in jens video above. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320532378517&ssPageName=ADME:X:AAQ:US:1123 or their home site Prontonier for 50% less in cost.
I have to say that after terrorizing many helpful wonderful people here on this forum and the ebay seller Sean Chu of ledpro and Prontonier with my lack of knowledge on electric and led lightingÂas a business owner Sean gets 11 out of ten stars. IÂm telling you that man worked hard for the little money he made off me, I canÂt say enough good things about the whole transaction. Plus I saved lots and lots of money!

July 16, 2010 at 1:34PM
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jterrilynn

Go to the lighting forum and look at the "led ucl diy" post by jem199. Davidtay and Jem give lots of good advice and there is even a video to watch.
The electrical part of my remodel really had my head spinning as I like to have at least a basic understanding of the electric and a detailed understanding of the products.
Sean Chu of ledpro on eBay was fantastic and very patient answering all my many questions on his led dimmable light bars and supplies. His light bars are the exact same light bars seen on the environmentallighs site only his are around 50% cheaper. It is also the same light bar you will see in the video on the lighting forum.
You can have real nice under counter lighting without spending a whole lot. Read the whole post to get a better understanding on what you want to buy and from whom.

July 19, 2010 at 1:04PM
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Sara_in_philly

jterrilynn -- Did you order the dimmer from led-pro? If you did, where do you plan to put the dimmer? on the wall? under the caninet?....

July 19, 2010 at 1:45PM
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Can anyone give me the correct ebay seller name for Sean Chu? I tried "ledpro" but that user is no longer registered. I also tried "led-pro" and "led_pro" but there are no users with that name. Thanks!

July 20, 2010 at 8:55AM
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Sara_in_philly

It's LEDPro-tw. Here is the link:
http://stores.ebay.com/LEDpro-ighting__W0QQ_fsubZ1202896016

Here is a link that might be useful: Ebay Site

July 20, 2010 at 9:59AM
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David

Sara,
The dimmer from ledpro-tw needs to be fitted on the output, between the transformer/ power supply and the light bars.

Since DC output is more adversely affected by the length of the connecting wire, the dimmer would work better if placed under the cabinet near the light bars.

The more expensive setup is to use a dimming transformer where the AC line input can be throttled.

July 20, 2010 at 10:51AM
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Sara_in_philly

David, Thank you for your help!

Do you know of any quality difference in dimming between these 2 dimming methods? Also, since the ledpro-tw dimmer is fitted at the transformer output, does it still reduce the energy consumption when you dim the lights? I know LED lights consume very little energy to begin with, but I am curious:-)

How often do you adjust the brighness of the UC lights? The ledpro-tw has such a different look, it's hard to decide where to put it in the open(if you need to adjust it all the time) and won't look odd.

July 21, 2010 at 10:42AM
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David

There will not be any visible difference in the light output.

With a potentiometer type dimmer, the power supply will always be running at the max output. The excess will be dissipated as heat.

I don't usually dim lights.

July 21, 2010 at 11:12AM
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For those of you who have the light bars from ledpro-tw do you have Cool White (Day White), Nature White, or Warm White? He sent me his product sheet and I see there are three colors to choose from. I want a white that is like a bright white incandescent bulb, not yellow light. I'm wondering if the Cool White/Day White is too blue white and the Nature White is the right color. What do you have? And how is the dimming with these lights? Thanks!!!

July 21, 2010 at 7:41PM
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David

I have the nature white (also known as neutral white at env lights). See the posted pict.

Dimming is fine even though I don't do much dimming or run the lights at full brightness/ intensity.

July 21, 2010 at 9:57PM
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Thanks Davidtay! Nature white looks right to me. How high is your lightrail? It looks about 1.5". Could I use a 1" lightrail to hide the lightbar or do I need more? Thanks again!

July 22, 2010 at 2:09PM
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David

Your cabinet maker can use 1" rails/ fences for the bottom. The light bar and clips are about 1/2" tall.

July 22, 2010 at 4:18PM
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Sara_in_philly

Thank you David! Is there a rule about what type of transformers are dimmable?

July 22, 2010 at 8:13PM
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David

Typically, the sellers will state that the transformers need to be controlled by a magnetic ("inductive") dimmer.

July 22, 2010 at 8:45PM
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Sara_in_philly

David, when they say "low voltage dimmer", what does that mean? That's not the same as magnetic ("inductive") dimmer, is it?

July 25, 2010 at 1:00PM
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David

Which dimmer are you looking at?

Contact me offline if necessary.

July 25, 2010 at 2:05PM
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Sara_in_philly

The dimmers shown on EnvironmentaLights (\$30-40) are fine with me as long as they DO reduce energy consumption when you dim the lights.

What I am really trying to find is an alternative to EnvironmentaLights' expensive transformer (cost over \$100), that can be dimmed with a conventional looking dimmer. And some of the transformers says can be used with "low voltage dimmer".

I will gether some of the transformer links and send you an email.

July 25, 2010 at 2:21PM
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David

Types of dimmers available
electronic
magnetic (inductive)
resistive (rheostat)

When you're attempting to throttle the input to a transformer, the safest way is to use a magnetic (inductive) dimmer.

For those who are interested, following is a slightly technical description of dimmers
http://www.epanorama.net/documents/lights/lightdimmer.html

Here is a link that might be useful: How dimmers work

July 25, 2010 at 5:51PM
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Just ordered all the parts for our under counter lighting-yea! Can't wait to get it all in and put it to the test. Thanks to all of you for this post.
Here is a summary of the suppliers I used. This is a DIY project and we are really watching our costs.
Lights in "Nature White" and wire parts from "photonier . com" - the best prices I could find. Just send an email and they will send you the price list. Shipping was cheaper then I was quoted elsewhere.
Transformer and dimmer from "electricsuppliesonline . com". Again best prices for the products. Dimmer was about half price, transf. was much cheaper too. Their customer service was helpful. The transformer I needed was the primary one, it has to do with which side the service comes from.

We are installing the system in the walls so it will be a while before we have completed the install. However, DH says we can hook it up for a test run! I can't wait!

July 26, 2010 at 10:00PM
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Sara_in_philly

becky_jo, which dimmer and transformer did you choose? Please let us know how it turn out. I am trying to make those decisions myself.

July 27, 2010 at 4:09PM
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ssarms

Couple of questions....

1) Would an electronic or magnetic transformer be most appropriate for 5 of the 30cm light bars (approx 16 watts total)?

2)The lowest wattage transformer I have found is 60w. Is that ok to use if total wattage of the lights is only 16w?

3) Can I only use a magnetic dimmer with a magnetic transformer and an electronic dimmer with an electronic transformer?

4) I read that a transformer with DC output might have less power drop over longer distances than one with AC output. Is this the case? Is either type suitable?

July 27, 2010 at 4:40PM
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David

1. You should never mix and match dimmer and transformer types.
2. The output must be dc if you're using the same lights described on this thread.
3. The transformer output needs to be sized to the cumulative total of the lights + a margin of 15 to 20 percent.

4. An electronic transformer may/ should work, but you need to find the appropriate dimmer switch.

July 27, 2010 at 6:40PM
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Sara_in_philly,
I ordered the
Leviton 6613-PLW 600VA 450W, 120 Volt AC 60Hz, 3-Way, SureSlide Preset
Electro-Mechanical Magnetic Low-Voltage
Slide Dimmer, Illuminated
and the Magnitude Indoor Low Voltage Magnetic Transformer M150-24P,
120V to 24V, 150W with Primary Breaker Black Finish.

However, I just got an email stating that they were on back order and could take 3-4 weeks - and that I could cancel the order for a 25% fee, Hhhmmmm that does not sound too nice.....but, I am not in a hurry so I will be patient.

July 27, 2010 at 7:52PM
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ssarms

First, thanks to davidtay for answering my many questions on this subject...

Regarding transformers...if the LCD light bars from environmental or ebay are used, a 24V DC output is needed from the transformer (magnetic preferred). Since wattage of 30cm is 3.3 and 15 cm is 1.65, guessing average setup will need less than a 50w output from the transformer. Most magnetic transformers out there seem to start at 100 or 125 which is overkill and can overpower the LED lights.

With help from davidtay, I found 40w, 50w and 60w Magnitude magnetic transformers with 24v DC output which are sold directly thorugh the company.

M40L24DC = \$43+ship (40w)
M50L24DC = \$49+ship (50w)
M60L24DC = \$52+ship (60w)

Seems like a pretty good deal to me, and these seem ideal for the average LCD cabinet lighting setup.
Email address for order and info is: info@magnitudeinc.com

Here is a link that might be useful: Magnitude website

July 28, 2010 at 2:33PM
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David

Credit should go to Sara for the transformers

July 28, 2010 at 3:23PM
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Sara_in_philly

Beck_jo, thanks for posting your selections! I hope you get your back order items soon. You have to pay 25% fee to cancel when they are the one who can't deliver?

Davidtay, you are helping everybody here, I am glad I can contribute a little.

July 30, 2010 at 10:38AM
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Order update.

Just a note to let those of you interested in the process, here are my latest experiences.

The order from Photonier . com came in yesterday - -everything just as requested. We did have a mix up in shipping but Sean worked hard to get it straightened out and communicated well.

I was able to cancel the order that was on back order from electricsuppliesonline with no fee!! good for them!!!

Ordering the transformers from Magnitude . com. They do require that you have a business to sell to. Very helpful customer care as Sara stated.

Still need to order dimmers.

August 5, 2010 at 9:25AM
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Sara_in_philly

becky-jo: Thanks for the update! Please keep us updated! Hope everything works out great for you.

I am still struggling with the mismatch between the length of the LED bars and the size of the cabinets.

August 15, 2010 at 9:53AM
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I ordered the transformer from Magnitude. They do ask for a company name so they don't have to charge sales tax (I gave them the name of my electrician). They ship COD which I didn't realize anyone does anymore. Also - I found the Leviton dimmer switch on www.asihome.com for \$23, not the cheapest but they have no restocking fee if you return within 30 days. My cabinets install next week then I will measure and order the lightbars from the ebay guy LEDPRO. It is coming together nicely, and less expensively, thanks to everyone on this forum! We did have one glitch yesterday, our drywall guy removed all the strike plates on the 2x4's where the low-voltage wiring is running though! We came in and couldn't believe all the new strike plates were removed, the area already drywalled and taped up! He is from Romania and didn't know about code. He used short screws so didn't hit the wiring, and we passed inspection that morning but we were really struggling with if we should have him rip it all out and redo it with the plates on. This is the first glitch I've had in our remodel and I hope it's the last.

August 24, 2010 at 2:18PM
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cirone

Has anyone found or needed to find a transformer with a lower wattage than 40W? When I total up my lights, it's only 14W. What would happen if I used the 40W transformer? (Not that I would if it was dangerous, but just curious.)

August 26, 2010 at 5:49PM
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David

It just means that you have excess capacity.

The total is really the lights + system loss through the low voltage cable.

August 26, 2010 at 7:29PM
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newcastlemom

David Tay, you are amazing and quite generous with your time and expertise. I'm learning a ton just reading along. I want to do LED undercabs too, but thought they'd be too pricy. Now I think maybe we can swing it. The electical subs I've talked too all have their preferences (Xenon and Juno and Kichler) but I'm more interested in saving the budget short term and long term reduced energy use. The online resources mentioned here sound like the way to go. Thanks to everyone who is posting their knowledge.
David, one thing that confuses me: do you dim your LED UCLs or not?

August 30, 2010 at 7:40PM
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bcook

The first post mentions Ideal low voltage wiring for running inside walls but I can't seem to locate it. Does someone have some more information on what type of wire is needed for connecting multiple lights when you have to run the wire thru the walls? Thanks.

August 30, 2010 at 9:24PM
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David

newcastlemom - I usually run the lights around 80% output. I seldom run the lights at less or more than that.

bcook, you can find the Ideal brand low voltage wiring @ either Lowes or Home Depot.

Some alternatives include wiring for door bells, speaker wire, normal AC wiring and flat wire. I would not recommend using either speaker wire or normal AC wiring.

August 31, 2010 at 1:00AM
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cirone

Has anyone who's done this before mind proofreading my shopping list? My electrician is installing it, but he's not as familiar w/ dimmable LEDs. So I just want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row since a lot of this is being ordered online.

My space: 4 lighting areas (12", 12", 24", 36"), separated by the cooktop, oven, and a doorway. (Question: Will the length of connection cause problems? I want them all on the same switch.)

Shopping list:

1. From LEDPro
- Light bars - 7 30 cm (12") lightbars (don't meet the min order for 60 cm bars)
- Mounting clips - 14 flat (2 per bar)
- Seamless connectors - 3 (to make the 24" and 36" sections)
- Connection cable between bars - 13 150cm cables
(cabs are staying, so I think cables need to go up to the ceiling/attic between each of these sets, at least the doorway one.)
- Extension connectors - 9

2. From Magnitude
- M40L24DC - 40W Transformer
3. From online store
- Magnetic dimmmer - Leviton 6613-PLW
4. From Lowes
- Wall plate
- Low voltage wiring for in-wall (is this for the connection from the lightbar to the transformer?)
(Also, I didn't see Ideal brand at Lowes, but they have other generic wire labeled as in-home low voltage wiring for lighting. Not sure if the size matters?)
- Plug disconnects (didn't see this in store, but should hunt down a salesperson next time. And still not sure what these are for, but I figure my electrician would know what to do with this?)

Whew, what a long list. It comes to about \$300. Did I do this right? Someone please help me not feel so nervous :)

September 2, 2010 at 11:55PM
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David

The low voltage wiring is to go inside the wall to connect between the lightbar to transformer & for long lengths between the lightbars (between cabinets separated by a door/ hood/ etc). The connection cable is comparatively expensive compared to the Ideal low voltage wiring. The plug disconnects are to interface between the connection cable end & the low voltage wiring.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_251855-12704-85-771_4294858489+4294963108_4294937087?productId=3128357&pl=1&currentURL=/pl_IDEAL_4294858489 4294963108_4294937087_?rpp=30\$No=60

Plug disconnects
http://www.lowes.com/pd_71414-12704-30-382J_4294858489+4294963108_4294937087?productId=3234921&pl=1&currentURL=/pl_IDEAL_4294858489 4294963108_4294937087_?rpp=30\$No=60

September 3, 2010 at 1:02AM
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David

You need to figure out the voltage drop for the max length of low voltage wiring.

September 4, 2010 at 12:40AM
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cirone

thanks so much for your help, davidtay!

September 4, 2010 at 2:20AM
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rogue409

I "think" this would be another source for low voltage in-wall wiring. But I'm not positive.

Here is a link that might be useful: low-voltage in-wall wiring

September 8, 2010 at 12:36PM
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David

That will work.

September 8, 2010 at 2:49PM
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drybean

This thread has been so helpful. I'm trying to piece together my LED u/c lighting as well.

One thing, the LED-Pro eBay shop currently does not have anything for sale. Does anyone know if he has closed up shop, or perhaps just temporarily out of stock?

September 13, 2010 at 8:44PM
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bcook

Has someone installed a dimmable magnetic power supply? I have heard they buzz or humm and can be heard if in the same room. I really want my lights dimmable but do not want to hear the power supply. I know they make the little 24v rotary dimmer for dimming the low voltage side but I was hoping to dim the line side so I can have a single wall switch for dimming and power.

September 27, 2010 at 10:41AM
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David

Yes. No humming/ buzzing.

September 27, 2010 at 7:19PM
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bcook

David
Which power supply and dimmer did you install? Is the power supply located in the kitchen? Do you by chance have a pic of the power supply installed? Thank you for all your help!

September 28, 2010 at 3:12PM
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David

I got the 60W dimmable transformer (power supply) and light bars from environmentallights.com (b4 superbrightleds started carrying the same light bars and I found out about photonier).

The dimmer is a Leviton Monet (rated for low voltage magnetic dimmer)

The power supply is under my kitchen sink in the cabinet.

I don't have a pict of the power supply installed.

September 28, 2010 at 3:53PM
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bcook

David - You mentioned a 60W dimmable power supply from Environmental but the only 60w they show is a plug in with a built in rotary dimmer. Is that the one you have? I guess they could of changed suppliers or something. Is your wall dimmer on the line side or low voltage side of the power supply?

September 28, 2010 at 5:34PM
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David

OOps, my mistake. It is the 48W dimmable power supply. The wall dimmer is on the line voltage.

September 28, 2010 at 5:53PM
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David

Double oops. I checked again - 100 W dimmable power supply.

September 28, 2010 at 11:23PM
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newcastlemom

DavidTay and other LED UCL experts:

I have been following this forum and especially the LED UCL thread with you for months. Read and re-read the quintisential pieces where Jem laid it all out. I've talked it over with my electrician and he's game although he's unfamiliar with this product. He's going to get the transformer through his supply house and we agreed I'd get the light bars. I read about the price difference between environmental lights and Protonier, and contact Protonier. I got his price list some weeks ago and I was going to place my order this weekend but now I see your reference to Superbright LED's. Googled em, found em, but I'm too ignorant to tell if they are the same product or different. Are you recommending either/both Superbright or Protonier for LED undercabs? Has anyone here purchased and installed them?

There are so many options on the Superbright sight I feel like I'm drowning again. Lux bar? CLL-W7? Agghh. Going to re-read every post in this thread and then search this site again and see what I've missed the last few weeks.

October 2, 2010 at 2:59AM
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David

The following from superbrightleds is the same as photonier.
http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/store/index.cgi?action=DispPage&category=BARS&Page2Disp=/specs/luxbar_fixtures.htm

The others are different. If you have the in wall wiring installed with the proper connectors, you need not worry about the type of lights.

The power supply and lights need to be matched ie - if the lights are 12V, you need to have a 12 V output power supply.

The power supply and the dimming switch need to be of the same sort - magnetic dimming power supply and switch OR electronic dimming power supply and switch.

Never mix a magnetic dimming power supply with a electronic dimmer or
electronic dimming power supply with a magnetic dimmer switch.

October 2, 2010 at 11:39AM
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newcastlemom

Thanks a bunch, David. Now I can compare prices. Will you look over my parts list when I get it built?

This morning I have to tear off wallpaper and paint to get ready for the wood floor guys this week. But hope to get my undercab lights ordered in the next couple days.

October 2, 2010 at 12:06PM
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David

Sure. E-mail me when you're ready. Hope you're not planning on fishing wire in the walls.

October 2, 2010 at 1:02PM
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newcastlemom

No, my electrcian did the wiring before the sheetrock when on. He knew I was planning on LED's for the undercabs so I think he's got that part taken care of.
Thanks, I'll email you.

October 3, 2010 at 1:53AM
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jodierd

Two questions:

1. The dimmers photonier etc. have vs one such as Leviton: The former don't appear to switch from the wall? Sean said if I want to switch from the wall I can't use his. So to use his you have to go under the cabinet or wherever the dimmer is inline? I'm missing something here. My electrician wired so I can run my control my circuits from one place on the wall. (Undercab, cove, and accent/pendants.)

2. I have a run where there's a cabinet on each side of a corner cabinet. David you said to double up on the bars in the corner in such a case. Do I run one behind the first one and wire them inline?

Been living in my remodel for 2 months now and am so tickled to have a washer and dryer as of today I keep going to listen to them. Music!

Jodie

October 7, 2010 at 11:04PM
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David

For the wall dimmer, you need to get a magnetic low voltage dimmer and hook it up to a power supply like that from environmentallights or magnitude.

For corner cabinets, my recommendation is to put 2 bars perpendicular to each other like an inverted L to minimize shadow effects.

October 8, 2010 at 12:22PM
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jodierd

Ah, I get it. Thanks David!

In the meantime I found the "manual" on Environmental Light's site--very helpful.

Cove lighting:
My kitchen is 13 x 13.6. I have pendants, but no cans. (Don't like their light)so the idea for the cove lighting is to bounce and give general light to the room. I was planning in replicating the undercabinet light over the cabinets. Now I'm thinking maybe I should add short bars at outside edges of cabinets, for example on the sides adjacent to the sink. Am I over-killing it?
The tops of my cabinets are flat, so I'll set them back a bit. Should I use the angled brackets? I want the light to bounce off the ceiling.

Inside cabinet lighting:
Three cabinets have glass doors, the kind that is a grid-like pattern so you can't really see through it. (The cabinet maker said he has some glass from an early 1800's church he'll be making them out of. It approximates the two panels of glass on either side of my front door--1963 modern. Fun mix of history)
I'm planning on putting short light bars vertically between the shelves on both sides. Will this look okay?
And I'm thinking those angled brackets may be the trick here.

I have the lights setup as three zones:
1. undercabinet
2. cove
3. pendants and glass cabinets

So I can dim them separately.

THANKS!

Jodie

October 9, 2010 at 9:57AM
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David

Jodie,

Have you considered more powerful led lights for cove lighting?
eg - LED panel lighting, higher output led bars - talea HP, etc.

If you are planning to light the interior of your cabinets, I would suggest using edge lighting - the LED bar itself is bonded to a glass edge.

You'll need to figure out what the cabinet lighting will be (panel or edge), get very accurate measurements from your cabinet maker, install and test the various low voltage circuits before and after the cabinets are installed.

David

October 9, 2010 at 4:23PM
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kvawter

Is it possible to wire from the breaker box to the power source/transformer and then to the switch? I know the standard is to run from the breaker to the switch then to the power source/transformer. But if I use a 12V switch, would this work?

October 9, 2010 at 6:03PM
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jodierd

Hi David,

Ah, I see what you mean about more light for above the cabinets. I found the Talea HP but no pricing. Any leads?

For the cabinet lighting are you thinking something like the link below? Incredible, but I won't have glass shelves. Just the doors.

Jodie

Here is a link that might be useful: Edge

October 9, 2010 at 9:17PM
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David

You can try asking Atalie of polar-ray.com.

Alternatively, you could also try emeralights.

Stuart Pollack
General Manager

I probably have a few other contacts. E-mail me and I'll see if I can dig them out.

Yes, something like that. glass shelf lining? Environmentallights has side view led strip lighting that you may want to ask them about.

October 10, 2010 at 12:54AM
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David

kvawter,

If you're thinking about the Leviton or Lutron type low voltage dimmers eg 6613-PLW, Monet or Diva, the switch has to be connected to the AC and wire run from the switch(es) to the power supply/ supplies.

The load is really the power supply/ supplies. The switch(es) may be used in multi-way configuration. You need to check with the exact switch selected and have the necessary multi-way wiring done to accommodate the switches.

October 10, 2010 at 1:04AM
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David

Specifically for the environmentallights/ photonier/ superbrightleds lux bar/...

October 12, 2010 at 11:04AM
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kaib

Bless your heart David...what I need to know.

Parts ordered and all questions answered.

Kai

October 13, 2010 at 5:31PM
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rogue409

When the Environmental Lights interconnects are spliced, the polarity may be important in the portion of the wiring which is between the transformer and the splice. In other words, there can be a wrong way to connect things.

Transformer --> Cord Junction --> 3-wire + Ideal disconnect+ low voltage wire+ ideal disconnect+ 3 wire --> LED.

During the install, my transformer would make really loud buzzing noises when the lights were hooked up.

The solution is to connect the 3-wire to the cord junction in the opposite way.

Hope this helps someone.

October 17, 2010 at 9:11PM
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rupes

I am in the middle of remodeling my kitchen and currently have the walls open. I am considering going with LED UCL. The transformer(s) would be in the attic. I have three runs. 12", 45" and 72". Since the kitchen is only 12'X12' I was going to have all ucl on one circuit.

Can I have one transformer for everything or would the 12' run from one side of the kitchen to the other cause too much of a voltage drop on the low voltage DC lines? Ideally I would have one dimmable transformer in the attic branching down to the 3 areas. But for now I may just put in a non-dimmable transformer and a switch (unless I am missing something if I decide I need to dim them I can buy a dimmable transformer and dimmer and just swap out the old transformer and switch).

If I had to have 2 transformers I know that I can have two non-dimmable ones on the same AC circuit on one switch. Can I have two dimmable transformers on the same AC circuit with one dimmer?

Also when you bring the low voltage wires out of the wall below the cabinets is there something nicer than just making a hole? A small box? A grommet of some kind? Do you just tuck the low voltage connectors under the cabinets?

I also have 3 15" wall cabinets with glass doors beside each other. Any thoughts on how to light these?

Rupert

October 19, 2010 at 5:37PM
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David

Rupert,

It might be possible. First calculate the total wattage, then figure out the line loss and include padding to the number you get.

I think you should be able to put 2 transformers (of equal rating) on the same AC circuit with a dimmer or multi-way dimmers. The transformers will be the load.

The hole in the wall should be slightly biger than the
low voltage wiring diameter. Talk to your cabinet maker/ installer to figure out a solution. 1 idea is to put part of the ideal brand connector partly sticking out from the wall. The rest of the wiring will be tucked under the fence.
If you want to try out other neater solutions, how about using flat wire? You'll still need to solder on some connector at the end.

As for the cabinet lighting - you could use the same light bars or use edge lit glass or led panels. It really depends on the look you want.

October 20, 2010 at 12:52PM
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rupes

Thanks David that makes sense.

I went with IKEA and I will be the cabinet installer :)

I would be interested in seeing pictures of installations (looking under the cabinet where the wires come out and connect).

What are edge lit glass or LED panels?
R

October 20, 2010 at 3:10PM
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David

Edge lit glass is essentially a piece of glass with lighting embedded or bonded to one edge. Environmentallights has some.

LED panels, edge lit glass example
http://www.luminousfilm.com/

Other sources
http://www.midwestled.com/ - this is a reseller for ledfolio. The pricing may be a little high, but the concepts are interesting.

http://edgelitglass.com/portfolio.htm - another interesting idea source

October 20, 2010 at 4:44PM
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rupes

Thanks David. I cannot find anything in this thread about calculating the voltage drop / line loss on the low voltage wires. Do you know how to calculate this?
Rupert

October 22, 2010 at 9:47PM
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David

http://www.securityideas.com/howtocalvold.html

You may also want to look at the installation guide on the environmentallights website.

October 23, 2010 at 12:03AM
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rupes

Thanks David. If I go with this I will put up a webpage with info, a parts list, and photos of the install.
Rupert

October 23, 2010 at 2:13PM
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brickeyee

"The primary difference is that the environmental lights transformer is UL listed for damp locations."

Good thing residential kitchen are not "damp locations."

October 23, 2010 at 2:35PM
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annab6

Why would one choose very expensive Kichler LED panels over the LED bars?
Can I install the bars inside the cabinets?
Is ledpro product exactly the same as environmentallights? Are ledpro parts interchangeable with environmentallights? Just thinking: if ledpro goes out of business and i need to replace a part, where will I find it?

October 24, 2010 at 12:41PM
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David

Kichler has brand name recognition(?)
Yes, you can install the bars in cabinets. You'll need to talk with your cabinet maker to locate the wiring points, hiding the light bar (or not).

They probably are the same thing.

The light bars can be obtained from various sources - superbrightleds, environmentallights, photonier, iuseeliteled, etc.

In the event that the lights do burn out and the manufacturer disappears/ stops production (in a couple of years), if your wiring backbone is setup correctly, you should only need to replace all the light bars (Assuming the same output voltage and similar current draw).

October 24, 2010 at 7:11PM
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rogue409

Is ledpro product exactly the same as environmentallights? Are ledpro parts interchangeable with environmentallights? Just thinking: if ledpro goes out of business and i need to replace a part, where will I find it?

I just installed the environmentallights dimming transformer with the ledpro lights and interconnects. Everything seems to be working just fine.

October 27, 2010 at 12:09PM
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annab6

When asked, EnvLights rep told me they get the bars from Asia. I wonder if ledpro has access to the back door of the same manufacture that supplies EnvLighs ))).
The EnvLights rep also attracted my attention to the fact that they've started selling High Brightness Premium bars (vs simply Premium bars). They are 15% brighter and they improve color rendering index to 80+ (whatever it means). They also 15% more expensive than the simply Premium bars. I wonder if ledpro's bars are High Brightness.
David, since you are running your bars dimmed, you probably consider 15% additional brightness a waste, don't you? How important is the color rendering index of 80+?

October 27, 2010 at 3:05PM
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David

It appears that all the various vendors are selling the very same product.

Yes, I know about the high brightness bars from environmentallights. If you ask photonier/ ledpro you should get an idea of what these are. I expect that these are the daylight bright bars.

Yes, I agree the additional brightness may not be needed for typical UCL applications. Others may need more light or want it simply because "my UCL produces more lumens than yours"...

Whether the CRI > 80 is really a personal choice.
To some, it means seeing real colors, while some prefer yellow/ red tinted lighting to enhance the color of the backsplash ...

October 27, 2010 at 5:02PM
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mnhockeymom

davidtay - does 160 lumens seem low for a 12" led strip that uses 3.3 watts and has a color of 4100K? I'm looking at the Elite Lighting LED Link product (because of the AC transformers which my electrician would prefer to use) and I'm comparing them to the Env Lts which have 242 lumens on the same strip....your thoughts?

October 27, 2010 at 5:20PM
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David

The Elite LED product comes from the same source. The light output varies according to the light color - daylight vs neutral vs soft white.

The AC transformers will have to be plugged in under cabinet (plugmold strip?) and you will either have to use a rehostat based dimmer or the new fangled dimmers from env lights.

I would go with the best deal I can get. (Photonier/ led pro?)

Dimming will help prolong the life of the LED.

In the worst case, you can ask your electrician to disconnect the wiring from the line voltage, run separate lines to a transformer/ transformers and use the disconnected lines for low voltage from the transformer / transformers to the lights.

October 27, 2010 at 6:50PM
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mnhockeymom

From what I've read, the AC drivers for the Elite product do not get plugged in - they are wired to the ac wires in the wall (maybe I'm wrong, but please see page 5 of the link below) - we are definitely not using anything that has to be plugged into a standard outlet.

My concern more is if you have two products of same size, K, wattage, etc but one has less lumens than the other, wouldn't you want the higher lumens? Doesn't less lumens mean less bright? I know it's not important to go with a crazy lumen # but the difference between Elite (160 lumens) and all the others (240-250 lumens) bothers me.

Here is a link that might be useful: elite spec sheet

October 27, 2010 at 9:17PM
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David

The transformers/ power supplies are similar to those that I've looked at in the past.

By code, the power supply has to be in an accessible location - in a cabinet, ... Ask your electrician how he envisages the power supplies to be hooked up and where.

I would go with the suitable lumen output, not the max brightness unless there is no significant cost differential between the two (both in terms of procurement and runtime - power draw).
Note that the high brightness env light bars are rated at 240 lumens and have a higher current draw.

October 28, 2010 at 12:41PM
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mnhockeymom

Thanks, David.

I think the power supply is going to be in the basement, just below the kitchen.

As for the actual lightbar product, I think superbrights has pricing better than Environmental so I'm going to go with them (as for the EliteLighting, I just can't justify the lower lumens versus all of the others).

Now I think I'm on my own to get the dimming power supply (magnetic) - I think I'm going to use the EnvLts (401-24DCR 48W 24V DC) unless you suggest a different one?

thank you for being so responsive!!

October 28, 2010 at 4:23PM
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David

Calculate the total power draw - lights + wire. You need to take into account the line loss (the longer the dc lines are)
You can split the load between power supplies. ie - lights from zone 1 & 2 to transformer 1, zone 3 & 4 to transformer 2.

October 28, 2010 at 7:53PM
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newcastlemom

DavidTay and others, I just started a separate thread on this but since this thread is so well read I'm cross posting.

I purchased SuperbrightLED's and they are going in this week. My electrician called me last night to say he discovered that if he uses a transformer from another vendor, that will void the warranties (for both the SuperbrightLED products and the transformer.) Anyone else dealing with this? Should I care? SuperbrightLEDs is a new vendor to me and I don't want to be without recourse if some of their products fail.

October 29, 2010 at 11:26AM
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David

IMO, it should not be a big issue so long as the correct transformer (magnetic, 24V output, enough power) is hooked up.

Try out the lights before you install - lay them out, power on for a couple of hours.

For myself, I would buy a replacement from Ledpro when a lightbar burns out. No problems to date.

October 29, 2010 at 12:40PM
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prttimer

It seems that most posters are using LED fixtures rather than LED light strips/tape/ribbon, ie. that come on reels in 5-meter lengths and use adhesive tape to attach them to
cabinet bottoms, etc. What's the advantage of these fixtures? They certainly cost more than the LED strips/tape/ribbon.

October 29, 2010 at 1:54PM
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David

The most commonly discussed LED fixture on this thread is the rigid LED strip sold by a number of resellers.

The LED bars are LED ribbon stuck onto a rigid aluminium backing at the factory.

1. A rigid stick which is relatively easy to handle and protection from abuse.
2. Heat sinking.

1. Difficult to cut.

In many cases, it is preferable to use precut, factory assembled rigid bars as the LEDs and various components on the ribbon are SMT (surface mounted) onto a flexible PCB (printed circuit board).

It does not take too much force to destroy a SMT joint or the flexible PCB.

On the other hand, if you're comfortable dealing with thin flexible pcb you get more options.

October 29, 2010 at 4:50PM
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prttimer

Thanks, davidtay. What about the relative costs of LED tape lights vs. rigid, aluminum-backed versions? I recently bought several reels of the cutable, flexible tape lights (12V, 2700 Kelvin) for \$4 per foot, without much shopping around. How does that compare to the cost of the rigid fixtures? These were not waterproof, so for the strips mounted above the cabinets, I stuck the tape lights to 1/2-in. thick wood strips -- 'cause we water plants that
also reside up there and things can get a little wet.

I encountered no damage or failures from handling the tape lights during their installation, so they don't seem overly fragile. They've only been installed for a week, so there may still be some gremlins lurking out there.

With several "run" lengths, varying from 1-ft. to 6-ft,
the cutable feature is a real convenience.

October 30, 2010 at 12:53PM
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brickeyee

"Calculate the total power draw - lights + wire. "

Wires do not draw power, though they can have losses.

October 30, 2010 at 1:19PM
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David

prttimer, the price range can be wide - depending on the LEDs and other components used.

Some are also more fragile than others.

brickeyee, you left out the second sentence.
"Calculate the total power draw - lights + wire. You need to take into account the line loss (the longer the dc lines are)"

If you look from the prespective of the power supply, P = I * V.

October 31, 2010 at 12:44AM
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cz9h3d

Great thread. My new kitchen is coming up 3yrs old, so it's about time to finalizing lighting and tile, eh? My cabinets are Ikea birch with flat bottoms (i.e. no front molding added which I'd like to keep if possible), so I've been watching LED prices fall, as I want something low profile. Love the LED ruler, but I can't see spending \$1000 for what I need! As a matter of fact I was about to give up prior to reading this thread, and had just bought 3 of the \$30 LED strip packs at Costo for a temporary solution until prices come down (6 1 ft sections, power, switch/dimmer, and just stick them on w/tape!) But I'd need to add a small molding to hide them.

ledpro-TW mentioned in this thread looks like a great alternative, which I'm going to have to price out and consider. However the PCB strips are also very very interesting. I'm going to have to do some lumen calculations to see how similar/different these two options are. I don't really want a Las Vegas look under my cabinets with the PCB strips ;)

October 31, 2010 at 11:33AM
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cz9h3d

I have 3 cabinets with glass doors, that would be nice if lit - I think. If it only makes sense if they're on their own circuit and power supply, than I'll forget about doing it as it would drive 2 additional power supplies, dimmers, etc. If it would be logical to run them on the same circuit dimmer as my undercabinet task lights, than I'd be inclined to install them.

Thinking about it - if I want "mood lighting" in my kitchen, than why wouldn't I want the interior and undercabinet lights both on...maybe dimmed?? If the interior lights are on when I need task lighting, so?

Alternative is to just get a couple inexpensive \$8 24W power supplies from LED Pro, and mount a couple of extra dimmers inside the cabinets (1 set is separated by a large distance).

What do you think?

October 31, 2010 at 4:02PM
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rupes

Since I am frugal I will probably go with photonier.com for my LED strips. The two I would consider are
Nature White (NW) 3700-4300K
Warm White (WW) 2800-3200K

Most people seem to be going with the Nature White. I plan to use Cree CR6's in the ceiling which are 2700K.

I am concerned that the NW UCL LED's will look strange with the WW of the CR6's when they are both on. Is this an unnecessary concern?

Thanks
Rupert

October 31, 2010 at 4:32PM
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David

Rupert,

Using Nature white vs warm white is really a personal decision. I don't think it really matters, but there will be others who think otherwise.

cz9h3d,
The look you want to achieve should come first, followed by the practicality of controlling the light. Next, the technical details of how to implement it.

As I mentioned, there is a whole array of options available for LED strip lighting - flexible pcbs to rigid bars, etc. Just pick something that suits your constraints. The price will drop anyway.

November 1, 2010 at 2:04PM
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eonekorin

Hi,

Would there be anything wrong (from safety or building code perspective) to mount the power supply/transformer under the cabinet next to the LEDs, assuming there are slim power supplies that would not show under the light bar of the cabinets?

I am having my cabinets installed now and did not pre-plan to have LEDs but am leaning towards that now, if feasible. When I gutted my kitchen and re-wired, I put in 3 wall light switches (not dimmers, and I'm not planning on having dimmers for undercab lights) to light up 3 separate under cabinet sections. So, I have 3 line voltage wires coming out of the wall through the bottom/back side of 3 wall-mounted cabinets.

If I go for LED lighting, can the transformer be surface-mounted on the bottom side of the cabinets, as well? Appreciate any inputs.

Thanks!

November 1, 2010 at 3:21PM
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David

I would think it should be feasible. Check with your local permit dept.

Having said that, having the transformer surface mounted under the cabinet defeats the slim line led aesthetic.

Why not go with hard wired fixtures then?

November 1, 2010 at 4:43PM
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eonekorin

davidtay,

Thanks for your input. My wall mounted cabinets have a light bar, which hides 2.75" of space below the bottom of the cabinet. So, the key is finding a transformer that's less than 2.5" tall, so as not to be visible when viewed from a standing position.

Not sure what you mean by "Why not go with hard wired fixtures then?" I do plan to hard wire the transformer to the line voltage wire coming out the bottom/back of my cabinet. That wire is connected to a wall switch. The configuration would be no different from installing a fluorescent or line-voltage xenon under cabinet light, with the exception of the addition of the transformer. Hence, my question as to using the under surface of the cabinet as the physical location for the transformer. Did I miss something or confuse the issue? Or are there leds with built-in transformers as part of a single physical unit?

Thanks again. Much appreciated!

November 1, 2010 at 5:04PM
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David

Yes there are LED fixtures that are meant to be directly wired to 120V. These will have all the necessary components nicely packaged into an enclosure that looks similar to UCL fluorescent/ halogen.

November 1, 2010 at 8:19PM
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rupes

I just went through the process of picking my transformer size and looking into the voltage drop. I thought it might be useful to others.

The total wattage for all three cabinet runs is 35W. EnvironmentalLights.com recommends you get a power supply 20-25% over which comes to 42-44W.

I have three runs of cabinets and the wattages are 19.8W, 11.55W and 3.3W. The longest run of wire will go to the 19.8W run and it will be about 20' from the transformer.

To get Amps you divide Watts/Volts which is 20/24. So about 0.84 Amps. Using
http://mypq.epri.com/tools/voltagedrop.asp
and the 18 AWG wire recommended here over the 20' run there would be a 0.3V drop (1.2%)

The only thing I am not clear about is what is acceptable in terms of voltage drop. This page that davidtay supplied a link to
http://www.nooutage.com/vdrop.htm
says "Voltage drop for dc systems should be designed as low as possible or less than 2%"

EnvironmentalLights.com has a table that shows maximum cable lengths from the transformer to the lights for a 40W (1.7A) branch (see below). For 18 gauge wire the max length is 30 feet so I should be fine (especially since my branch is only 20W).

Here is the 18 AWG wire recommended in this thread (all wire should be in-wall (CL2) rated)
http://tinyurl.com/3y8cavk (18AWG - 50' - \$35)

Here are some cheaper alternatives from buy.com in both 16 and 18 AWG (if you want longer or shorter lengths just search on their site)
http://tinyurl.com/2b9avbb (18AWG - 100' - \$18)
http://tinyurl.com/2w5yufx (16AWG - 100' - \$22)

November 3, 2010 at 2:52PM
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annab6

Envlights rep, speaking of dimming, suggested to use inline dimmers (looks like an extention to the light bar) for \$18 for undercab, and remote control wall mounted battery powered dimmers for \$39 for in-cab. They work with non-dimmable drivers. With 2 undecab and 2 incab zones, i would need a single \$77 150W driver. Why on earth would one choose very expensive dimmable drivers (one per zone) and magnetic dimmers? Am I missing something big?
Also, tried to find led-pro's email address on their ebay page to no avail. Is it the right one: sales@photonier.com ? Where is it on their page?
Thanks.

November 3, 2010 at 3:37PM
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rupes

annab6 my plan is to have one dimmable transformer and run three wires from it to the 3 zones. I hope to get a 50 or 60W transformer from
http://www.magnitudeinc.com/LED-DC2.html
which will be \$50

Speaking of magnitudeinc has anyone successfully used one of the transformers in the link above?

Are LEDPro and Photonier the same company?

November 3, 2010 at 3:53PM
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rupes

To clarify all my under cabinet lights will be on one dimmer. I don't see a need to have zones I can turn on and off separately.

November 3, 2010 at 4:09PM
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annab6

rupes, yes, that makes a difference. If you needed to dim zones independently, you would need to have a dimmable transformer per zone. I do not really need to dim all 4 zones independetnly. I could combine them on 2 dimmable transformers/dimmers - 2 incab zones and 2 undercab zones. But that would require 2 dimmable transformers vs 1 non-dimmable, although of higer wattage. Envlights' prices for dimmable transformers are very high - 48W is \$125. I did not look anywhere else. Envlights Rep offered me the solution with 4 dimmable zones and non-dimmable transformer and with Envlight prices, it looked much more economically attractive to me, even if i have to purchase 2 additional dimmers.

November 3, 2010 at 5:11PM
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rupes

annab6 I do not plan to dim the in cabinet lights I will have in 3 cabinets. They are really just mood lighting and I plan to just get IKEA LED's and put them on a switch.

I would prefer the dimmer to be a regular wall switch rather than something at the cabinet or a remote. Plus as I understand it the dimmers on the DC side to do cut back on energy usage they just dissipate the unused energy as heat.

The Magnitude transformers seem to be a bargain. They do not sell retail so you have to give them a company name - but it seems to just be a formality.

November 3, 2010 at 5:22PM
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annab6

Envlight sells wall mounted remote dimmer/switch...
Info on the energy usage made me start thinking ))). If the switch is on the AC side and the transformer is in the basement, that is like double of wiring to do for my electrician. The total wattage will be around 90W. I may save very little on electricity but pay more to electrician and for parts...

November 3, 2010 at 9:23PM
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David

annab6,
Does the power supply really have to be in the basement? It only needs to be in an accessible location. The power supply will need to be rated for damp locations if it is located under the sink or in the crawl space.

You need to approximate the various lengths of wire to the lights.

The inline dimmer from env lights looks interesting. It is certainly convenient for those using a non dimmable power supply.

Rupert,
The voltage drop should be For those who want to make their own led strips, there is talk @ candlepowerforums.com on that topic.

The BOM (bill of materials) cost isn't that high.

November 3, 2010 at 10:00PM
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annab6

David, I do not want to occupy room in the cabinets. Was thinking to place power supply(es) in the basement ceiling (behind a panel) under one of the cabinets. I guess, it is not considered to be damp location (does humidity count?)
Can someone tell if photonier and ledpro is same company? If different, how can I contact ledpro? Thanks.

November 4, 2010 at 4:30PM
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David

I think it does. Check with your local inspector.

November 4, 2010 at 6:33PM
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annab6

For those who is interested in inline dimmers from EnvLights. They are not very convenient if you plan to use them often. To dim/brighten, you need to touch and hold. The lights first dim all the way to zero and then start brighten. So, if you want to brighten the lights, you need to first go all the way down. But if you are simply planning to use the dimmer to set the lights at a certain brightness and leave them at that (like, David did), it is a good solution.
I asked EnvLights rep (Jordan - very helpful, no pressure at all) why would he ever suggest to anyone to use dimmable power supplies (vs non-dimmable with DC side dimmers). He said, that DC side dimmers can not be used with a circut over 75W.
Jordan also said that the inline dimmer does get a little warm. You will not save on energy consumption when you dim on DC side but i decided it is not a big deal. If i dim, it is most often going to be closer to the max than the min. With the total of 90W, i might be wasting just 10-15W.

I am losing hope to get in touch with photonier/ledpro. Photonier did not respond to my email in 4 days. Do not know how to contact ledpro (((.

November 9, 2010 at 11:24AM
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annab6

Do not mean to highjack this discussion but thought this info could be useful to others.
After second email, I got a response from Sean from photonier. He did not answer any of my questions. He said they are focusing on distributers since recently and suggested to go to ledpro on ebay to order. This implies that photonier and ledpro is same thing but I now feel reluctant to order from them.

November 11, 2010 at 12:46PM
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cz9h3d

You won't get the same kind of customer service from a manufacturing selling from their plant in Taiwan vs. a retail store like EnvLights. But as "the guy" in my household who will do the wiring/installation, I appreciate the much much better price I can get directly from the manufacturer, and will just troll sights like this to ensure I understand what I'm doing!

So as I'm getting ready to order - has anyone used any of the 24VDC power supplies from Photonier? They range from 15-150W.

One of my runs in my kitchen is all of 9 watts, that will basically be task lighting. I want it dimmable and off a wall switch, so I like the nice price, but wonder if they are AC side dimmable or not.

November 12, 2010 at 3:03PM
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David

They do not appear to be dimmable from the AC input side.

November 12, 2010 at 4:10PM
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rob from nj

I've been trying to place an order with magnitude since last Friday and can't get a call back from sales.

Has anyone else had trouble ordering through them?

I found their transformer elsewhere, but its more than twice the price of dealing direct.

November 22, 2010 at 10:40PM
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rob from nj

After giving up and purchasing the M40L24DC for \$85, shipped through an eBay seller, I received an email from Aion LED saying that Magnitude had referred me to them as they don't sell direct to the public (I had given my company name). Aion LED offered to sell me the unit for \$120.

Looks like some of you got lucky and the door may now be closed.

November 23, 2010 at 4:39PM
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rob from nj

Use coupon code D810M for 10% off your order at superbrightleds.com

November 24, 2010 at 2:35PM
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seekerinfo

Has anyone successfully (no flickering) hooked up LED light bars using a Magnitude transformer? I am having some difficulty with flickering in certain dimming ranges, though I have tried two different dimmers and one is much better than the other, but still flickers in certain ranges. If you have had success, please let everyone know which dimmer(s) you used and what transformer(s) you used.

November 27, 2010 at 1:14PM
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annola

I sent an email to sales@photonier and received a (prompt) response from the distributor in France that is now handling US sales, so apparently Photonier is no longer dealing directly with US consumers.

The prices and shipping from the distributor are higher than E-bay, but I am concerned that if I order a light bar from E-bay to make sure it is what I want, I will not be able to get the remaining parts later. I guess I'll need to fire off this question through e-bay and check out the "superbrightlights" mentioned in an earlier post. Any other sources?

December 1, 2010 at 9:29AM
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rob from nj

I received my order from superbrightleds today. The order was accurate and was shipped quickly. I've still got a number of other projects before I can hook them up but I'll be sure to report back here.

BTW - I ordered "warm white".

December 1, 2010 at 10:34PM
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dean74

I ordered the Magnitude Indoor Low Voltage Magnetic Transformer M150-24P, 120V to 24V, 150W with Primary Breaker
from Electric Supplies Online and they sent the TechnoMagnet ODX150p. Will that work with the LBFA LuxBar series LED Linear Light Fixture from Superbrightleds.com

December 3, 2010 at 4:24PM
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mikef1

I got an email from Sean indicating that they no longer deal direct to the public and he suggested Environmental Lights. He also said that all the light bars on ebay have been sold and did not indicate that they would be offering more. LED Pro is looking for US distributors and I'm half-tempted. I'm convinced this LED stuff is the future.

In jem199's first post he talks about:

1. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s a waste to buy the long length 3 prong interconnects. Just cut the interconnect wires and attach to a disconnect.
2. Two adjacent prongs are actually connected to the same DC line. The third is connected to the other DC line.

Can anyone elaborate on this? I have a couple of longish gaps between cabinets (window and range w/microwave). I'm not doing the install but will pass it on the the electrician. If its possible to use cheaper low voltage wire to connect the bars I'd rather do that.

Finally, at the gap where the window is, should I put bars along the sides of the cabinets or is just under the fronts ok? If the cabinets are 12" deep would a 12" bar even fit? It seems it wouldn't.

December 8, 2010 at 8:07AM
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seekerinfo

I am following up on my previous post about the UC light bars (the ones sold by Environmental Lights/SuperbrightLEDs/Photonier) where I was having trouble mating a magnitude transformer with a magnetic low voltage dimmer that would not give me flickering LED's. Good news. I found one that works. I also have the ribbon/tape LED's and the dimmer works with the ribbon/tape LED lights as well (I have two separate Magnitude transformers and two dimmers; one for the UC bars and one for the ribbon/tape light). Pass & Seymour brand (made by Legrand) model number LSLV603PWV works with no flickering. About \$25 at Lowes. The Leviton did not work well at all and the Lutron worked except for a relatively small dimmable range where I would get flickering. I hope this information helps anyone looking to use a Magnitude transformer.

December 8, 2010 at 1:26PM
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seekerinfo

Mikef1,

Superbrightled.com is another source for the LED light bars that you can find at Environmental Lights. The light bars are less expenseive at Superbrightled.com. Environmental lights, however, has a wider selection of accessories and they know what they are talking about when they say they have tested their transformer (also expensive) that they sell with the recommended dimmer so that the whole set up works well. Superbrightleds does not have the same dimmable transformer selection/wall mounted dimmer options. I personally decided to purchase from Superbrightleds and then obtain transformers and dimmers on my own after reading this forum and trying to save money. That ended up being quite the process because I eventually learned that due to the technology of the LED's, the light bar, transformer and dimmer are not going to necessarily work together if you piecemeal them from different sources. I eventually got it to work (see my earlier post today).

Jem199's post questions:
1 & 2. I agree with the poster that you can cut and splice. I purchased a right angle three prong power supply cable that had a female jack on the end. I needed to wire it into my low voltage wiring already running in my walls. I simply cut off the female end, stripped the wiring back and wire nutted the wires together. Works fine. However, just know you will need to "hide" the wire nuts. I think your second question has to do with the three wires that you will find on the 3 pronged connection. When you cut this connection, you should find three wires. Red, White and Black. I used the diagram posted by DavidTay on Oct. 12, above. Red and white wires of cut three prong wire nutted to red low voltage wire and black to black. Works fine.

Your last question about bars on the sides. I would not place bars on the sides, just the front. The reason you want UC lighting (other than for accent) is because your upper cabinets cast a shadow over your counter tops from recessed/ceiling light. Presumably you do not have cabinets over your window that block light coming from the ceiling. Besides, you would not pick up that much extra light and I think it might not look right.

I have learned so much between this forum and the kitchen forum that I wanted to take some time to share my experience with those, like me a few months ago, were looking for advice on what to purchase, how to install, etc.
I hope this helps you and everyone else reading this post. Thanks also to DavidTay and the other posters who have given great information that helped me on my way.

December 8, 2010 at 1:59PM
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rob from nj

Has anyone successfully (no flickering) hooked up LED light bars using a Magnitude transformer? I am having some difficulty with flickering in certain dimming ranges, though I have tried two different dimmers and one is much better than the other, but still flickers in certain ranges. If you have had success, please let everyone know which dimmer(s) you used and what transformer(s) you used.

I used the Magnitude M40L24DC transformer driving the 24 watt superbrightleds.

The Lutron Diva dimmer DVCL-153P works perfectly with no humming, flickering or other issues. There is a little wheel that you use to adjust the range of the dimmer when first installed. You're supposed to adjust it to just above the point where there is no flickering but this wasn't an issue with my set up. I was able to turn it all the way down so the lights just barely glow at the lowest setting.

January 9, 2011 at 1:41PM
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mountaineergirl

seekerinfo -
Hopefully you'll check back at this thread :)
I am planning on ordering LED bars thru suprebrightleds.com as well as the power supply and dimmer. I want to order some of the accessories thru environmental. You said that you had problems with this. was that because you ordered the power supply/dimmer from different sources? The only thing I really need from environmental is the 4" jumpers. For some reason, superbrightleds's shortest jumpers are almost 10" !

I am assuming the 3-prong connectors can be used with the light bars from either website? because the look exactly the same.

thanks!

January 27, 2011 at 9:30PM
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David

The 3 prong jumper connectors are straight connectors.
4" connectors are quite short and the bars need to be in very close proximity - ~ 2" apart.

Some folks had some issues with env lights when the rep found out that they had obtained the led bars elsewhere.

This might have changed since then.

January 31, 2011 at 12:40PM
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sandn

Thanks David,

In trying to figure out what to but and where to buy it I really have no idea. There are so many variables to juggle...

I contacted Sean Chiu at Phontonier and he sent me a price list (very promptly I might add).

The lights they offer seem equivalent to the "Premium" lights (3.3W/ft, 220 lm/ft) at Environmental and also the lights solds by Superbrightleds.

On the Photonier spec sheet they list 5W/ft 220 lm/ft models but Sean says they do not sell those to end consumers. Those seem to be equivalent to the "High Brightness Premium" at Environmental.

The specs are confusing because I have seen the lm/ft range from 166 to 220 for the WW color (Photonier specs list both numbers) also I have seen the CRI listed from 65 to 80. But I think the 3.3W/ft LEDS have a 65-70 CRI and 5W/ft ones are 80 CRI.

Prices for the 3.3 W/ft lights seem to be:

• Photonier: cheapest approx: \$18/ft

• Superbrightleds: approx \$20/ft

• Environmental: approx \$30+/ft(and a huge premium on the 6"), they have volume discounts that start at 5 pieces but that only takes about 10% off)

I'd really like the 80 CRI and the higher brightness, but the cost is practically double.

And of course the final question is transformers:

Once upon a time way back in the summer members of this forum were buying transformers from Magnitude for approx \$50. Magnitude no longer will sell to end customers. Environmental's transformers are quite expensive (\$125 - \$170) and Electric Supplies Online sells a 150W transformer for \$60, but 150W seems like overkill and there is a little voice in my head that has some idea that transformers work best when they are loaded at something like 60-80%.

Too many choices... too many decisions...

January 31, 2011 at 10:08PM
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mountaineergirl

sandn -
I purchased the 150W from environmental for around \$76 ??
yeah it might be overkill, but I was too close for the 60W as I had 11 feet of lights on one line, and 30" on another. I was afraid of the lights flickering/dimming or whatever. I think the 150W was like \$26 more, so thought it was worth it. The dimmers I bought were in-line at \$18/each.

February 1, 2011 at 9:35PM
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kelligirl

I'm hoping someone can help me... I had an electrician run low voltage wiring in the walls for new under-cab lighting, and purchased the following from environmental lights a few months ago: 48w dimmable power supply, the recommended leviton dimmer, and all of the light bars (as well as a three-prong interconnect that I need in one area to connect two bars). The electrician is no longer in the picture and I am trying to figure out what I need to complete the project. Where I am having trouble is the 'interface' from the light bars to the low-voltage wiring, and from the low-voltage wiring to the transformer.

I know that I need the three-pronged power cords to connect the light bars to the low-voltage wire... Then I can either cut off the male connector end and use wire nuts to connect to the low-voltage wiring, or use the Ideal brand disconnects...? Does the male connector fit into the Ideal disconnect, and if so, how does the in-wall low voltage wiring connect to the disconnect. (Please forgive me, I don't have any of the disconnects and it's hard for me to tell from the pictures online...)

Where I am really confused is how the transformer connects to the in-wall low voltage wiring...and what parts I need for that. The electrician ran three SEPARATE lines of the low voltage wiring to the three different areas that will get the under-cab lights, I assume intending that all three lines will connect to the transformer. Is this wrong? Can I make it work?

I'm sorry if I sound like I don't have a clue, but if I can just get everything that I need for this project, I am confident it is something my father-in-law and I can do, as the relationship with the electrician has gone sour...

Any guidance is greatly appreciated.

February 23, 2011 at 3:18PM
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David

You need to cut the interconnect. E-mail me if you have more questions.

February 24, 2011 at 4:20PM
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danoer1

I wondering if anyone has used anything from ecolights like their super nova module http://www.ecolightled.com/product/led_module_super-nova-2-warm-white/led_backlight_modules_warm_white

They indicate that they can be used in a kitchen situation and they seem like a cheaper way to go since the 4.16 ft length is \$38.50. Any info? Thanks

March 21, 2012 at 11:04AM
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