UnderCabinet Lighting Plan

JMNorseJune 4, 2012

I'm about to pull the plug on my UCL and was hoping some of you could help me make sure I'm not getting it wrong?

What I have: My kitchen has two 3' runs that meet in a corner, a non-continuous 2' run, and a non-continuous 3' run. I used 12-2 romex from my attic to bring UCL power down to each of the three non-continuous runs during my renovations. A Magnitude dimmable 24V transformer is on the way (M40L24) as is a Lutron Diva magnetic low voltage wall dimmer (DVLV-603P-WH). The plan is to mount the transformer in the attic where it will convert the AC from the Lutron dimmer to the three romex lines.

My plan: I want to buy the SuperBrightLEDs 24V LuxBars. I have a very reflective counter and I assume I will need the diffusers, right? I'm buying the adjustable mounts to point the bars at my backsplash if the diffuser is not enough. I can just solder the 12-2 romex lines to the pigtail connectors for the bars since it's low voltage, right?

TBD: I have a cabinet with a glass door that I'd like to light. I used non-glass shelves and want to put in some LEDs on each of the three levels in the cabinet. Has anyone done this? It looks like I might have to buy another 2' bar, remove the led strip, chop it up, solder it to the UCL beneath the cabinet, and stick short lengths to the insides of my cabinet's face. Is that a good way to light the cabinet?

I hope this sounds right, and please, if anyone notices a problem or has suggestions for the lighting the cabinet, let me know!



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Did you look at the led DIY continuation thread? It started off with those exact bars.

You could use the ideal disconnects.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:10PM
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Yes, I must have read a dozen threads to build up my plan. Since I was mixing together several threads, I wanted to make sure I'd gotten the UCL portion right. The ideal disconnects look like a good idea. I must have skimmed over that in reading the other threads...

I'd love some feedback on lighting the cabinet interior with LED strips though. Hopefully people here have done this? I finally just found that elementalLED has some 24V 2700K LED strips that are sold by the foot. Is it a bad idea to mix LED strips from different companies?


    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:25PM
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The LED UCL continuation thread also has the connection pin out for the 24V bars. The bars are polarity neutral - they can be connected in reverse order without any ill effects.

Not all the led bars out there have been constructed like that, so even if the voltage is the same, it may not be a good idea to mix and match.

Wiring the cabinet interior is a little more involved than UCL since there will be vertical runs and more branches.
You can get inspiration from phantom lighting.com. Or you could buy the entire system from them.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 12:44AM
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JMNorse, it wasn't obvious to me what total lengths of bars you are planning to use, or whether you plan to add the interior lighting to the same circuit. They do sell very short bars, so you could buy those rather than chopping. Make sure that you do not exceed 80% of the transformer rating (40 watts rating with the one you indicated, so 32W maximum) for the total load.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 4:28PM
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JMNorse, I notice that the model number transformer you indicated has 24VAC output, not DC. I don't think that will work with the LED strips. I'm a bit surprised that davidtay says the luxbars are polarity insensitive, but I guess that was a good feature for a few pennies cost and a bit of efficiency loss.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 4:41PM
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Agh, you're right! eBay must have returned similar matches instead of an exact match. I need the M40L24DC. They haven't shipped the part yet so hopefully it's not too late to cancel it. Thank you so much for pointing that out!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 6:21PM
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I'm still working on my undercab LED lights, but I can tell you that I bought the LuxBar to test it and thought that the diffuser did nothing to dispel the reflection off of the polished countertop. Essentially, if you have a shiny countertop whatever you get will reflect. The problem I'm grappling with now is the multiple shadow effect. Like the Unilume that davidtay recommends, but it's very expensive...

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 10:45PM
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I bought equipment from environmental lights instead. SuperBright didn't have any LED strips of similar characteristics that I could use in my cabinet. It was nice that SuperBright had the variable angle mounts. Did you try using those and aiming the bars at your backsplash? It looked like that would keep the reflections down.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 8:09PM
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Hello, I looked on SuperBright website, but I didn't find anything about the variable angle mounts, at least not that I saw. JMNorse, or anyone, can you speak more on these variable angle mounts or post a link. Very interested to know more. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 8:15PM
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You can see the adjustable mounts here: http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/rigid-light-bars/led-product/1097/

I ended up not using superbrightleds though. They didn't have unmounted strips that matched their LuxBars, and I wanted some unmounted strips to light one of my cabinets. I use environmentallights 12V dimmable leds in a reel. I also used the Magnitude 12V 60W dimmable transformer and Lutron Diva Magnetic Low Voltage dimmer. The only issue I had is that the dimmer effect looks non-linear. The light decreases quickly as I start moving the dimming slider and then the light decreases more slowly after that until it's just barely on. The dimming range seems fine though. The DVLV dimmers don't have an adjustment dial.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 12:26PM
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