undercabinet lighting: xenon vs led. how much can leds be dimmed?

jrhoads23July 18, 2012

Currently remodeling my kitchen... should my under cabinet lighting be Xenon or LED?

I have researched and I think I am going to go with Pegasus brand. I also looked at Kichler, NSL and CSL - Pegasus seems to get good reviews and is priced very well. I was originally going to go with Xenon but have since considered LED. If LEDs are the better choice, I dont mind paying more money for them because I know it will come back in saved energy. So cost isnt really a concern when choosing between Xenon and LED.

Here are my concerns...

Xenon heat - how bad it is? I know the halogens give off a lot of heat and Xenons arent that bad. But how bad is Xenon? For people that have them, what are your thoughts?

Dimmability - It sounds like Xenon are much better for dimming. They say the LEDs I am looking at are dimmable, but you should have at least 40 Watts in total. In my case I will have just over 40 Watts in total.

Dimmer switch - Everything I have read says that Xenons must be dimmed with a ELV dimmer and LEDs must be dimmed with a special LED dimmer. However Pegasus claims both their Xenon and LEDs can be dimmed with standard incandescent dimmers. (???)

Color - What gives off a better color - Xenon or LED?

Any opinions are welcome, both of the brands I have mentioned or the Xenon vs LED questions.

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/designing-kitchens-bathrooms/475063-undercabinet-lighting-xenon-vs-led-how-much-can-leds-dimmed.html#ixzz210D44SxB

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Dimming of low voltage lights depends on the power supply design taking the 120 V to the lower voltage.

Pegasus low voltage pucks work fine with a conventional dimmer.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 8:38PM
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I would go LED - that's the way things are headed, so you might as well get on board now. I just installed LED under-cabinet lighting myself during my kitchen reno project and hardwired it to wall switches/dimmers. I first tried the basic dimmer switch that Lowes carried but it didn't handle the LEDs very well. I went with a $25 Lutron dimmer made specifically for dimmable LEDs and CFLs, and it works flawlessly. I can dim the LEDs down to nightlight level - we love it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 12:41AM
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" I first tried the basic dimmer switch that Lowes carried but it didn't handle the LEDs very well."

Guessing about what rtype of dimmer is needed for low voltage devices is often a hit or miss proposition.

Pick the wrong one and it may not work from the start, or result in longer term damage that only shows up weeks later (often after many hours of continuous use in a dimmed position, but sometimes even at 'full on').

The lighting manufacturers know what type of dimmer is needed with their power supplies.

Asking them is a good idea.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 9:20AM
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I looked at many LED undercabinet lights, but the light quality is not as good as Xenon. I don't like the flat color rendition of LED and the cooler color temp. I ended up getting the stainless steel Kichler Xenon strip. The only benefit of LED, in my view, is the energy efficiency. But how long do you leave the undercabinet lights turned on every day? In our case, we don't turn it on that often so the energy savings would never pay for the extra cost. We are using LED on all of the other lights including the recessed room lights, because those will be turned on all the time.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 10:22PM
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