what size unilume UCL to use?

flazoomSeptember 16, 2013

I plan on installing unilume UCL in our kitchen renovation and have been trying to find sizing information without much success. I will be installing in 3 locations, the first under a 30 inch long Microwave shelf, the other 2 will be under 33 inch cabinets (horizontally mounted) flanking the cook top.
the unilume come in 7, 13 , 19 and 31 inch lengths. I will also need a splice box for each location. The splice box will use about 4 inches of space to mount. I'm not sure if using the 19 inch light bar will be sufficient or if I should combine to extend the length. I could combine 13 and a 7 to make 20 inch light bar, or 2 13 inch bars.
I have never had UCL before and don't know if it is best to use the largest bar possible .

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Hi. I just finished a kitchen remodel and used Unilume LED, 90 CRI, 3000 K lights. It so happens I have both a 30 and 33" uppers. I actually changed out 31" bar for 19" bars as I found 19" to me more than sufficient. Perhaps this is because of their diffused brightness as well as their color index. There is no hiding the 4" splice box, but you only see it (especially if in placed in back) when you look under the cabinet.

So take this for what it's worth but I and all other family members are very happy with the 19" under a 30" and even 33" upper. It provides very adequate countertop task lighting.

Hope this helps! Great light.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 8:19PM
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I think the 31" bar will be just a bit too big for your 33 inch cabinets.

I have the Unilumes connecting a run of 18", then 33" and 33" cabinets. The 31" bars fit for me under the 33" cabs because we cut the inside edges between the cabinets. With 3/4" sides, 33" left 31.5" free space under the cabinet. You have to account for at least 1 3/4" for the connector between the light and the splice box (enough to plug in the connector and have the cable turn to the side). That leaves 29 3/4" for the light itself.

The direct connector to attach two Unilumes adds another 1 3/4", so you could use 2 13" bars (13+13+1.75+1.75 = 29.5" giving you two inches to spare). We installed the splice box behind the light (we pulled the light as far forward as possible).

Using two 13" lights will give you 867 lumens, vs. 640 lumens for a 19" light. The more important issue might be that using two lights will give you direct coverage over more of the countertop under the cabinets than the 19" would. But it would cost more.

For the 30" shelf I think the 19" light would be the best bet.

This post was edited by calumin on Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 21:26

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 9:20PM
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calumin, i think our kitchens are like twins on opposite coasts in use of similar products.

Curious how you used the 13+13 set up. I avoided the 31" Unilume specifically because I heard there is a small spot on it where the diffuser doesn't cover. Gave me pause at least.

OP, calumin is right that 26" gives broader counter light than 19" of course. We just have a small kitchen, and with the Unilumes centered under the cabinets and it's powerful light, combined with our 4" LED recessed, we're good to go.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 10:52PM
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Thanks SparklingWater and Calumin,
It's good to get information from people who have the same size cabinets as I will. Since the cabinets I will be lighting are essentially 'stand alone' there are no inside edges to cut so 31 is definitely out. I will go with the 19 inch for under the miocrowave shelf (it is on the end of the run and open on one side).
The range hood I will be installing has 4 LEDs in it already so the 19 inch might add enough light under the cabinets on either side. I'll have to go back to the lighting shop and look closer at the display. The display had 2 unilumes linked together, but maybe I can turn one off.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 9:57AM
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flazoon, have you chosen which Color Rendition Index (CRI) of the Unilume lights you like? The 80 vs the 90?
And the differing kelvin choices? They can make a difference in your kitchen also.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 5:09PM
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I have not decided yet, and being honest I do not know all that much about the differences. From my reading I think the 2700k is a 'warmer' and more yellow light while the 3000k is cooler and whiter and the higher CRI of 90 gives a more accurate color rendering.
If this is correct then if I use the 19 inch I might want the 3000k and CRI 90. Not being the brightest bulb in the bunch (sorry about the pun, I could not resist) about lighting I realize I need to do a bit more research.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:33AM
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Ha, puns are fun. Your understanding is correct. Try to get to a lighting store with a display or even lights in box to see the difference. It's pretty dramatic. Unilume is good.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 1:41PM
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