led strip lighting - ucl

kvawterOctober 8, 2010

I've been reading several of the very informative forums on here regarding LED undercabinets and have learned a lot - thank you. But I haven't yet seen anything on the specific product I'm looking at, so I'd like to pick some people's brains (davidtay, are you out there?) to make sure I'm understanding all of this correctly and getting the best deal on my choice products.

We would really like to install this LED flexible strip for our undercabinets. http://www.environmentallights.com/products/11953/Dimmable_LED_Ribbon_5m_reel_Warm_Wh

It is a product from Environmental Lights and when I started researching this, they were pretty helpful on the phone. This seems to be a good price for this product (and has gone down since I started research months ago) and the customer service and website are the most helpful I've found so far. I saw on the "led ucl diy" topic that some different power supplies were mentioned for use with another Environmental Light product. Would those be available to use in my situation? $150+ is a bit daunting at this point, since that is half the cost of the entire project.

Does anyone have experience with this product or something similar?

As a background, our kitchen is currently down to the studs and pretty much pre-wired. We are ready to drywall very soon so I want to make sure everything is in the walls correctly. We are installing UCL under 4 cabinets and inside a 5th (glass front). These are all being hard-wired together (daisy-chained? is that the correct term?) inside the wall with only a bit of wire sticking out to connect to cables/lights in the right spots. Total cabinet length that needs lighting is about 100" (8.25'). We are using 14 gauge wire for this application and planning to install the lights on a 3-way dimmer.

So, my questions (forgive me for repeating anything above or in other forums):

*Any experience with this product or similar? Does anyone know of any better price?

*Any chance I can use a power supply from a different source? I've already found the dimmer switch they recommend for $14 less, but any advice on that would be appreciated as well.

*Where does my power supply go? I'm guessing between the switch and the first light. As a more obvious question, in the wall or in a cabinet or under a cabinet...?

*Is my intended set-up OK as far as wiring, linking, length, etc?

*Is there any information or step I'm missing in the process?

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The more I'm thinking about this, do the wires going between the fixtures to link them up need to be low voltage?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 5:14PM
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There are other sources - superbrightleds.com, etc.

The low voltage wiring should be 16 or 18 gauge wire.

All the interconnecting wiring will be low voltage.

Always plan on having low voltage wiring run directly from the transformer(s) to each zone. Daisy chaining should be avoided if possible
1. To ensure that a failure in one section will not result in a major failure.
2. The voltage drop may be too great at the daisy chain end.

Another thing - flexible lighting should be handled with care as the LEDs are surface mounted onto flexible printed circuit boards.

Flexible LEDs make sense if you intend to attach the strips onto curved surfaces. They only bend in the y axis.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 4:32PM
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Does superbrightleds.com (or others) have a dimming power supply? I haven't seen it yet on their website.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 6:19PM
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Also, for the low voltage wire, can I use 16 gauge apeaker wire? I have a big roll of it sitting around and would love to be able to use it for this if possible.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 8:56PM
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You can ask superbrightleds and others. You may want to use the links provided on the LED UCL diy thread.

Yes, you can use speaker wire. See the LED UCL DIY thread for more info.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 12:57AM
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