Undercabinet lighting questions

shappyMarch 11, 2012

I was all set to change out my old fluorescent lighting that the contractor installed against my wishes 11 years ago . . didn't think it would be so complicated. Got a 'warm' fluorescent bulb just to see if things had changed in 11 years, KH found the 'warm' light brighter and harsher and I think he's right. Xenons and halogens are too hot for me, so I thought I'd just run over to Lowes and pick up some LEDs. It's so complicated! I want direct wire to replace my direct wire fluorescents but don't want to spend over $500 to end up with the same harsh lights. How did you all solve this dilemma?

I must add maybe I'm obsessing over nothing because I have lights over my sink bay window and lights on my Viking stove shelf --but the pics I see of properly installed cabinets underlights look so elegant, I want!

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shappy

Oops KH should be DH, or he's doing the dishes now so maybe he's the kitchen husband.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 11:58PM
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rocketmomkd

I got the Utilitech LED's from Lowes. My local store had all the undercabinet lights on display so I could see what the light looked like. You can get warmer LED lights. Utilitech had both warm and cooler lights. We purchased 6 bars of various lengths and spent over 400, and we had a 10% off coupon. I searched online for direct wire lights and didn't come up with anything less expensive.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 7:54AM
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uroboros5

LEDs need to be plugged in, they can't be direct-wired. Current needs to go through a transformer.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 8:34AM
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shappy

I saw the unitech but it looks like the direct wires aren't dimmable. Are you happy with the light?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 8:35AM
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dougald_gw

There are a great many choices in LED undercbinet lighting - some of the fixtures are direct wired to 110V and some are low voltage meant for retrofitting where direct wiring is not an option. Most 110V are dimmable with a Lutron dimmer.

You might try posting in the Lighting Forum for more comprehensive responses.

For myself, after looking at many options, I went with Kichler led bars (a warm light of 3000K and about 40 lumens per watt in efficiency). I did not care for most others I looked at (not warm enough, not bright enough, inelegant housing , too expensive etc.) The Phillips eBar is also a good choice if you can find it. Neither Lowes nor HD was very impressive in my comparison shopping but your experience may be different.

You might also consider LED strips or pucks ... IKEA carries low cost versions of both though I prefer the LED bars.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 8:55AM
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rocketmomkd

shappy- the Utilitech LEDs I got from Lowes are direct wire, so dont need a transformer but they cannot be dimmed. I wan't looking for ones that can be dimmed. They are bar style. I like the light. It is warmer than the LEDs that were plug in style.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 9:09AM
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mom2sethc

shappy - it is confusing and I ended up doing a lot of internet reseach before selecting our undercabinet lighting. We went with Environmental Lighting's LED light bars. They are dimmable and they do use a transformer that is hard wired into a dimmer switch on the wall. They are a warm LED light, we are very pleased with them. Also very pleased with Environmental Lighting, they were extremely helpful and helped me to determine exactly what I needed to order.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 10:59AM
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angie_diy

For direct-wire, there are not that many choices. I chose Philips eW Profile. These are both dimmable and direct-wire.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 12:06AM
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KonaLyman

hello everyone: regarding the Utilitech from Lowes. I have the 3 puck LED set. Connector wire from puck to transformer is only 18". Any ideas on how to extend up to 8 feet?
thank you.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 4:23PM
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