UCL & cove light costs

EATREALFOODJune 6, 2012

(help)

2 runs 10ft each--- cove lighting

2 runs 7 ft each---under cab lighting

Fluorescent bars:$1500 install & materials

Double Density LED strips: $1675 install & materials

Philips eW Powercore direct wire bars: $1800 UCL ONLY no cove

I realize that Leds require more wiring & transformers but direct wire is expensive too b/c the transformers are built into the box. I do not have light rail so I'm limited as far as height.

I may pay any restocking fee(electrician bought LED strips before I caught him to cancel) and just pay the wiring and other electrical(fan install, GFI outlets, dimmers etc). Maybe I should forget finishing the UCL/cove lighting for now.

Any one have similar reaction to an electrical/UCL quote ?

We are seeing him on Saturday to discuss options.

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Shades_of_idaho

I used rope lights in my china cabinet.Not great but I love the light they give off and they have been on for over two years. Yes the 90 day ones. LOL Now I said they they will burn out. Sigh. The Christmas ones. Install them under the front edge of your cabinet so they do not show only the light they put out. Or lay them up top. Have electrician put plugs above cabinets. I think they were $4.98 each.

I also know some one that put a crown molding around their walls 8 inches or a foot down from ceiling and laid the rope light into the cove and it looked fantastic.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 12:15AM
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EATREALFOOD

Hi shades
I believe it's the wiring that's driving the price since I wanted the cove & UCL on separate switches(one for up/one for down on both sides of the room) I need to be able to put on the task lighting w/o the cove. Cove is for leaving on at night. The strip LED the electrician chose are inexpensive except for the transformers/drivers/dimmers...have headache now.
UCL should not be plugged in to a small appliance circuit.
Are you suggesting that I plug them into a outlet above the cabinets(w/o a switch for on/off) and climb up there when I need to unplug them ? LOL. As far as I know those type of lights you described should not be plugged in all the time and cannot be joined to make a 7ft continuous run. Shadows would be bad...
I really need you to visit so we can discuss these dilemmas over a cup of coffee.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 8:53AM
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Shades_of_idaho

I have a 12 or so foot run of rope light. They are LED I believe. They have been plugged into a regular house/appliance plug for over two years. I have only unplugged them a couple of times to move the china cabinet to paint. And last week to move in my window seat.

I am not saying this is the right thing to do I am saying I did it.

I would not climb up to unplug them. I leave mine on day and night.

So you need a seperate plug and switch for each run? Well if it were me I would run the bottom run up through holes drilled into the cabinet to the top or top to bottom and plug into one switch/plug. Saves one set of plugs.

Dimmers cost about 10 dollars at home depot or?? Install them yourself. I have never used them on LED.

I do NOT want to see the rope lights like I can on the china cabinet. Hidden behind a little ledge would be better but for now it is what it is and I just do not care all that much. I could always buy a thin piece of trim to put up there to hide them. One of those things I just have not gotten to.

I really know nothing about real UCL.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 10:05AM
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forboystoo

I have a remote for my lights above the cabs
and hooked-up to the two lamps I have in my kitchen.

The cord for the above cabs plugs in behind the fridge
making on and off a pain without the remote.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.amazon.com/DSI-Outlet-Wireless-Remote-Outlets/dp/B000G80V28

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 2:09PM
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marti8a

I haven't done under counter lighting yet, but I freaked over all the lighting and wiring in our dining room. Can't believe how much the wire alone costs.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 8:16PM
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EATREALFOOD

Thanks Shades & forboystoo-
Marti you understand me ! Electrical is so expensive. As I explained to my SO, if you know how to make a delicious steamed fish and pan fried noodles and dumplings at home you do not need to pay $30/plate at the Chinese restaurant. It's the same with electric, if you can do it yourself you don't need to pay...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 8:47AM
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marti8a

True. I don't know where you are, but here, the inspectors have to see the license # of the electrician who did the work. :( And it is so hard to find an electrician who will do small jobs, and anything less than a whole house is a small job to them.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 2:18PM
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kirkhall

I bought chain-able LED UCL from Fred Meyer. They can be plugged in to a regular plug (I plan to use the one I used for my MW), and then they daisy chain to each other. Also, I don't have to climb up to unplug them, since they each have an individual switch on them. Can you choose something like this? Your space is only a little larger than mine.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 11:17PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

EATREALFOOD, I will admit a dirty little secret. I don't have undercab lighting. Well, I do, but not electric--I found some neat wireless LED lights on sale at Lowes. They have a small placket that mounts under the cabinet, then the light itself can be removed--if there is a power outage there are enough flashlights under the cabs for the whole family! They are also on 30min timers, great in case I forget to turn them off. The AA batteries were included, and there were good reviews online. I bought twenty lights, to use in my kitchen and for gifts for the kids and parents--for emergency lights.

The batteries will eventually need to be replaced, but rechargeables could be used.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 10:04AM
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mary_ruth

EATREALFOOD,
I hate to say this but those electrical prices seem reasonable to me actually they are good. When I did kitchen remodels I used to pay $2,800 and up for electrical work for each kitchen depending on the size. The supplies cost a lot.

We recently did some work (new outlets, wiring and switches) in a galley kitchen for my son's house and the supplies went over $500 easily and my husband is an electrician so no labor costs.

It is not just the cost and labor because the switches have to be designated and new wiring to the electrical panel (snaking wire through walls) and all up to code. And reputable electricians are insured so their work is their responsibility.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 11:15AM
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Moccasin

Gosh, that is an expensive quote. I had LED rope lights above my cabinets, and I put an inline dimmer on the plug in cord. It was not visible to anyone from the plug above the backsplash, which was a 4-unit recepticle. It was a Lutron slide dimmer. It added a lot to the kitchen at MoccasinLanding, which was long and narrow and like a CAVE with no windows--interior room. The LED ropes were on top of the upper cabs at either narrow end of the kitchen. And I did not have any upper cabs on the two longer walls, just an eye-height shelf with some hooks below for utinsels. It was not an expensive kitchen, I remodelled it for $5,000 and installed a black glass cooktop myself, the track lights myself, and moved upper cabs around without help. I was a lot younger in those days!

Not only did I NOT have the money to spend, I did not have the TIME to spend. I was only home 63 days out of 365 each year. Had to get it done.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 4:27PM
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marti8a

mama goose, I saw those lights at Lowe's and wondered how much light they put out. Good to have a recommendation.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 6:33PM
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desertsteph

mama g - I'm gonna pick one of those up and try it! love that they are on a timer. will try it in my pantry also.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 3:22AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I rarely use the undercab lights, I suppose because I've never had them on on that side of the kitchen, I forget that they are there. On the baking/buffet run we had a rope light, with the switch mounted inside a cabinet. I plan to re-use the rope light under the vintage school cabinet, eventually, but I need to put up a rail to hide it.

When I found the flashlights, they were on sale for $10 each. Another neat feature is that they are directional--you can adjust them forward or backward to put the light beam where you need it. Each one has to be turned on individually--I usually start at one end and light up the whole wall. It's funny to see them going off in sequence 30 minutes later. :)

I know I sound like a spammer, but I like these flashlights! I also put one of the lights under the overhang on the bathroom vanity (no window in that room), so that if anyone is in the shower or tub when the electricity goes off, a light is close at hand.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 10:44AM
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desertsteph

I don't have much counter to light(lots compared to what is in my old place) so I expect 3 of those would cover it all. I'll try one and see how much I use it. I have big overhead lights plus one over the sink already.

anyway, i doubt I'll be in the kitchen cooking or doing much after dark. I also have the skylight - during the day there's plenty of light.

I think putting one in the bathroom in case of emergency is a very good idea!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 5:32AM
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jak1

I also have the little round LED lights that come in a package of four from Costco. They attach under the cabinets and run on batteries. They last for years. They even have two light intensities! They cost about twenty bucks a pack and installed in about five minutes. I originally bought them for emergency lighting in the case of power outages, but they look just fine and I like the soft light they put out. Just my two cents worth (or $20) *lol*

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 8:48AM
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EATREALFOOD

Thanks all for your input.
I'm having the UCL & cove direct wired so it is different than some of the options you posted.
Mary ruth--I thought that I had the wires available for hooking up direct wire LED or fluorescent bars easily (and inexpensively) Now I know what this entails.1 one 1 down switch on 2 walls means four transformers in addition to all the wiring. I haven't decided whether I should add the dimmers. This is also wired so that I can swap out and do high voltage(direct wire Fluorescents or LED bars) in the future. The double density LEDs cost around $400 for both cove & UCL. I don't think the LED strips are as bright as the LED bars I wanted to get but b/c of the cost I am going to live with them. The problem with comparing LED strip lumens/ft is that they are not always listed. I think UCL is confusing to people on purpose. Sometimes to sell inferior products for inflated prices.
If you lived near me I'd hire your husband ! :)

mama goose--I saw something like those lights with a motion detector at the cabinet showroom. I'm going to get them for the glass cabinets.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 4:23PM
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oldbat2be

Hi EATREALFOOD,

We just ordered and received the Philips eW Powercore lighting. DH is doing all the install (phew) but we did score a great price for the actual components. We bought them from Farralane Lighting. Total for components was almost $500 LESS than TriNorthLighting (who apparently had best pricing).

EW PROFILE POWERCORE, 41", 3000K, WHITE HOUSING - $146
21" - 77.14,
11" - 47.88.

Send your item list to Joe@Farralane.com for a quote. We received them 2 days after ordering.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 7:48AM
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EATREALFOOD

Thanks Oldbat-WOW those prices are better than good mart. This might be doable if I skip the cove lighting for now.
I know I'm breaking some rule... but since I'm putting in separate switches for top and bottom(1 up 1 down each side of room) I might use LED strips for cove and use the brighter philips bars for UCL since they would be on at different times. I realize that the LED strip light looks completely different than the LED bars.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 3:09PM
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