panic on ucls--help!!!

Ashe42June 14, 2013

I have a lot on my plate at the moment, the least of which is the painful kitchen reno, and hadn't picked UCLs due to indecision about enormous cost. Had meant to just get cheap option fluorescents and ran down to Lowe's between hospital visits, HATED lights.

So I bought LEDs but smaller strips--18" under several 29" cabinets. Electrician was asking did I want him to install them at the back of the cabinet or the front. Was just looking placement info and read that gaps will make create shadows. Has anyone experienced this? I'm flipping out a little--wish I'd never asked for UCLs.

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MizLizzie

I think you want the UCLs. After 10 whole days, I am in love with mine. They're installed to the front, and no shadows. Mine gap a little, especially where the cabinets meet. Honestly, I cannot believe I ever lived with those crappy fluorescent plug-in contraptions. I hope someone else can shed further light (no pun intended) but I believe you are over-worrying here.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 10:24AM
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calumin

Most people install them under the front so they're less visible. Looking through past threads it looks like front or back is personal preference, although some electricians install them in back because it may be easier to hide the wires (I don't think that's a big issue).

You could just try it both ways and see what you like better before the electrician does the install.

The shadows are as much the product of the lights you buy as the placement under the cabinets.

Some LED UCLs have a strange multi-shadow effect which may or may not be an issue for you. I bought Tech Lighting UniLume lights which don't have that shadow (they are costly though).

This thread might help you (unfortunately it's long):

UCL Thread in Lighting Forum

This post was edited by calumin on Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 10:48

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 10:36AM
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ginny20

You will be so glad to have these. Mine are in front.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 1:09PM
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Ashe42

Thanks! But do you think it's really bad to use 18" fixtures in 29" spaces? We have 10 wall cabinets (6 are 29") so the total is ouchy. Reduced it down substantially by using smaller bars but that could be a mistake in the long run.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 2:49PM
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SparklingWater

You do what's in your budget and time. Center the 18" fixtures front and center of the 29" cabinet as UCL traditionally were set. Yes, there might be some shadows, you'll just have to see.

Lowes has the new Pro Utilitech UCL, you know. It's direct wire, just connect it to the rear romex through a junction box, add jumper cables between and then 120 V end to circuit for dimming. This is a major step forward. Its profile is 1.25 high or such, I forget, this eliminating my use of it.. Utilitech is made by a reputable company (makes Kichler too).

Btw, I am sorry for your stress: dealing with a sick one in a hospital does make kitchen remodel details lower, but can also give you a needed mental break.

Good luck-if you have problems, post back or on the light forum, why don't you.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 8:57PM
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andreak100

LED lights don't have a lot of "spread" normally, so you are likely to have shadowing where your lights are "missing". How much that bothers you will determine if these are the right length for you or not. I just placed some cheap IKEA bar LEDs for my parents in their kitchen...it came with three sections for a unit - for one section of their cabinets, using the three sections was just a bit too long, and with the two sections, there was a noticeable shadowing area. Since this was a cheaply done retrofit ($60 for their three areas that needed lighting), they will live with it - in our new remodel, there's no way I would be happy with it.

Most people seem to prefer the lights positioned toward the front of the cabinet as it gives more direct lighting in the area where you are working. Positioned toward the rear of the cabinets, you tend to light more of the backsplash and then fall-off where you are working.

I can't say that we've fully figured out our UCL yet...every time I look, I get overwhelmed and confused. I'm generally very tech savvy, but for some reason, lighting overwhelms me!

Good luck...I hope that things start to quiet down for you soon.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 10:39PM
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Ashe42

Thanks, all, for your help, encouragement, and sympathy. (Nothing like having FIL come for a visit in the middle of a ridiculously protracted remodel and end up in intensive care). I don't have the energy to deal with any of it, so I'm just sticking with what I've got (just Utilitech, and the heck with it!) -- they're linkable so if I hate them down the road, I'll add a 9" to each 18" I guess, if possible. With the way the cabinets are built, there won't be a continuous light anyway. Unfortunately the light rail got left off the order, so I'll deal with THAT problem later too! I am just so sick of it and want builders and mess out of my life. I'm thinking of doing a reality show, 'Remodeling disasters.'

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:20PM
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