3 Choices/please vote! Do I need DIMMABLE undercabinet lighting?

jgs7691June 7, 2011

[cross posted in lighting forum]

I am in the homestretch now -- down to the final decision on UC lighting (which must be made tonight, as we need the fixtures for wiring on Thursday.)

I am between three choices --

1 - Seagull Ambience dimmable xenon linear system

2- Seagull Ambience NONdimmable LED linear system (same as above, but non-dimmable and less power consumption)

3 - Diode LED Refract Light Bar -- dimmable LED bars in varying lengths from 10-30" (1/4" thick brushed aluminum bar)

I like the low-profile (almost invisible) appearance of the Seagull Ambiance, as it basically hides behind the light rail under my cabinets. I like the low-voltage of the LEDs, but the dimmable aspect of the xenon. Also worry about the xenon bulbs getting hot, and the cost of replacing bulbs (more often than LED).

The Diode LED system combines the features of dimmability and low-energy consumption, but I worry that the bar style is more obvious/less attractive than the Ambiance tracks, and I can't find much in the way of reviews for Diode LED.

One of the things I am not sure about is whether I really need my undercabinet lighting to dim. I think I would like to have the option, for example when entertaining, or at night, but I am not sure (never having had UC lighting.)

If you have undercabinet lighting, do you dim it?

Any thoughts or advice otherwise on the 3 choices above?

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Fori is not pleased

I'd do #2 if it's the lowest energy plus hidden. I think I had dimmables once. Dim the big fixtures--these won't bother you if they don't dim. Probably.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 7:41PM
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I have option number 1 - Love being able to dim them!! I don't think I would use them as much if I didn't have the dimmers. They don't get awfully hot and being on the dimmer I infrequently have them full blast. My vote would be dim feature a must... Good luck

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 7:59PM
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I had dimmable under cabinet lights in my last kitchen and really liked that feature. Wish I had them in this kitchen....and I totally forgot that when I was selecting my U/C lighting during the remodel!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 8:07PM
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we have the seagull xenon, although not installed. i definitely wanted the dimmable feature, it gives u more options and some ambiant lighting. we got the xenon, but u can put in the led bulb. they are interchangeable. the led are almost triple the price, so we will replace with led when the price comes down.
i saw these installed at the lighting store and they were just warm and they were on since 9 a.m. i was there about 2p.m. i really don't think we will have them on that long except maybe for parties, but for daily use, i am not concerned with the heat and they are dimmable, so that will cut down on the heat. they do throw get light, so i am so looking forward to them.. we also didn't have u.c. lighting, so anything will be an improvement.

good luck!!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 8:15PM
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I have #1, and I definitely love the dimmer. I just love that feature!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 8:36PM
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We are having the sea gull ambiance with xenon bulbs installed throughout the house, both in and under cabinets. All will be on dimmers. I want to be able to have control over the lights to create the best level of light for each cabinet and purpose.
sprtphntc I didn't realize that there was the option to simply add LED bulbs later? Would you just unscrew the xenon ones and put LEDs in, same as changing any other light bulb?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 8:48PM
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Being an electrician I am a firm believer that control of the light source is just as important as the fixture it self.Keep in mind that some dimmers for LED lights can be pricey ,and some of them can not be dimmed at all ,make sure your fixture is dimmable ,and if so find out what the manufacturer requires for a dimmer.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 8:50PM
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#1...love them

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 8:51PM
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I have Juno LED lights, both overhead and under-counter. My contract said there were to be dimmer switches where possible (I don't remember how it was worded). Anyway the overhead lights are on a dimmer, but the under-counter ones are not. I am okay with that, as I can always dim the overhead lights. And, yes, the appropriate dimmers for the lights ARE pretty pricey -- they aren't just like the standard dimmer switches you walk into HD and buy.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 8:57PM
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beaglesdoitbetter, yes, from what i was told and understand, when your xenon bulb burns out, u just put in a led bulb. it has the same socket so u can use the led bulb. the led's run about 3 times as much, so just wait for the price to come down. check the website to be sure, but that's what the lighting specialist said and i read it also. they gave me both brochures and its the same system, just different bulbs. its a nice feature for the future.. that's how i looked at it.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:02PM
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Thank you sprtphntc! We plan to be in this house forever, so once our xenon ones run out, we can replace each with an LED as we go and then have the more energy efficient choice. What a great bonus to find out :)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:09PM
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Professional LED lights website :www.topledsupplier.com

A new way to lights up your life for led lights.

Here is a link that might be useful: led lights

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:13PM
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Also, as to dimmers, I can't say I really understand any of this but apparently dimmers are not that expensive but dimming modules are. I asked our electrician why we needed 10 dimmers for our house and the response I got was that to get the added dimmers only cost me $42 but the dimming module was $350. I don't get it and I'm just letting him do what he wants.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:13PM
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I went with non-dimmable LED bars, and I am happy with the choice. They are bright, but with the trim rail on the bottom of my upper cabinets, it contains the light so well that it seems just right.

I've never had any kind of UC lighting, so anything at all was a huge improvement.

Dimmers add to the cost of the fixture, so just be sure you really want that feature. For me the deciding factor was the desire for good task lights rather than ambiance. I will light candles for ambiance. :)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:29PM
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We have the Kichler version of #1, with dimmers. I like having the ability to dim them (and do if I leave the U/C's on as a sort of a night light before going to bed).

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:05PM
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And the verdict is in: #1! We are going to go with the Seagull Ambiance Xenon Dimmable Linear system. Thanks for all the input, everyone. I shared this thread and the info on the 3 choices, and DH wanted #1 all along anyway, so. . . :)

Thanks again!

I'll be back soon to obsess on light fixtures and backsplashes!!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:19PM
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Hello, for future information that others may want: I have the # 3 option, DIOED LED Refract Light Bar on a dimmer the company offers and I love it!. The name of their dimmer is Reign, & yes was expensive. I like the Refract Bar because it is over my sink and will be only modestly visible if I look up. I wanted the light to have a finished look and this one is nicely finished for my needs. I got the non-dimmable driver with my system. I am happy with my set up. I also have a separate dimmer for my under cabinet lights and used the Diode LED Cascade Light Bar for these locations, because they are water resistant and dimmable. I went with the warm light option on both styles.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 3:36PM
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Thanks, enduring. That info will certainly help someone who finds this thread down the road.

BTW -- in the interest of completeness, we ended up with the Seagull Ambiance Xenon everywhere EXCEPT under our little desk/hutch area. We planned to put that on a separate transformer/dimmer switch from the rest of the kitchen, but because of the placement of the unit there is no convenient place to put a wall switch. Thus, we decided to use, for that area only, a Juno Pro-Series Xenon fixture, which will be hard wired and can be switched on the housing (low, high, off).

Thanks for all the input and help!!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 9:46PM
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I went with dimmable, but i haven't yet bought the dimmer switch itself. I can't say that I've ever wanted to dim them. For ambience, my pendant is dimmable and I use the glass hood lights if I want a little more brightness.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 1:14AM
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I really like Tresco's LED lighting. Is this like your 3rd option? We have the ELLI 2 in our showroom and everyone loves them! They are very pricey but will last 12-15 yrs without replacement. They are a very warm and bright light as well. In the display next to it, we have some cheapy LED's from Home Depot and the difference is like night and day.

The dimmer switch from Tresco is not very expensive at all. I can't recall...something between $45-$60.

Here is a photo from one of my client's home. I think their whole undercabinet LED lighting (4 lengths; 2 transformers, some wiring and 2 dimmer switches came to around $1750 without installation). I know expensive but no bulbs to replace for a LONG time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tresco

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 2:41PM
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Take that back....quoted out to about $1,000 including tax....not $1750!!! But they had some long lengths.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 3:13PM
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Groan.... this is looking to be the next painful decision. thanks for the information. I know there is a lot about this over on the lighting forum, but it's hard to get started on the decision; seems like an awful lot to learn. I appreciate the more bottom-line form of this question. More btdt contributions in the form of 'I have system xyz and I love it' or 'I have pqr and I hate it' will be great. (a reason or two is optional ;).

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 2:08AM
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