Affordable LED ucls! *photos*

jalsy6June 11, 2013

So my diy reno has been creeping along at a snail's pace...we're into year three which is horrifying. But I have been researching ucls and just could not justify spending hundreds of dollars. I came across a thread which referenced this LED tape from Home Depot of all places, and it's totally in my budget so we figured may as well give it a try. We spent about $115.00 between the lights and the transformer, and some extra low voltage wire we needed to link them together. DH and I did it in an evening - it was a cinch. So, here are a couple of pictures, please excuse all the unfinished business (hood, yucky range, painting, and crown). I am delighted to finally have task lighting when I cook!



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Holly- Kay

Wow, very nice! I really like the LED tape! It really gives your kitchen a warm glow!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 8:27PM
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sanjuangirl

Looks good! Nice warm light. Which exact type and brand are they? We're close to needing to make that decision.
Btw, Your kitchen doesn't look unfinished and yucky at all.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 8:47PM
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jalsy6

Thanks! I've put the link below. They are nice and warm, but not too warm. One of the photos makes them look yellower than they are. They're actually not quite that warm. 12 feet of tape cost $70. Couldn't beat it. Even if they don't last forever (although they're rated for 50,000 hours), they won't be costly to replace. They get awesome reviews.

Here is a link that might be useful: Armacost LED's

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 8:51PM
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susanlynn2012

Thanks for letting me know. I will look into this when I replace my kitchen cabinets.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 10:00PM
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snookums2

Pretty kitchen! Those look great. Can you please show us how you have powered them?

TIA

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 11:01PM
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scrappy25

So how did you have them hardwired? Did you have an electrician run the wiring to the strips then diy from there?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 11:37PM
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GreenHighlighter

Ooh, thanks for sharing. I still haven't made a decision on this.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 12:59AM
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jalsy6

My electrician hooked a switch in the backsplash up to an outlet above the cabinets where the transformer plugs in. The outlet will be hidden by the crown when we get around to it ;). So easy. I guess they can be hard wired too but we opted to do it this way. The tape can be cut at any desired length and then it comes with these clips to connect the different strips) for example in where it had to turn the corner on the end).

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 6:21AM
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writersblock

Those look great. Question for you: do you think these would give enough light to be the main task lighting in a kitchen?

My current kitchen has indirect over-cabinet lighting as basically the only lighting (there's a chandelier in the adjacent dining area, but it doesn't help all that much), and the ceiling is poured concrete so it's not a simple job to add more ceiling lighting. We'll be going to taller cabinets so even if I liked the indirect lighting it would have to go. I'd like to find something low-profile but bright enough, and wonder if these would fill the bill.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 10:33AM
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jalsy6

Honestly they are pretty bright. I didn't put them on a dimmer, but there is one you can buy. You can also always put two rows in and link them together for increased brightness. And they're totally cool so no worries about heating your cabinet. Our only other lighting is a central Chandy and I have a pendant over the sink. Works fine for us.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:03AM
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ci_lantro

Good for you!

I just ordered LED tape light, too, from Amazon, a couple of days ago. Total cost was less than $45. I got the 16' dimmable double density LED light strip (130 lumens per foot), a transformer and dimmer switch. Since I have only about 8 feet of upper cabs, I'll only be using about half of the light strip so a 30 watt transformer (less expensive) is sufficient. (Hopefully, I won't need any other parts.) Also ordered a couple of LED GU10 light bulbs to replace the halogen ones in the range hood.

(We built the 8' run 'in place' rather than as separate boxes so there are no dividers inside the cabs and no obstructions on the bottom.)

I'm planning to mount the tape lights on a long strip of aluminum--salvaged from some vertical blinds that were in the 'free pile' at a garage sale. The aluminum will be mounted to bottom of the cabs with a bit of spacer between the aluminum & cabinet bottom. The idea is that the aluminum will serve as a heat sink for the LEDS & the spacing is to facilitate heat dissipation.

This will be my first experience with LED's so I'm pretty excited to see how it goes!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:16AM
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gpraceman55

@jalsy6 - Those are the very UCL's that I will be putting in our kitchen. I'm glad that they worked out well for you. We also did the light switch with outlet above a cabinet for the power supply. Our crown molding hides the outlet nicely.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:50AM
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scrappy25

thanks for the details on the switch and the outlet. For those of us with cabinets up to the ceiling, can an outlet be placed inside a cabinet so as to hide the outlet and transformer?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 12:45PM
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amyinaustin

Beautiful. I love the soft, warm, even light ��" not what I've experienced with LEDs. Now on the list for my remodel!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 12:51PM
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gpraceman55

@scrappy25 - You certainly can hide the outlet and power supply somewhere in your cabinetry. You just need to be able to run your wires to that location (for the outlet and the low voltage to the lights).

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 1:00PM
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writersblock

Thanks, jalsy6! The double row sounds like a great idea.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 1:22PM
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GreenHighlighter

Cilantro -- can you link what items you purchased from amazon? That'd be super helpful! Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 3:07PM
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foodonastump

Looks great, and I'm happy to see that because I'm within a couple days of mine being installed! I'm assuming the outlet behind the crown will still be readily accessible? I'm set up inside the cabinet.

Hi ci_lantro - I ordered mine from amazon too, a 16' roll. The lights themselves were dirt cheap but the dimmable transformer cost $70. Either I paid too much or you've got the wrong transformer. Just a heads up, you might want to double check.

Here is a link that might be useful: Transformer

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 3:19PM
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gpraceman55

There are two ways that you can dim the UCLs.

1) Get a dimmer for the high voltage (AC) side and a dimmable power supply

2) Get a dimmer for the low voltage (DC) side. A regular non-dimmable power supply will work just fine.

A dimmable power supply will be significantly more expensive than a non-dimmable one.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Wed, Jun 12, 13 at 17:30

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 5:13PM
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foodonastump

Ah, right... We went for the line voltage side because we were rewiring anyway.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 5:26PM
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