Need Help with LED Under-Cabinet Lighting Choices

dreamojeanAugust 29, 2013

I'm interested in suggestions for the best brand of LED under-cabinet lights for my 5.5 foot and 1 foot strips of cabinets. I've been eying WAC Lighting's strips (gorgeous but I don't know how functional) and the JUNO ones as well. And possibly Phillips. There's also Utilitech from Lowe's but I'm less familiar with that brand.

I've heard good things about WAC but the JUNO has a model with a dimmer on the actual hardware that can be turned up or down that seems appealing to me. If I get lighting that has the dimmer on the hardware, in theory that will save me having to pay my electrician to convert the on/off switch on the wall to a dimmer switch.

I can source WAC or Phillips from a reputable independent lighting store near me, JUNO from Home Depot and the Utilitech from Lowe's. I'm really down to WAC or JUNO unless there's a reason not to buy one of these. I think WAC is pricier, prettier, but doesn't have the on-strip dimmer.

Also, for my 66 inch span, I'm told that I could get 2 30" pieces and link them, and WAC has that but JUNO doesn't seem to have anything bigger than a 24" in stock at Home Depot.

I'd love feedback as to how people use their LED lights and which manufacturers you use, and whether you like them, as well as what size strips you used for a 5.5 foot or similar span. (my electrician charges $60 to install each strip, no matter the size, so that's a consideration)

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I can recommend Juno Lightings Trac 12 system from first hand experience. We have them installed and have been really happy with them. Juno does have larger strips but they may have to be ordered. As for how we use ours we installed strips the entire length of the span we needed, meaning where we had a 36" space we did a 36" strip. With this particular system we can move the bulbs wherever we chose after the strip is installed and as with your electrician it was the same price regardless of the size of the strip so we opted for the added flexibility of the larger strips. I hope this helps, feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 10:26AM
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I went with Armacost Lighting 12 ft. LED Warm. You can find them at Home Depot. Shop online because at the store they are hard to find. The light is crisp and complements the LED lighting. They are not noticeable at all. If you purchase these, get the 60W power supply. It will give you enough power for your lighting needs in case you go crazy like I did and added lighting in the base cabinets.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 11:51AM
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If you're looking for the best brand, you should include Tech Lighting Unilume on your list.

I bought them and they are great. They are brighter than Juno. I think the Juno Pro Series 14" LED is ~325 lumens, while the TechLighting 13" LED is 432 lumens. TL also has a 30" which puts out 1100 lumens, and they dim well. CRI is 90+.

One other thing - which may or may not bother you -- is shadow effect. It helps to test the light -- with some lights when your hands are under the lights you'll see multiple shadows sprawl on the countertop, which could be disconcerting to some.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 4:38PM
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How do the cheapie IKEA LED strips stack up against the brand name ones?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 4:57PM
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HOw would I be able to install LED lights inside my very dark old custom built dresser....I have shelves above and drawers below and cannot see a thing in there but it was made without lights inside in mind so I don't have a power source are there some LED strip that run on a battery and will turn and off when the doors are opened and closed?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 9:14PM
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I don't know how the IKEA LED strips compare with the non-IKEA ones but I wasn't drawn to them, and I'm pretty pro-IKEA and value driven (as opposed to low-cost driven, that is, I love lower cost but only if it's a good value). I suspect they are just LED tape strips, and I had decided I wanted bars and not tape.

As for installing lights inside a piece of furniture, have you considered the stick-on lights that you can put anywhere and that are either battery-operated (so you can swap out batteries when the lights dim) or LED? They are usually sold in 3-packs at Bed Bath, Home Depot etc. and are not expensive, we put them inside our last kitchen's dark cabinets and they really kept us sane when looking in the back (and in our new kitchen we only did drawers and pull-out cabinets on the deeper bottoms, and regular cabinets up top, so we don't have that issue anymore).

Follow up - I wavered between Environmental Lights and Juno, both with a dimmer, and ended up having the Juno's installed and decided I hated them, but couldn't afford to uninstall them and install the Environmental Lights, so returned the Environmental Lights and lost a restocking fee and shipping but was impressed with Environmental Lights overall and how they were helpful and customer service oriented and would seriously consider buying from them in the future - but I can't speak to how the lights would have looked or worked. As for the Juno's, I now fairly well love them, they are fully dimmable piece by piece and turn off piece by piece so the look is customizable from hour to hour, and when all 3 fixtures are turned on at the wall switch and fully "on" the light is brilliant and dramatic. So I'm fairly happy with them but not thrilled with Juno overall - the Home Depot dimmer-dial model I bought has NO diffuser which really hurts the eyes when used with a shiny quartz countertop (I used the Environmental Lights diffusers out of frustration), and Juno's customer service people had no fixes and no suggestions for this problem, and basically wash their hands of these models since they are the "Home Depot brand". Plus Environmental Lights responds to emails on weekends and Juno has no customer service outside of business hours. Overall while I like the Juno lights fine, I prefer Environmental Lights as a company.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 3:53PM
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