warm/cool led bulbs and tape strip - please help

kksmamaOctober 30, 2013

Honestly, I think (and my friends and family agree) that I've given this renovation more detailed thought than any "normal" person and as much or more than the average TKO GWer. I have heard, but cannot verify, that people throughout the world have lovely, functional kitchens and have never even visited this forum. And yet, for my kitchen, it seems that every decision over which I did not obsess and consult GW has been less than optimal. Light rail, toe kick height, grout, and appliance choices could've been better without additional cost if I'd spent time on them.

And now....tape light strips. I didn't realize there would be different ones until I saw that both warmer and cooler versions had been installed side by side. It is more obvious in person than these photos, and my contractor will replace the warmer ones with more of the cooler ones although he doesn't usually offer anything except the warmer ones (and doesn't know how the cool ones got here)

Now, my pendants (which I love) need the right bulbs. I think I want dimmable 100 watt (or less?) equivalent leds as cool as I can get them (they look fine in this picture, but irl are much too warm and incandescent - especially dimmed). I've read about the temperature ratings (2700k vs 3000k vs 5000k) but also read that Jakuvall said one can't rely on those as specified by manufacturers. I'd like to just order 2 from Amazon, or Costco, and not try different ones. Does anyone have an easy answer for me?

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I'm sorry I do not, but I appreciate your question. Our renovation is nearing completion, and we had 12 ceiling cans installed, plus two island pendants. I look forward to reading any advice, as these....do we still call them bulbs......are not inexpensive.

I have not yet checked Consumer Reports, but will do so.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 11:08AM
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What made you choose cool light over warm light?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 12:07PM
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i have the LED strip tape lights and got the warm. And they are still very cool looking to me. I think the cool are still too blue looking. My counters and BS are carrara marble though so I wanted something to warm it up.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 1:11PM
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I am going with the warm lights after I saw them at the lighing store. I am worried that the cool tone will make my finishes looked washed out.

Didn't see the tape lights at Costco. I did get some battery LEDs that were not so much.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 1:13PM
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Wait! What was that about your toe-kick height? There's something I forgot to obsess about? Please clue me in!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 1:55PM
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I must really be a dinosaur, because even the "warm" LED's are too cool for me! I have all incandescent in my house. ...Except for the annoying LED's inside my refrigerator that I guess I'm stuck with :(

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 2:41PM
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I've been looking into the same questions, and here's what I've learned so far. The 2700K lights are distinctly yellow (to my eye), especially when viewed next to a 3000K or a 5000K bulb. We are so used to the yellow light of most of the older incandescents that the cooler temp LEDs look either too blue or too bright, but the 5000K bulbs are the closest to the real daylight spectrum.

It was very helpful to view a display in the bulbs aisle at our local big box store, where the three temperature bulbs were lit side by side. If you can find one of those at HD, Lowes, or elsewhere, it's very informative to stick your hands and/or your samples under the lights to view the differences. After doing that, I immediately moved away from the 2700K lights that I'd planned, especially since I want to dim them as situations warrant.

For me, it will be the same with the UCL tape lights. Since I will choose finishes and colors that look right in the 5000K spectrum, then I'll want to stay in that range for the accent lighting, again on dimmers.

If you can't find a display, I'd buy several different bulbs, bring them home and install in the locations involved.

Oh, and after pricing Cree bulbs all over the place, including my electrician's supplier, I was surprised to find that (at least for the Cree CR6 in 5000K), the best price anywhere was at Home Depot. Our State Gov't is also running a big rebate of $10.00 PER bulb when you buy LEDs. Combined with the 10% off HD coupon, and the $10 per bulb rebate, each one will cost about $26.

One other rating on LEDs is something called the CRI. It stands for Color Rendition Index, and measures how true to color objects appear under a bulb. Every 2700K bulb I found had only a 80 CRI, whereas the 3000K and 5000K bulbs had a 90+ CRI.

As a TKOer spending so much effort on colors and finishes, I wanted the cleanest CRI I could find.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 2:43PM
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I went with the 3000K temperature for my overhead cans and my UCL. As noted, 5000K are offered but seemed a bit too blue for me (my outside safety light is this temp). I found the 2700K way too yellow, and made the finishes look muddied and dingy. I also appreciate how much more cooler (heatwise) they are compared to halogen/xenon and even incandescent.

My utility company sponsors bulbs; at the local Costco the A19s are as low as $6 each.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 3:09PM
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Here is a general spectrum -- emphasis on general -- because these bulbs are actually fluorescent. But it is a guideline.

2700 K is generally considered to be "candlelight" color. 5000K is high noon -- brightest light -- but the bulbs at that temperature come off as blueish.

If the 2700Ks are too yellow a good range is 3000-3500K. Those will be whiter.

I find 5000K unusuable in the house and really scary in the basement. However, I switched the exterior lights driveway bulbs from 2700K to 5000K and they are much brighter and are 100% better at night.

With the vagaries of LED manufacturing right now, I have the feeling that the Kelvin ratings are approximate. Also, I think it's manufacturer to manufacturer. I found LED ceiling bulbs at Lowes that really work well in our house. They are 3000 K (by Utilitech).

There also can be variations in the effects depending on paint color, as we've noted from time to time. Muted colors can shift at night depending on the bulb color. And if you have super dark wall colors the bluer bulbs may work best.

Here is a link that might be useful: Making Sense of Lightbulb Color

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 3:22PM
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Thank you all! I'm glad to hear there is a big difference between 2700 and 3000; I will get out to the stores this week.

To my eye, the cooler tape lights installed in my kitchen look correct/natural while the other is yellow/muddy. But I like blue-white in general, so it isn't surprising. And I don't even know what the product is - my contractor brought it and took away packaging.

Lori, my toe kicks are fine, and I did consider and decide against toe kick drawers....but....I should have considered slightly shorter toe kicks (mine are 4.5") and used the inch to gain drawer height. Not a big deal, certainly not the biggest mistake in my kitchen. And actually, now that I look at it, I realize they are just about perfect given the height of my base boards, so perhaps I would've done it the same way. My broader point stands: the stuff I've obsessed about and consulted GW about is the stuff that works, and with which I'm really happy. The things I didn't specify and agonize about are where the problems are. I hope this is encouraging to others who wonder if all the obsessing is worth it. I'm not even done, and I already know that, for me, it has been.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 5:07PM
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OT but how did it go with the backsplash? What happened on that corner? Pics! Pics!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 5:18PM
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Aw, thanks for asking! I love my backsplash, not yet happy with how the grout and/or adhesive has been cleaned from each little tile - is it unreasonable for me to expect the contractor to do that? It can be done - I've taken a non scratch pad and done a few small sections - but it is tedious. And I really want a great sealant on the grout, and am not sure what that would be (it is un-sanded) or whether I trust them to do it.
But I love the mosaic and achieved what I hoped with it being textural and not too busy. Once my glass comes in I should be ready to post a full reveal, though I'm nervous about the lack of comment on the picture I posted above!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 5:41PM
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It's a big no no to leave "grout haze". The tile setter should have cleaned that immediately. I'd get the contractor on the case ASAP.

Grout really doesn't need to be sealed but can be. As I recall you have an exotic blend( can't recall). So I'd check first to be sure it will take sealer and not change color etc.

Was not sure that was the install as it looks like a different color. Must be the lighting LOL

My grout is large and old now (11) and I maybe have wiped off tomato sauce spatters 5 times. No biggie.

This post was edited by rococogurl on Thu, Oct 31, 13 at 8:49

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 8:59PM
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Thank you, Rococogurl. Yes, my blend is glass, frosted glass, marble, and mother of pearl. I'm a messy cook, and would really like to know the grout and marble are protected from staining (the glass and mop will be fine).

The lighting does make a difference, even more so IRL. And the picture above is the opposite wall from the one with the angle about which I was concerned (and turned out completely fine).

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 10:49PM
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I, too, have been experimenting with LED lighting. I have ordered all kinds of single bulbs from Amazon with different color (K) and wattage. It does make a difference in the color of my tile!
I have purchased StoneTech BPSS12-32 BulletProof Stone Sealer from Amazon, but have been motivated to apply it yet. I called the company and then said it would not change the color of the grout. It would look wet, but would dry to the original color. I would test whatever you decide to use. I wouldn't seal anything until the tile is all cleaned up. You may want to check with the John Bridges forum to see if they have any suggestions to safely expedite the cleaning process.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 11:05PM
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Annalyn, are you also going for a cooler tone? Could you please share the coolest of the Amazon bulbs you've tried?
I think I'm going to hold the contractor responsible for cleaning, and then probably go with bulletproof too. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 1:10PM
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This is the coolest one I have purchased (it is not dimmable) 5000k.
It is very, very cool. It turned my white woodwork a blue/white and my tiles almost a violet gray. I thought I wanted the coolest white, but I am not sure now.
I think this is my favorite (it is dimmable) 3000k.
It is bright, but doesn't feel artificially bright.
I purchased some extra 2700K today on sale at Costco. I may use them in my dining area, where I would prefer a slightly warmer feel.
I was really surprised at the difference the lighting made.

This post was edited by annalyn123 on Fri, Nov 1, 13 at 0:11

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 11:21PM
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Kksmama, I love your kitchen. Your backsplash looks like perfection. It reads very soft & elegant and is perfect with your countertops and all your other elements. I remember when you were posting about knobs versus pulls. I like the vertical pulls on your uppers (I suggested knobs, I was wrong). Love your hood. Love your pendants. Love your stools...definitely worth that long drive.
What wood species is your floor? It's beautiful.
I can't help you one bit with the LED lighting but obsessing has definitely paid off. You've pulled it all together just perfectly. I've obsessed. i hope my kitchen comes "together" like yours has.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 12:00AM
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Thank-you, Annalyn! It really helps to have those links and to know that I could go too far with the cool white. It reminds me that when we painted the ceiling we started with "ceiling white" which was shockingly bright and clinical and had to be toned down.

Romy718, I'm embarrassed to admit how many times I've just re-read your post! I'm not usually a needy, approval-seeking person...but I really, really needed that, thank you! My family members have all said they love the kitchen, but A) of course they would say that and B) they don't really know what kitchen love is; I think only a GWer can understand.

The floors are Sapele, engineered by Lauzon. I obsessed over choosing them many years ago, then chose the same species and extended the wood into the bedrooms and office after a water disaster six years ago, and had them patched after this remodel. I still love them, though if I had to replace again right now I might choose something a little cooler. I'd definitely consider cork.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 2:44AM
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You might like the new GE Reveal LED 60-watt equivalent - only 2850K but somehow looks more like 3500 because it removes the yellow tinge in a way that doesn't affect the official number. Also these are 90 CRI so good color rendering.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 5:30AM
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Are there also ceiling recessed lights in this kitchen?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 5:33AM
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Thank you, lee676, I'll check those out. I really appreciate hearing about CRI from you and Smiling.
There are recessed cans, original to the house but some were repositioned. I just changed to Feit LED bulbs from Costco and had to add a dimmer, my intention is not to use them much but to have them as a layer of light when needed. I have no idea how warm or cool they are; I'm glad you asked and will hope to find the same package next time I go to the warehouse and write the info down for future reference.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 8:04AM
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Kksmama, those floors are gorgeous and warm up your kitchen which is a goal of most of us doing "the white kitchen". Love the color variations in the wood and the plank width.
I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of your kitchen. Your range wall is so pretty. I just love the hood.
I totally agree about the obsessing factor. There were some things I didn't know I needed to obsess about & those things are my TKO regets.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:15AM
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Bummer. I finally made it to Home Depot, and brought home Cree daylight led 60watt equivalent 5000k temperature bulbs. FAIL. I really like cool, even bluish light - but have no use for these. They are harsh and awful in my pendants and I didn't even like them in my outdoor fixtures on the driveway. Back to the store tomorrow...

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:38PM
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If you have a chance to try those 5000K bulbs on a dimmer before you return them, I'd be very grateful for your comments and observations about what happens to them color wise as they dim. Thanks if you get to try it.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:35PM
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I did try them on the dimmer, Smiling, and it was still awful. Blue and piercing, which I wouldn't have thought possible. It was not a "hmmm, maybe this isn't ideal" reaction from anyone in my family, we all went "Eek!". I'm really surprised, because I generally like blue and would've thought that "too blue" was in the category of unicorns and "too much garlic", true for some people, maybe, but not me.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 7:05AM
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And now another thought on this (overthink, much?)!
I've been thinking about my requirements: dimmable, white light and a bulb that doesn't look either yellow or blue. And once I learned about CRI, well, I thought I wanted a high one. But this morning I realized that I actually prefer for red to be reduced, because I have a lot of it in my floors, and I don't care for the few, slightly pink areas in my granite. I know I read about, and dismissed, some bulbs that have lower CRI because they take out red tones....now I just have to re-read and find them.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 11:58AM
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HD sells the GE Reveal LED 60 i mentioned upthread, may want to try. for the hanging lights. For the overhead cans, as long as they're not on a highly sloped ceiling, the Cree CR6 TrueWhite in 3500K color or so (3000K and 4000K are also available) should work well, These have 90 CRI (avoid the lower-CRI "full definition" or "high definition" cheapies). Color temps other than 2700K and 5000K are only available from Cree resellers, not Home Depot under their "EcoSmart" brand, and are priced somewhat higher.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 1:18PM
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I had very good luck with Lowe's Utilitech (made by Feit) Par 38 dimmable LEDs. The color temp is 3000K and it is very good light. We are on a wooded lot and also have mutable colors so finding the right bulbs has not been easy.

Our HD does not yet have the Reveal LEDs. It will be interesting to see how those work eventually as there was a coating in the incandescents that kept them from going too candlelight though they were slightly red.

I found the Utilitech to have bright and clear white light. But we are in the Northeast and those bulbs can look different in different parts of the country and in concert with the paint color.

This lighting tech transition has not made this easy.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 4:54PM
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