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  #1  
Old 03-23-2008, 08:25 PM
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Under Cabinet Lighting

Any lighting designers out there?

I'm looking for a suggestion and source for good under cabinet lighting. I started with low profile flourescents years ago (and always hated the hum and color), then switched to halogens a couple of years ago. The halogens are cheap Chinese products from the Lowes. They are bright, but I go through bulbs (@ $4.99 each) like there's no tomorrow. (And I'm careful to always wear gloves while handling the bulbs so skin oil is not the root cause of frequent bulb failure.) And the puck fixtures are fragile. I've replaced the fixtures twice and I still couldn't keep them working.

Today I pulled out the pucks and installed 120 V LED rope light. I have to say I'm very disappointed with the light output. They are OK for accent lighting, but they can't hold a (foot) candle to the halogens in terms of brightness. These will not work for task lighting.

I would be happy with halogen pucks if I could find good quality versions and if the bulbs lasted a year or so each.

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Old 03-23-2008, 08:41 PM
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We use the puck lights at the cabinet shop I work at. I'll ask tomorrow where they get them. As for fragility, we install them in false floors, and I haven't heard of any complaints with them.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:51 PM
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They burn out quickly because of the vibration of opening and closing cabinet doors. Compact fluorescent bulbs will work best.

not kidding.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:57 PM
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I just finished re-building the entire kitchen and I'm using the following:

For lighting the island. Halogen, 35 watts per element. Lasted 2 years so far...



For counter task lighting. Compact flourescents in eyeball fixtures. Not as bright as I would like but not too bad either. 20 watts each.



I'm also using this electronic flourescent for accent lighting but I think it would make the best under cabinet fixture. It's 27 watts and it's dead quiet.



All of it came from Lowes or Home Depot...
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:12 PM
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Key words here "under cabinet"
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:26 PM
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I was just suggesting alternatives to light the same area as "under cabinet"...
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:44 PM
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I pretty much specialize in installing kitchens. I don't care for the puck style in line or low voltage. Pucks tend to throw a crescent shaped light pattern on the backsplash wall. Don't like fluorescent as its too blue. The best light is known as a strip light. Looks like a rectangular box with lengthwise lens. Operate on line voltage and come in standard lengths, 10", 15", etc. They are made in halogen which is a nice light color but the fixtures get quite hot. Sometimes hot enough to warm the contents in the cabinetry its attached to. I recommend the same style lighting with Xenon bulbs. Much much cooler operation. They usually have a high and low output setting. I don't care for Home Creepo or Lowes product for this stuff. Try a real electrical supply shop. The quality will be better. RT
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwthomas1 View Post
I recommend the same style lighting with Xenon bulbs. Much much cooler operation. They usually have a high and low output setting. I don't care for Home Creepo or Lowes product for this stuff. Try a real electrical supply shop. The quality will be better. RT
They are big though. Much harder to hide, even with a false floor.
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:20 PM
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If you want longevity go with LED pucks.
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:45 PM
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Working in the lighting department at Lowe's, I can say there are a few fixtures I would stay away from, after seeing lots of them come back, or after putting one together. The puck lights I have heard no complaints about, although the vendor has changed recently on them, so they are constructed differently. Certain fixtures tend to blow through bulbs faster than others as well. I know some fixtures, the bulbs are harder to find as well...
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:35 PM
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Thanks everyone. Good info. I think I'll look for the Xenon strip lights or good quality electronic flourescents.

Anyone have a good online source?
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:51 PM
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You can replace them with 5000K color corrected floresant blubs. They are the color of daylight. One company brand is Macbeth, or GTI.
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  #13  
Old 03-24-2008, 07:42 PM
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We get our lights from Baer http://www.baersupply.com/accommodations/our_businesses.jsp

Also, there are cabinet soft close additions you can put on your cabinets so you can't slam the door.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankdriver View Post
They are big though. Much harder to hide, even with a false floor.
You are correct. The strip lights usually are 1" thick and so just tuck up under the cabinetry. The higher end jobs get the nice veneered panel that hides everything with the light areas cut out. Otherwise I recommend a light rail molding to better cover the fixtures. I don't really consider the exposed fixtures too big a deal. Not many people really notice them since you cannot see them unless you are sitting at table in the same room. Even then, they get lost in the clutter of a "lived in" kitchen. If the customer wants it, the customer gets it. RT
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwthomas1 View Post
You are correct. The strip lights usually are 1" thick and so just tuck up under the cabinetry. The higher end jobs get the nice veneered panel that hides everything with the light areas cut out. Otherwise I recommend a light rail molding to better cover the fixtures.
Yeah. We usually make the false floors. One of our last customers got the strip lights, and we basically ended up cutting out 80% of the panel just for the light. Not sure if it was worth the extra $$.
I definitely like the xenons, the cooler temps are a big difference. I like the lights hidden myself, but like you said, the customer gets what the customer wants.

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