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Old 03-16-2009, 12:19 AM   #1
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


I am the process of installing several 12 volt 20 watt Halogen ~3" diameter puck lights under my new kitchen upper cabinets to provide illumination to the countertop areas.

The light looks great - however they operate very warmly. If you hold your hand to the inside of the cabinet directly above the light puck - it's noticably very warm.
  1. Is this a problem - something to be concerned about - from a safety and/or damage to the cabinet perspective?
  2. Is there a way to place a piece of thermal material under the light to reduce the amount of heat transfered to the cabinet?
thx!
Vince

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Old 03-16-2009, 05:58 AM   #2
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


Halogens do run very hot. I would hope that the puck manufacturers took this into consideration and added some insulation. If not, don't install them. Do they have a UL sticker???

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Old 03-16-2009, 06:12 AM   #3
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


Someone selected the wrong lights for the application. Use either Florescent or Xenon or LED lights for less heat.
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:18 AM   #4
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
Someone selected the wrong lights for the application. Use either Florescent or Xenon or LED lights for less heat.

Ditto!

That said I have seen a vented spacer used to allow air movement between the surface and the fixture. Personally I'd use something else.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:39 AM   #5
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


Halogen lights are hot & will burn you in most cases if you touch the bulb. I had (2) 20w halogen & switched to 3 LED - a total of 4w & no heat. Better light too - brighter & more white/blue
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


  • Yes, the lights are UL rated
  • I would like to make them work if possible, as I don't have a return option
  • Maybe some type a heat shield - suggestions?
  • If I have to do a do-over, low voltage LED appear the way to go - all I have seen are pretty pricy, anybody have suggestions?
Thx!
Vince
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Old 03-16-2009, 03:30 PM   #7
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


Drilling holes in the cabinet floor will give you some convection cooling.

I put a small flourescent ballast [2"x2"x1"] in series with my lights to reduce the possibility of eye damage due to UV and lengthen bulb lifetime.
It happened to have just enough impedance to work.

The trend seems to be having lamps of zero size but of infinite brightness; maybe using LEDs will get us away from this nonsense.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 03-16-2009 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 03-16-2009, 03:59 PM   #8
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


A relative of mine almost had a fire with a 3-bulb halogen light fixture over a sink- the fixture was made by GE but I personally think halogen lighting fixtures should be installed with a significant space beneath them for air flow- not directly attached to the surface which this one was as the directions suggested.
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:53 PM   #9
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


I think I paid $27 for the 3 LED puck lights
Well worth it
I'll never install halogens agonm, way too hot
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:34 PM   #10
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


I had a responce from Hera technical support. Being UL approved means the surface will be be exposed to over 90C temp - not enough to burn, but can cause discoloration on some cabinet finishes. An option is to place a metal plate between the light and the wood to disipate some of the heat.

I may try the metal plate, but as suggested LED would be the way to go.

Scuba_dave - do you remember where your LED pucks came from?

Thanks all for the excellent help!
Vince
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:40 PM   #11
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


I bought mine at HD
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:56 PM   #12
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


They also have LED inserts now for the standard incandescent style bulb puck lights. It basically a printed circuit board with a bunch of surface mount LED's with the pin connector found on most bulbs and they plug into the existing pucks. This may be cheaper than replacing the entire system which it sounds like you want to avoid doing anyway. I saw them just the other day at Menards when I was pricing out my system, I don't recall how much they cost because I am looking at using the xenon bulbs which supposedly should run a lot cooler than halogen bulbs.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:45 AM   #13
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


How about spacing them away from the cabinet with some stacked washers?
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:02 AM   #14
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


I picked a few ~5”x7” precut pieces of metal flashing from the roofing department of Lowes (about 50 cents each) – put one under each light as a heat shield and to dissipate the heat – drastically reduced the heat transferred to the cabinet, and the metal does not get hot either.

If I had a do-over I would try LED lights, but this is a workable solution for my situation. The lights look great and provide just the right amount of illumination.

Thanks everyone!
Vince
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:14 AM   #15
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Halogen under-cabinet puck lights - too HOT?


I had a fried buy some of that heat shield fabric that people use for torch soldering. He used a razor and cut circles in it to insert between the light and the underside of the cabinets. Then he used the screw mount method for attaching them.

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