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Old 10-10-2011, 12:52 PM   #1
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under and in cabinet lighting

I am currently in the process of redoing my whole kitchen. Cabinets, countertop, applicances, floors. etc etc. my wall cabinets some will have glass doors. That is where i want to do in cabinet lighting for accent. and i also want to go with under cabinet lighting as well for accent.

I rather not have it plugged into an outlet and would rather them be hardwired. I have a soffit where my wall cabinets will butt into so i cant use that space since i wont have space above my cabinet. any recommendations on how to run the wire? on the left i have one outlet and a switch which powers my light above my since. then i have another outlet on the other side of the counter on the right side. then the regular fridge outlet. I dont mind opening up walls and doing electrical to get these hardwired. but i wanted to know how you recommend it being done. any tips? run wires behind the cabinet? thru walls? which cabinets lights should i use? thanks everyone


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Old 10-10-2011, 01:25 PM   #2
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I had gallery clients for a long time and cabinet lighting was always tricky. I am not sure you can see as I would like but see if the lighting on the far wall is close to what you are hoping to achieve?


The cabinets are lit with hardwired halogen strips with "capsule" bulbs that run along the top and bottom front edges. The color is nice. There is a martial arts studio upstairs and they tend to get rocked out of place regularly.

They also burn very hot so while great for lighting glass, ceramics and so forth? You probably don't want to be sticking a box of cheerios near them. In fact whatever in cabinet lights you pick? Make sure you consider the heat load and what it might do to stored food.

Same problem with most undercabinet halogen lights. Even with heat absorbing glass you can burn a knuckle if you hit one without thinking.

Sadly the next best stuff tends to be florescent with terrible color rendering index ratings. The new promising kid on the block is LED and the color rendering and the available Kelvin base colors are getting better. It is still expensive and does not give off the lumens you might want for undercabinet work lighting. It works great for accent lighting though and you can wire it for low voltage operation. You may not, in theory, ever have to replace an LED bulb array. LED is cool---literally. It's very hard to even think of burning your self with an LED bulb. Other fibreoptic and rope lighting options are out there.

As for wiring? I will defer to electricians for specifics but lighting for interiors of cabinets or underneath them works just like any other. I usually spec they be put on a separate circuit but admit this might be overkill. You need to box the entry to the track or fixture and why not put a switch on it? I would hardwire and not plug it into an outlet. Hide the box for interior cabinets somewhere not seen.

Bad news? You are not going to find the options I think you want at a box store. You should visit a real lighting store for your best options. Prices between the two will probably not be even close but at the lighting store you will get what you want, it will last until you grow tired of it.

Do think about low voltage accent lighting if that is all you want. You will have to hide the transformer somewhere though. You will save some on energy consumption. And it is safer in kitchens. Few have died yet encountering a kitchen floor in a barefeet and becoming ground for a 12V lighting system.


Last edited by user1007; 10-10-2011 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:04 PM   #3
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i installed switched outlets in 1 inch deep boxes under the cabinets for the under cabinets lights when i redid our kitchen. we found a great place for led under cabinet lighting. very reasonable. we ended up buying one of the packages and ended up with 3 spare lights. these were cheaper then any other under cabinet lights we looked at.


the 9 led lights are 119.00 for 10 and the 21 led panels are 149.00 for package of 10 lights.
the have other packages and lights also.

Last edited by DannyT; 10-10-2011 at 10:07 PM.
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