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Old Mar 19th, 08, 7:48 pm   #1
cibula11
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Under Cabinet Lighting

As far as under cabinet lighting goes, what is the best option. Hardwire or low voltage? Since my backsplash and old cabinets are all going, it would make sense to do hardwired if that's the best option. I guess I don't want my lighting to look like a hack job. I would prefer it on a wall switch.

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Old Mar 19th, 08, 9:05 pm  
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Re: Under Cabinet Lighting

mine are hardwired and low profile fluorescent lights - they are all controlled by a single switch - I also used IKEA's decostrip at te bottom of the cabinets to help hide the light fixtures ...

Doreen

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Old Mar 19th, 08, 9:13 pm  
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Re: Under Cabinet Lighting

Does the deco strip work on all cabinets? How many lights to you have? My kitchen is large and spread out. I didn't know how many I should use, or if puck lights would be better?

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Old Mar 19th, 08, 9:26 pm  
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Re: Under Cabinet Lighting

decostrip is avail for all of the IKEA Kitchen door styles - you cut it to size ...
I basically have all the space covered under my cabinets with lighting (pretty close anyway ... there are a few gaps - primarily in the corner ... I have nice even light on my backsplash and countertop.

You'll probably want to go to a lighting store and see the different types of lights available and look at what type of light they cast - they might help you with a lighting plan.

Doreen

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Old Mar 21st, 08, 2:52 pm  
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Re: Under Cabinet Lighting

If you are starting from scratch, definitely go hard-wired. There are pros and cons to each type of lighting, so it's hard to say which one to pick. The color temperature (basically the color of the light) is so different for each source that the best way to decide is go to a lighting store and see what colors you like. Also, with many people trying to go "green", the florescent and LED options are pretty good.

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Old Mar 21st, 08, 10:56 pm  
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Re: Under Cabinet Lighting

Just to clarify, hardwired lights can be either line voltage or low voltage, the difference being low voltage has a transformer, line voltage does not. Hardwire and low voltage are not mutually exclusive.
And you def. need them to be hardwired if you want them on a wall switch.

I have halogen in my kitchen and xenon in my pantry. People say they can tell the difference between the two but AFIAC, there isn't any. The light is great, but they put off quite a bit of heat which I think is a big negative particularly if you're putting them under food storage cabinets.

LED were not really available when I did my kitchen, but I def. think that's the way to go. No heat, low energy consumption, decent light color and long life.

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Old Mar 22nd, 08, 6:49 am  
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Re: Under Cabinet Lighting

As splatgirl mentioned, hardwire can have low voltage lights. Do this - any kind of outlet solution is clunky - I'm not terribly happy with my IKEA undercab lights (the stainless strip style), mainly because I have to keep switching them on & off. I've got wire I could pretty easily run, but I'm waiting to look at LEDs... and the ones I have are working, so I'm in no rush to replace them...

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Old Mar 22nd, 08, 8:18 pm  
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Re: Under Cabinet Lighting

Anybody have a good site or can describe the basics of low voltage hardwire? I have an outlet inside a base cabinet that is not used for anything that I would like to tap into for some power. Just not sure exactly how I can make it look without unsightly wires. My kitchen is large and I would like lighting under all cabinets or all sections anyway. Pics are in my gallery of the layout.

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Old Mar 23rd, 08, 9:30 am  
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Re: Under Cabinet Lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by cibula11 View Post
Anybody have a good site or can describe the basics of low voltage hardwire? I have an outlet inside a base cabinet that is not used for anything that I would like to tap into for some power. Just not sure exactly how I can make it look without unsightly wires. My kitchen is large and I would like lighting under all cabinets or all sections anyway. Pics are in my gallery of the layout.
Just a very simple rundown. I tried a quick google search, but didn't find anything quick that was good. Regular "line" voltage in houses is 120 volts, AC (alternating current). However, low-voltage lights run on something like 12 volts DC (direct current) which is like a car. The biggest thing that a DIY installer will notice is that instead of just plugging in the light to a receptacle, you will have a transformer (usually a box about the size of two decks of cards. The transformer takes the power from the outlet and converts it to the lower DC voltage for use by the lights.

That's a decent summation of the electrical aspects, however someone else will have to chime in about the practical aspects as I've not really installed any.

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Old Mar 24th, 08, 7:10 pm  
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Re: Under Cabinet Lighting

Yeah I know that low voltage need a transformer, but I was just wondering if anyone had good advice on which is better or maybe which is more often used in newer homes. I don't want to put something in my newly remodeled kitchen that is 10-15 years old if there is something better available.

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