Speaking of LED lights....

Posted by: RickF

Speaking of LED lights.... - 12/07/11 06:18 PM

Are any of you using LED under counter kitchen lights? We've had halogen puck lights for a couple of years and I am really beginning to despise those things, they run hot as blue blazes and are always burning out ... a couple of nights ago one of the bulbs exploded inside of the puck housing, my wife and I both heard the pop whenever we were in two different rooms of the house.

I want to use LED under counter lighting that is hard wired and dimmable, have been casually looking for a while and haven't found exactly what I like. Now I want to get a little more aggressive with my search before these halogens burn the house down!
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 12/07/11 07:56 PM

You should pick up what I am using for my "rope lighting" in my home theater. 16.4 feet (5 meters) of color changing lights. Just need to hide the power supply and control unit. You can cut the strip every 3-4 LEDs (I don't remember) and then run some small wires to the next "piece" under the next cabinet. Comes with a remote. It is only something like $32 for the whole thing, and others have tested that you can add another full 16.4 feet to the end of one set using the same power supply, etc...

It is cheap, but a bit of work to get done. Then you could have it on white, or some other color that compliments your decor or mood. Fully dimmable too (via the remote)...

Again, it *could* be cool to do, but would take a bit of work to solder the wires and run everything.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 12/07/11 11:09 PM

Rick, I bought a set from Inspired LED on Amazon. I haven't mounted them yet (yes, we have no kitchen cabinets at the moment!), but I tried them out when they came in and I was impressed. They weren't super bright, but I like the color temperature and the price is fantastic. These aren't hard-wired though.

I bought a Utilitech Pro 0102996 27 inch unit with 8 1.3 watt LEDs (for the life of me, I can't find any info at Lowes site or in a general Google search). It's also a plug-in and the only think I might be able to fault it for it's that it's REALLY bright! I didn't buy it for the kitchen, though, but rather a use in my office, so I'm OK with that. I didn't need more heat in the office or to draw more juice. I have problems with those two things already.

If you want to send me a plane ticket, I'll bring it down there and show it to you in January or February....since I can't find info on the web....
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 12/08/11 01:29 AM

Good timing for this thread, I am looking for the same thing for my parents kitchen. I am hoping to find some LED strips that require no transformer/wall wart. I have 110V under the cabinets and do not want to install another receptacle just for these lights.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/21/12 10:55 AM

Rick,

I'm actually working on this now. If you are looking for "cheap", don't bother with this stuff, because it is not. I am not about to buy yet another friggin halogen puck light though.

I have a 25' roll of tape backed LED lighting. I just need to pick up some termination adaptors and a couple transformers. What I found most helpful were the videos on this stuff at Elemental LED. They have numerous videos on You Tube. From what I have been told by a cabinet maker, the quality of stuff they sell is very good as well (Mostly from Japan, and not China). http://www.elementalled.com/

Your options are pretty limitless with this stuff. Different colors, dimmable, water proof... It goes on and on.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/21/12 09:23 PM

Mike, we actually just had the LED tape lighting installed by an electrician just within the past few weeks, we did the den with non-dimmable lights and had dimmable lights installed under the kitchen counters.

The den lights...



And the kitchen...


They are relatively expensive, seems like ours were something like a little over $800 for the kitchen and den but well worth the expense we feel.
Posted by: merchman

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/21/12 09:43 PM

Looks great, Rick!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/22/12 11:21 AM

That's really weird.... I didn't notice the date on the post I responded to until just now. For some odd reason, it was on the first page of posts, which is why I responded.

The lights look great though Rick. What color temp did you go with? The lights I have are warm white, and I'm wondering if I should give them a go or send them back.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/22/12 02:29 PM

Thanks Ed and Mike, we are really digging the lights, I believe the electrician said all of the lights in the kitchen are less than 9 watts total. Mike I wasn't here whenever they were installed but my wife say's these are 'cool white', we did have two cabinets in the kitchen that had brighter white lights installed mistakenly and we didn't like the color, they were a very artificial whiter light and they just didn't look natural.

Here's the connectors for the strips...



Placement under the cabinet is something you'll need to keep in mind also, the kitchen and den lights didn't come in the same shipment so the electrician installed the den lights and came back a week later to do the kitchen whenever those lights came in. Whenever he first installed the den lights he taped them along the inside front leading edge of the cabinet and it created a shadow line on the cabinet top so whenever he came back the second time we had him move the lights back towards the middle of the cabinet. The first picture shows how much he moved them back.




Here's a couple of pics of the transformer and junction box the electrician used...



Posted by: INANE

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/23/12 12:35 AM

wow that is pricey but looks terrific!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/23/12 11:43 AM

Originally Posted By: RickF
Mike I wasn't here whenever they were installed but my wife say's these are 'cool white', we did have two cabinets in the kitchen that had brighter white lights installed mistakenly and we didn't like the color, they were a very artificial whiter light and they just didn't look natural.


I'm a bit confused Rick... 4300K is pure, white light. The terms "warm" and "cool" are relative the light spectrum. Warm is lower on the scale, given the light a yellow tint. When you move above 4300K, it is considered cool, with a tint of blue. For example, if you've ever been blinded by one of those dumbasses that swap out their headlights with irritating blue and purple HID headlights, those would be considered "cool white". Yellow fog lights on the other hand would be considered "warm white". 12V halogens are typically very close to 4300K.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/23/12 12:51 PM

I see 4300K as being too orange. It's better than incandescent, but to look "white" to me I need in the 6000K range.

If you look at the CIE 1931 x,y chromaticity space, there is no pure white. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/ba/PlanckianLocus.png A theoretical black body heated to various temps just arcs from red to blue.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/23/12 03:19 PM

Randy- in photography, only 5200K and above is typically considered daylight.... with tungsten at 3200K.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/23/12 04:13 PM

I don't know what to think now.... When you buy bulbs for a vehicle, 4300K is white. Anything above that and you start getting a blue tint. When calibrating a display, you shoot for 6500K to a neutral white. Maybe there are different standards for different applications?
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/23/12 04:23 PM

There are definitely different standards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_illuminant

The eye white balances pretty easily. If the majority of the headlights are 4300K, then anything above that will look blue. But if all majority of the headlights were 6500K, then the few 4300K bulbs would look orange, and the former would appear white.

All the lights in my apartment are 5900K CFLs with a CRI of at least 94, everything looks nice and white when I'm inside. But when I'm outside at night, under sodium vapor street lights my apartment looks like it has blue bulbs.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/23/12 04:23 PM

Michael, whenever I get home later I'll try to find out exactly what lights we do have and I'll let you know. The pictures do make the lights appear yellowish, but in reality they are not.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/23/12 04:37 PM

If you sit a piece of white paper down, and let the LEDs be the only light source, then you take a picture of the paper with the lights in the frame, and white balance on the paper, the lights will look white. (That'll also tell you the approximate color temp of the lights.)

Your eyes do the same thing, if the primary light is coming from the LED strips they'll look white. And if they match the rest of the lights around you'll still think they look white. What I'm getting at is when you have a mixed light source, the dominate color will appear white, and the others will look blue or red shifted.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/23/12 05:20 PM

Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
The eye white balances pretty easily.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. All you need to prove to yourself that you eye quickly adjusts for white balance is to wear tinted sunglasses or ski goggles. When you first put them on, the effect is a little jarring, but you quickly adjust. Then, when you take them off, all whites look way off for a bit. The effect is very pronounced when there's a lot of snow.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/23/12 06:47 PM

When I installed my first HID's in one of my rigs, I was told to go with 6000K, and that they were the "brightest". I hated the damn things. They turned the snow on the road blue, hid black ice and gave me a friggin headache. I then moved to 4300K and everything looked clear, no blue or yellow tint whatsoever.

Rick - that would be much appreciated. I need to order some more lights, and if these warm whites that I have now are too yellow, I'll send them back and get cool white. The only reason I bought the warm white was because the cabinet maker I spoke to told me the warm white looked more natural and the cool white were pretty bright and better suited for task lights, verse ambient / accent.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/23/12 07:47 PM

Mike my wife said I didn't listen to her, say's I never listen to her ... said she told me our lights are 'soft white' rather then 'cool white', it was either cool white or bright white that was mistakenly installed on two of the kitchen cabinets that neither her or myself liked, even the electrician and our contractor said they looked too artificial, not a ton difference but a difference.

I looked for some numbers on the lights and could not find anything that would indicate a color code or color reference so as far as exactly what they are I really can't tell you, sorry. If I get a chance within the next couple of days I'll call the electrician and get some information, whenever he told us about them he just said the lights we got is what he installs on 90% of the homes he does. I do know that he ordered the lights from a company in California though.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/23/12 08:57 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d
I don't know what to think now.... When you buy bulbs for a vehicle, 4300K is white. Anything above that and you start getting a blue tint. When calibrating a display, you shoot for 6500K to a neutral white. Maybe there are different standards for different applications?

6500 K is the color temperature of sunlight (daylight at noon?). That is why you calibrate to it. The other thing to look at is CRI (color rendition index I think). 100 would equal exactly the same spectral distribution as the sun. Anything over 90 is acceptable, over 95 is very good.

4300k would be warm white. I think incandescent bulbs are lower than that. I personally can't stand incandescents and have switched over to daylight CFs. I'll make the switch to LED soon. There seem to be more and more options available.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/24/12 12:10 AM

Originally Posted By: michael_d
When I installed my first HID's in one of my rigs, I was told to go with 6000K, and that they were the "brightest". I hated the damn things. They turned the snow on the road blue, hid black ice and gave me a friggin headache. I then moved to 4300K and everything looked clear, no blue or yellow tint whatsoever.

There is something to that. Water tends to scatter bluer light, while redder cuts through it. My RX-8 has Xeon bulbs, and I love how bright they look, but I'm in the process of swapping out the "white" fog lights for multi-tint, that are designed to actually cut through the fog (go figure) and rain.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/24/12 05:21 AM

Hey Mike, here's a pic that is more of a true representation of the light that is thrown off by our lights...


Posted by: michael_d

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 04/24/12 10:50 AM

Thanks Rick. I do like the light color you have there.

Chris - I have 3000K HID for fogs. They are way yellow. So much so, I can't stand them. They do however work quite well when I need them. I think something in between 4300 and 3000 would be a bit better though, as the 3000K just aren't bright enough.

Fred - thanks for the explanation. That makes sense to me.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Speaking of LED lights.... - 05/14/12 01:23 AM

I installed 4300k HID for low beams as well as a set of 4300k fogs on the Acura. They are both bright white. Makes it much easier for an old guy like me to drive at night on our mountain roads since we typically don't have street lights.