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Thread: Best undercabinet lighting

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member ingeborgdot's Avatar
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    Default Best undercabinet lighting

    Could someone steer me in the right direction to some good under cabinet puck lighting. Probably want Xenon or LED and not halogen because of heat. Where can I find it? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Xenon is likely going to be as hot as a halogen, and is filled with that noble gas, rather than one of the others typically used in a halogen lamp.

    LED is more efficient, but you must be careful about color temperature...finding one that is not going to look blue is harder.

    Had you considered a mini track? You can choose various fixtures for those with various lamps. Cheaper when it comes time to replace the bulb, and some of them are rated at upwards of 10K hours. This is what I have, and have it on a dimmer. Leave it on most evenings at a low level so foraging in the kitchen is easy, but doesn't use much electricity. The bulbs last longer when not at full bright, too. Going on 8-years, and have one bulb that needs to be replaced out of 10 or so. I think I bougtht a few extra, but not sure where they are, so I'll need to probably buy some new ones. It's easier to space them to get the lighting you want, too, since you can move them anywhere along the track. You can use different lamp holders, too, to highlight something as well, if desired. The track I have with the small lamp holders fits entirely within the lip of the upper cabinets, so unless you are sitting down, you don't see the individual lamps.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

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    Yeah, I can confirm Xenon runs as hot as halogen - thats what I have in my kitchen. Not puck lights though - strips of lights in various lengths. Bulb life is not impressive and are pricey unless you buy the multipacks. The light is of high quality though.

    I'm not impressed with LED lighting - at least as far as the kitchen goes. If you want to go that way DO NOT buy anything that you haven't seen first hand and determined its brightness and color rendering will be suitable for your needs.

    I'm also not a fan of puck lights as I prefer even illumination across as much of the counter as I can get. (It makes it easier to see what the food looks like before I burn it to a crisp Consider seeing if your local electrical lighting/ supply house has anything decent in the way of strip lights in various lengths. I've seen halogen, xenon, fluorescent and led in this type of packaging. The track lighting jadnashua is talking about is also a good option. I believe the bulbs are incandescent and if it is the setup I'm thinking of it is low voltage and also requires a transformer.

    -rick

  4. #4
    DIY Member Ford2001's Avatar
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    I like the, "Prgress Lighting", "HIDE*A*Lite",

    It uses Xenon lamps that last 10,000 hours
    Xenon gas is under low pressure which provides and added measuere of
    safety.
    No damaging UV rays
    Low Heat
    Lamp is not affected when installed with bare hands.
    Eash Lampholder utlizes two 5 watt Xenon lamps


    You somethings that looks like lamp cord, which is #18AWG 7-strand copper
    conductor. The lamps plug into this.

    www.progresslighting.com

    Didn't mean to come sounding like a saleman, I'm not. I just like the
    product.

  5. #5
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drick View Post
    Yeah, I can confirm Xenon runs as hot as halogen - thats what I have in my kitchen. Not puck lights though - strips of lights in various lengths. Bulb life is not impressive and are pricey unless you buy the multipacks. The light is of high quality though.

    I'm not impressed with LED lighting - at least as far as the kitchen goes. If you want to go that way DO NOT buy anything that you haven't seen first hand and determined its brightness and color rendering will be suitable for your needs.

    I'm also not a fan of puck lights as I prefer even illumination across as much of the counter as I can get. (It makes it easier to see what the food looks like before I burn it to a crisp Consider seeing if your local electrical lighting/ supply house has anything decent in the way of strip lights in various lengths. I've seen halogen, xenon, fluorescent and led in this type of packaging. The track lighting jadnashua is talking about is also a good option. I believe the bulbs are incandescent and if it is the setup I'm thinking of it is low voltage and also requires a transformer.

    -rick
    CHEAP LED lighting sucks, (and may not be more efficient than low-wattage halogens!) But there are mo'betta versions coming out every quarter. If you find the right one it'll cost a bunch but outlast the house and run cooler than the xenon & halogen alternatives.

    For food, you want a color temp of 3000K or less (lots of reds make the food look reasonable), with a color rendering index of 80 or higher. Most of the cheapest (and many of the highest efficiency) versions are bluer sky-blue 5000-7000K, with ~60-ish CRIs- looks like crap.

    I agree, strips only, if going LED. Puck lights aren't great task lighting- they cast sharp shadows over your work and are less useful than more diffuse strip lighting.

    Better yet, electronic ballasted T5 fluorescents have twice the light per watt of even the very best warm color-temp LEDs, (about the same output per watta as ugly high efficiency blue LEDs), have none of the shadowing issues, with a wide color/quality range of tubes available. The key to making them go from OK to really good is the color & quality of the tube, and mounting the fixture as far over the counter as you can, directed toward the wall, not the room. That way the backscatter off the wall fills in the already minimal shadows evenly, and there's no glare-factor to deal with. (Most people mount them at the back, facing the room, which adds glare and casts longer shadows- it's better than puck, but it's still WAY sub-optimal.)

    On polished countertops even the glare of point sources like pucks or even strip LEDs off the counter can be significant. They may look great in House Beautiful photo layouts (OOH, sparkly!), but aren't very effective as countertop task lighting. Decent quality fluorescent fixtures & tubes (not bottom of the line box store goods) are worth seeking out, and aren't all that expensive.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member chefwong's Avatar
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    I personally like the Juno Trac 12 series

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