First lighting project

I was hoping to get advice on my first lighting project. My kitchen has existing under cabinet lighting, 12 volt halogen or xenon bulbs, which appear to be just tact directly into a cord. (It looks like a lamp cord -See picture).

My hope is to convert to dimable LED strips (cool white required but color also would be a bonus). I want to be able to control it both at the switches (3 pole) but also via smarttgings hub (CoRE installed) and my phone or Google home.

I have read countless posts and websites but there are so many configurations and options I’m overwhelmed trying to figure out what will work best for me.

I have 5 separate sections of cabinets with a total of 15 feet of lighting. The existing wiring goes into the wall at the top of our backsplash and is connected in the attic. We are in the process of pulling and replacing our backsplash so I thought this might be a good time to do the lighting if I have to re-do the wiring.

I would appreciate any advice on the project or recommendations on products:
Power converter
Wifi controller


The first option I can think of is to go with [RELEASE] SmartLife (H801) RGBW LED Strip Wifi Controller & Bulb the Smartlife RGBW controller and DTH. I haven’t used one, but from what I have seen, you can basically extend all the strips you need by just purchasing some off the shelf RGBW light strips (something like and connecting them together. I’m not good with soldering irons at all, so I haven’t gone that route.

The other option (and one that I went with), is the Sylvania Lightify strips. The nice thing is that they are relatively inexpensive and you could extend them with the additional extension kit. However, you can’t just “wire” them into your existing wiring; You’d have to drop in a gang box and outlet. The plus side to that is… MORE OUTLETS! :wink: The downside is the additional labor. An additional benefit of this approach is that you can have basically a single strip broken into parts and have the wires concealed behind your backsplash.

As for switches, I’m liking the new GE z-wave+ dimmers. I got two last week and they seem to work pretty well. Throw on an add-on switch (for the 3-way wiring) and you are good to go. If you’re unsure about how to do 3-way wiring, there are tons of threads here with HOWTOs.

Welcome! :sunglasses: I’m sure people will have lots of suggestions and ideas for you.

First things first, though: what country are you in? The device options do vary. :canada::uk::us:


Duh. Forgot to ask about country… Wait… you mean there are other countries besides the US? :wink: LOL

I’ll show myself out now. hahaha


Hi @Sdpluth,

If you want to have a cheaper version of smart LED lights, than you may want to check out this video tutorial from one of the community members.

And the follow-up video to complete the project.


Thanks for the quick responses. Your right I should have said I am in the US - California.


Just going to throw this out there but if you don’t want to use wifi, either of these modules will work for you as well.

Thanks for the suggestions -
I’ve added the GE switches to my cart. Anyone tried the Homeseer switches recommended by theWireCutter?

I will probably go with LED strips. Does brand matter LEDENET vs Supernight etc.?

I saw a post on the SmartLife (H801) but I wasn’t sure it would work for my situation? Is it only available through aliexpress?

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Many people applaud the Homeseer switches. Not having used them, I can’t say if they are good or not.

As far as I have tested, the brand doesn’t matter too much in terms of LED strips.

As for the controllers, you can find them all over the place online. Just search for “esp8266 controller”. You could also ask in the SmartLife thread. I found these searching for “wifi RGBW LED controller”:

I meant the specifically the SmartLife (H801) controller that you recommended. When I search for it I only find it on Aliexpress.

Thanks for the suggestion. Is this cheaper than a cheap LED and the H801? Or just cheaper than a Phillips Hue strip and controller?

It is cheaper than Hue
And it can be a fun project if you are a DIY tinckerer.

I would still need a power transformer between the switches and the LEDs right?

If I can get away with one strip (15 ft in 5 segments). That looks like it would be 60w.
Any recommended converters?

I ordered the device and a light strip from Ebay. Not bad. But Tyler on Youtube provided other links for them on Amazon.

I ordered 2xcontrollers; one to be used for a later project and a longer LED strip. But for the price on Amazon. It is cheaper than getting Hue LED strip.

Ok, I’m confused again. Can I use any 60W power converter for this LED strip? If I am using the GE z-wave dimmer switches do I need something specific?

Links appreciated!