Installation of Hybrid Warm/Cool white LED strips in the kitchen -- need some information

We are in the process of remodeling the kitchen and as part of the work, we wanted to start adding Z-Wave controlled switches and undercabinet lighting. But I’m just starting to understand the technology. Can someone help me with how one would set up the following configuration.

  1. We would have two sets of lights – recessed lighting in the ceiling, under cabinet LED light strips.
  2. Both are expected to be dimmable.
  3. For the ceiling lights, we are thinking of keeping them connected to the existing wiring (3-way circuit with traveler wire) so they could be controlled from either end, but we would replace them with Z-Wave dimmable switches (e.g. hs-wd100+ and hs-wa100+, or similar).
  4. For the undercabinet lights, this is where I have the questions.

We have two sides to the kitchen (6’ and 8’ sections) that would have under cabinet LED strips. We don’t need RGB strips but were thinking of the hybrid warm white/cool white strips.

So the question is how do we connect this so that:
a) The two strips are operated together.
b) They can be manually operated and dimmed from either end of the kitchen.
c) We can send on/off, dimming or temperature changing commands via ST (e.g. warm white, cool white or mixture).
d) We could query the state of the lights and their dimming level or the setting for warm or cool white.

Our contractor isn’t very familiar with home automation, so hasn’t been able to answer the questions for us, so I’d thought I’d ask a more knowledgeable community.

Thanks in advance.

Update: This is in the U.S. with 120V circuits.

a) Depending on the amp current draw of the under cabinet lighting you could do this with one controller, the H801 WiFi or the Fibaro controller however worst case you could use two controller’s one on each section. Even though you aren’t using RGB strips these controllers would just use one of the channels for the under cabinet strip.

b) I would recommend having the contractor do his switch wiring power (making sure you have him run neutrals to ALL switch locations . This gives you maximum flexibility for options now and in the future. Are these switch locations for the recessed ceiling lights only? Are you wanting the same locations for controlling the cabinet lighting as well for a total of four switches?

Since you are remodeling I would have the contractor run the lighting power circuit above your cabinets as well in case you ever want to light that area, (unless you have your cabinets running flush to the ceiling?) I say this also to see where you will need to hide the controllers. It is easy to hide the controllers, necessary power supply on top of the cabinets but regardless you need to plan on where these will end up.

c) d) Your controllers will allow you to get this info and control from SmartThings.

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(I’ve moved this to projects so you can get individualized responses based on your specific setup.)

Sounds like a great project! Lots of community members have done something similar, so I’m sure you’ll get several replies.

First question: what country are you in? This is an international board, and the devices available do vary somewhat.

Meanwhile, you might want to take a look at the “kitchen” list in the Project Reports section of the quick browse lists in the community-created wiki. There are several LED strip projects there that might be of interest. :sunglasses:

One thing I did want to mention is that SmartThings allows you to set up a “virtual 3 way” with any two devices it controls where one can “follow” the other without needing physical traveler wires. just wireless communication. And you can add as many devices to the follower group as you like. So that can simplify the project considerably, particularly when it comes to adding an auxiliary switch. In fact the auxiliary can even be battery-operated or a wallmount tablet or WiFi phone if you like. So that’s an area where you’ll find you have a lot of options, including controlling both ceiling lights and strip lights from one switch if you like. :sunglasses:

There are also some switches which can do double and triple tap, again wirelessly, which a lot of people like for zone lighting. So one tap turns on all lights in the room, a double tap turns on just the ceiling lights, and a triple tap turns on just the strips. Or whatever zones you like. This is another popular kitchen option, although it may be less intuitive for visitors than a tablet or labeled multi button switch.


And some people like to put an extra hidden auxiliary button under the counter edge for the strip lights on each side.

edited to update I see @DaleC has already got you started on wiring/controller options, the examples I give above are for auxiliary controls independent of the actual wiring setup. :sunglasses:

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The intent was to make it as transparent as possible to non-techie users (visitors, family, future homebuyers, etc.) To that end I was figuring two pairs of wired 3-way dimmer switches. I can understand how that would work for the ceiling circuit, but not the cabinet circuit.

From what you said, I could power the circuit with a transformer to a controller, then if it allows, connect the 6’ and 8’ sections in parallel to that controller. Or if not, use two controllers.

It also sounds like you are suggesting that the two switches be virtual in the sense that they talk to the ST hub and that sends commands to the controller, rather than directly dimming the circuits.

That seems to make sense. But I’m not sure how the color temperature selection works.

You have a pretty good handle on it. If the 14ft of LED lights are not too much an amp draw for a single controller I would wire up the two sections in parallel on one channel of the controller OR you could split the two sections and wire them up individually to two channels.

Remember you have to find a place to put the equipment.

As far as dimming and color selection from a 3-way wall switch it isn’t going to be like your ceiling lights. All I did with mine is control of color and dimming levels of the cabinet lights via ST mobile smartapps not wired direct from the wall switch itself. That was most transparent for me. So literally I have a smart wall switch that powers cabinet lighting outlets that I am using to simply signal ST my intent to turn on the controllers to preset levels/colors. The cabinet outlets are wired such that half the outlet is always powered up and the second half of the power outlet is smart controlled by the smart switch. The switched power I don’t have anything plugged in. The LED controllers are plugged in the always powered up outlet.

There are tons of way to control those cabinet lights ( @JDRoberts posted) with other wireless button devices so just decide what you actually want to do.

A Fibaro option would be to hardwire the cabinet dumb switches directly to the controller which could provide switch monitoring as well as ST control, I haven’t actually done it but the literature shows this possibility and I am not sure if that could be local standalone control?

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