Kitchen Light Ideas

I’m looking for suggestions on how I should replace the current setup for my lighting control in my kitchen right now. Been at it for a while and can’t really figure out the best way to do it.

The current setup is 6 recessed LED lights. 3 total on off switches. Each switch controls 2 of the lights.

First things first is I need to be able to dim all of the lights. If I could dim them all together, great! If not, it is what it is I guess. The option to manually turn the lights on and off with a physical button just remain constant.

Second thing, the obvious, I’d love for it to be integrated into ST. If not, what other wireless options do I have?

Onto some side options… I’d love for this to be one single switch to save wall space and to look cleaner.

I’ve seen a few cool switches that “might” be able to do what I want but I don’t think they integrate with ST.

Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Are you dimming to preset values like 50%, 75%, 100%? Or does it vary?

And are the aeon micro dimmers a possibility? They fit inside your existing switch boxes. The current generation is on the “official works with smart things list” but personally I would use the newest generation which is an even smaller device.

You could also make one switch of the 3 the master using Big Switch smartapp so when that one dims, the other two match it. But I don’t know if that fits your use case.

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The dimming level would vary but I’d like for them to all turn on at lets say 75% every time the switch was turned on.

The micro dimmers looks pretty cool. I’ll hve to check that app out as it may be exactly what I’m looking for.

The last thing I’d want is to have all three switches be reduced down to one. Something that can turn on/off all the lights with one button and a few additional buttons that can control power to the other lights. What I’m actually describing is somewhat of a Zwave Combination Switch with a dimming option.

In either case I’ll look closer at the micros you posted.

The dimming is the tricky part.

Here’s a totally different direction: how about mounting an inexpensive tablet and running SmartTiles as a dashboard? You’d have dimming, could control the switches as a group or individually, and a kitchen is a great place for a control center anyway. It’s free, created by a community member. You could use the micro switches or maybe smart bulbs and your existing switches. Of course you have to see if smart bulbs are compatible with your existing fixtures, no flickers or buzzing. ) But it’s another control option.

Here’s the website for SmartTiles:

Here’s an official blog video showing one family using it:

And here’s a forum topic showing discussing mounting hardware:

If the physical location works, it might be a nice solution.

If it were soley up to me I’d have mini tablets in all my switch locations. Since my wife already hates most of this stuff it’s a battle already lost. This is why I mentioned a requirement being a physical switch. If I remove the physical on/off function of the kitchen lights to a woman who just had a new born baby I’m a dead man. Haha. Also, the LED recessed lights are not bulbs that I can replace, it’s a light that’s built into the unit. Maybe I should steer away from the kitchen until I can find a few products that my wife might actual like before going crazy, I just can’t seem to find anything she would be absolutely joyous over.

Anyways, back to the topic. I noticed that Legrand has some really sleek looking switches with their own personal home automation products. A switch I can wave my hand over for the kitchen actually sounds pretty cool. Does anyone have experience with any of the Legrand products? Are they able to be hard coded into ST in a hybrid fashion?

The more time I spend building this smart home out the more i realize that I may have to start buying other brands with separate systems to do what I want. I was really hoping that ST could do it all for me. Maybe one day it can and hopefully support other brands with their proprietary protocols.

Just and FYI if you go with the Aeon labs micro dimmers.

1 - Make sure you have both hot and neutral at your switch. Also check that your wiring is 14 gauge if you want to hook these directly to existing wires. If you have 12 gauge you’re also going to need room to pigtail the wires down to a 14 gauge wire and cram all that, the controller, and the switch back into the box.

2 - These dimmer switches are not instant on. There is some lag time between when you flip the switch and them actually turning on. Several times I’ve flipped the switch and thought oh crap I just turned on the outside lights instead of the inside ones, since they didn’t instantly turn on. They also do the slow fade on and off. If you’re all ready fighting with the WAF this may be another issue.

@NMK95 thanks for the info on the wire gauge. Something I’ll have to check out for sure. As far as the wife aggro goes, she was at a friends house just recently and really loved the Insteon setup they have going on. I’m not gonna lie, it’s very difficult to get that brand name out of her head now. All day she sends me screen shots of their products on their webpage and asks me questions. I know it’s been discussed about Insteon before but they do have some pretty solid products. If no Insteon support in the near future, the gaps are going to have to be filled before I’m going to have to start forcibly making the change myself, which I don’t want to do.

Insteon is an older, and therefore more mature platform, with pluses and minuses.

There are some people, I think @pstuart , who have connected existing insteon installations to SmartThings, but it was whatever the opposite of “smooth and easy” is. :scream:

The Legrand switches are awesome, but as far as I know, not compatible with anything else.

I never connected Insteon to ST, just someonne used my hubaction code from my generic camera device to make Insteon hub work…

@tslagle13 did the Insteon work based on that code. He’s the expert :smile:

I have control4 running throughout my house, I don’t know anything on how Insteon works.

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I have rooms like this, actually several of them. I put in Leviton dimmers. For the switch that is to be the “main” switch, the one that turns all three on or off, or sets the dimLevel, I use a Leviton VRMX1-1LZ. This is an instant reporting dimmer. For the other two I use Leviton DZMX1-1LZ, which is not instant reporting. I then install a smart app that “listens” to the main switch, and then controls the other two. This is pretty simple.


@bravenel they look like nice hardware. I hope you didn’t pay the original suggested $200 retail for the main dimmer!? This actually looks like it might work for me but it’s not much different than install 3 of the GE single pole dimmers I have around the house already except it has the “main switch” for an on off function, which is what I was looking for. It’s something I’ll consider for sure. I’m still looking around though as the best option would really be a single switch that controls the lights.

The VRMX1 sells for $65. There are multi-button controllers available that could control 3 Aeon micro dimmers (search Community for VRCS4 or ZWN-SC7). These don’t really do dimming, just buttons.

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One other option to consider…

For kitchens, I personally like a tiered setup: led strips above or below cabinets for “low” and a regular fixture that comes on for “bright.” That gives you a “late night” or “don’t wake the baby” setting and a regular setting.

Although you can turn these on with a motion sensor, I would caution that turning lights off with a timer from motion sensor all too often ends up with mom holding baby standing in the dark. Not good. :scream:

On the other hand, turning the strip lights on with a motion sensor late at night and letting them be turned off with an intentional switch/tap can work nicely, once you work out a routine you like.

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That setup looks great. The kitchen renovation won’t be for a while. Gotta tear my basement down and start from scratch first! Very excited to go into the basement with the ideology of complete automation. A blank slate will be so nice to work with. Maybe I’ll be able to let the community here help steer the design. The cabinet lights on the top sections look perfect.

Maybe I’ll start a “New Construction Basement Build” thread and snap pictures of the entire process.

As soon as I get a chance I’ll see how the wires are coming into the box that’s in the kitchen now. I do actually have LEDs under the cabinets now. Another very good investment for sure.

Thanks!good job!
Experiment with new ways to complete a ok! 4 in 1 rgbw led strip has replaced lamps in my bedroom.led’s pretty good on this idea! All you have control over by WIFI controller !

I switched all my toggle switches to ge zwave dimmers and fan controlls. My wife is happy because there is still a regular on off switch plus it controls all my 12 recesses kitchen lights for 50 bucks instead of each bulb at 50 ish they work great with st. And I live like iron man while my wife can stay in the caveman comcast days lol. They also make it so the switch stays on so it doesn’t interfere with routines. Lowe’s carries them in Stock. Except in bellingham…I bought them all lol