I’ve been using generic RGBW strips (45 feet worth) I got from Aliexpress for 2+ years to light my theater room. I’ve got it paired with the Fibaro RGBW controller which is pretty much identical to the zooz one (actually, this is the reason I moved to ST, as Wink wouldn’t play nice with the controller). It works perfectly. No burnt pixels, etc so far.
What I’m getting at is that (almost) any RGBW strip should work. I’d probably get one rated to IP65 for the kitchen, just in case (steam, splatters, etc). A single 5M roll (16.9 feet) should just about cover you, especially if you have a few gaps to work around so you can cut the 1 foot shortage into a few 1-1.5" shorter cuts. I didn’t need to inject power along my runs, except at the start of each 15’ section. I believe I made it about 30 feet before I had noticable brightness/color issues, but I ran power in at 15’ just for peace of mind.
You’ll also want some 5 wire cord (thermostat wire works or you can buy a flat cable on Amazon) to route around cabinet gaps, and depending on what you buy, a simple 2A power supply is probably sufficient power-wise.
These are pretty similar to what I’ve got. At 12W/meter they’ll only use 500mA for a 5M run, so any old phone charger you have should work as a power source. At under $10 per 5M section, you might as well buy 2 rolls and be able to run it exactly how you want, and have plenty left over for other projects or to replace a section if you should need to. Here is the 5 wire cable I used for running power to my strips and working around obstacles I didn’t want to light.
Most people Who don’t use Hue use dumb light strips and a smart controller. That’s usually the least expensive way. As @iridris mentioned, you can use pretty much any dumb LED strip, they are all intended to be wired to some controller. The difference is just that the smart controllers also have the radio that allows them to communicate with smartthings.
There are a number of different project reports posted for this so you can see how different people have done it.
Go to the quick browse lists in the community-created wiki, look down near the bottom of that page for the “project reports“ section, and choose the “kitchen“ list.
I’m wondering whether the cheap light strips plus controller will give the same color range as Hue.
So far I have hue and Lightfy at home and for some reason Lightfy falls way behind. It can’t reproduce that many colors on it. I was never sure whether i got a bad strip/controller or if this is the reason Hue is so expensive.
You’ll either need to solder them or you can buy some clasp connectors. The connectors are cheap. I think they’re something like 40 for $10.
You’re right. I misspoke. Most/all phone chargers are 5V. A 12V 1A power supply is about $8 on amazon.
Mine is just inside the wall, but has an access panel in case I ever need to do anything with it or the power supply. In your specific case, I’d probably power the system off the same outlet as your microwave (assuming you have an over the range microwave) and leave the controller in the nearest cabinet.
It’s really not that complicated, unless you want to do something complicated. LED strips for under cabinet lighting controlled via ST or Alexa/Google Assistant is a piece of cake.
One piece of advice, mock it all up on the workbench before you physically install anything. It’s much easier to address an issue if you do it that way, rather than leaving a half functional system while you wait for a part you need (this is especially true if you need to inject power at both ends for any reason).
On mine, the hardest part was pairing the Z-wave controller. I installed it after the fact, and it was hard to position it to get decent signal, and click the correct button order for a z-wave exclusion (which I had to do about 20 times). I ended up having to bring my ST hub to within about 1 foot of the controller to get it to pair. Ever since then, it’s been flawless though.
In that regard, I have much more confidence in the Zooz controller. None of my Zooz stuff has ever given me any issues and pairing is easy. It could be the same nightmare as my Fibaro controller was, but my gut says Zooz will be easier.
Color reproduction probably won’t be quite as good as Hue if you bought the strips I linked. However, your controller is universal, so if you’re not satisfied with the color quality, you can always swap it out for a better strip. A lot of people are really happy with the Supernight or LEDENet strips from Amazon (although their reviews are a lot lower today than they were 2 years ago, so you might want to do some more current research). When I bought mine, the better brands on Amazon were twice as expensive, but still quite a bit cheaper than Hue or even Lightify.
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