Under cabinet lighting: suggestions needed

I have some under cabinet lighting that is tired and needs to be replaced.

What I have now.
There are 2 hardwired circuits (left and right sides of kitchen), Each circuit is split in two sections, left side divided by stove, right side divided by sink. We hard wired these in when we built the house so the sections are connected via standard house wire in the walls with small, under cabinet junction boxes on each side.

There are 10 ‘pucks’ on the left side of the kitchen 4 on one side 6 on the other. The right side has 8 ‘pucks’ 4 in each section.

The lights are halogen and the transformers are mounted under the cabinets, one in each of the 4 sections.

The switches are in wall GE Z-wave switches.

I want to replace them for 2 reasons. 1) the lights generate a lot of heat 2) one of the transformers has died.

Also I should point out I will be repeating this process in a set of built in book cases and in a laundry room.

My requirements for whatever I end up replacing it with.

  1. Full control via Smartthings / Webcore AND ability to turn off at the switch
  2. No internet based delay when turned on at switch (meaning time for smart things to talk to some other service)
  3. If fixed color it should be warm incandescent like tone.
    Must be able to connected the sections together with the existing house wire (in the current setup that means a transformer on each side.

color changing but I want to set it with webcore.

So should I just replace the 4 sections with newer LED versions of what we have now? Or look for something smart?

Sounds like a fun project! :sunglasses:

You can go either way, but it will likely be less expensive if you go with dumb LED strips and a smart zwave controller.

You can see what other community members have done by looking at the quick browse lists in the community-created wiki, looking down near the bottom of that page for the project reports by room, then choosing the “kitchen” list.


The house was built with 3 hardwired neon under cabinet lights controlled by a single switch. I upgraded the lighting in two phases.

The first phase consisted in installing HUE lightstrips both below and above the cabinets for RGB lighting. My goal was to have at a very minimum 900 lumens per section so that it would be as bright, if not more, than the existing Neon tube lights. I am addicted to bright lights! This got complicated very quickly as a single HUE strip, especially when limited to roughly 2 segments per section (cabinet), were not even close to 900 lumens per section. I was dealing with maximum light output of the strip (limited to about 1100 lumens regardless of how many additional segments are added), and the limited light output of the 2 segments that fit under the cabinet. Long story short, I went with 1 controller per cabinet, and used 4 segments sitting side by side inside the aluminum channel. I do not recall the numbers but I believe this got me to where I wanted to be in terms of ‘theoretical lumens output’.

The picture below shows the HUE light on. The light output is nice - do not pay attention to how it looks in the picture. The white box on the left is the Hue controller. Having a dedicated controller per cabinet allows for the entire power budget (24W) to be available for the 4 segments so they can output their maximum lumens (there are other threads detailing why the controller is limited to 24W and lumens to 1100 so I won’t get into it here). I also gained the ability to have 4 different colors… one on top, and 3 on the bottom. I came from Italy so I occasionally have red, white and green ;-). Downside is ST control as by default you have to control each one individually but there are software solutions around that. This is all custom so there is a lot of DIY wiring, soldering, etc.

Later, the neon lights were failing and I finally found half decent LED under cabinet lights with sufficient lumens output and 3 different color temperatures. 2700K is the typical light bulb color temperature but I am of the opinion it is NOT suitable for the kitchen. Something between 3000K and 4000K is better as the colors of the food are closer to the actual color yet is is still ‘warm’. I know this is highly subjective so to each their own :wink:

These LED lights were dimmable so I replaced the switch with a zwave plus dimmer.

I believe this is the fixture I purchased:


I believe it came in 24 in and 32 inch lengths so on one side I have a 32" and the other 2 x 24". All 3 are set to 3000K or 4000K (can’t recall) but you can also set them to 3000K. These are easy to install. The hardest bit was closing the fixture.

There is some webcore automation to administer this type of lighting setup…

There are two IRIS motion sensors that turn the main LED lights on when motion is detected and leave them on until there has been no motion for at least 15 minutes or more (can’t recall). If the lights were switched on manually they stay on regardless of motion. I will soon add a 2 hour limit (to be tweaked) to this as it is impossible to know whether the lights are on manually or by motion so I’ve found the lights on the next morning on many occasions. The 2 hour limit (or more) will take care of this issue. During night hours, the LED lights turn on at 10%, while the rest of the day, 100%.

When the Hue lights are on, then the other lights do NOT turn on automatically regardless of motion. I can of course turn both on if I wish to bathe in light :sunglasses:.

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Just finished something similar. I used dumb LED strips with z-wave controlled outlets and small 12V DC plugin transformers in 2 sections of the kitchen. Depending on lighting inside, one or both will automatically come on when motion is active. They turn off after preset time and no motion detected. No dimming and no color changing.

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You may want to consider these LED strips. They are slim, economical, dimmable, connect in series, and don’t need transformers. They can be wired directly to 120v lines, or you can plug them directly into an outlet. I used them to replace my existing undercabinet flourescents and upgraded the existing switch that controlled them to a zwave dimmer. They come in 12" and 18" sections and are available in cool or warm white light. The link I provided usually has more choices that include 3 packs of the strips in the available white temperatures with free shipping, but I think you may have to keep an eye out until they are available again.

Update: It looks like you can get them direct from the manufacturer and save on shipping when you buy multiples.

Also looks like Walmart has free shipping on the single strips.

I have these under my kitchen cabinets:

You need a couple of IKEA Trådfri drivers as well…
Works great with both ST and Ikea’s remotes, which have no latency at all, when paired directly to the drivers…