Undercounter Lighting Recommendations

My existing hardwired fluorescent lamps are giving out and so its time to upgrade to smart lighting. I’m looking for recent integrated product that could be applied in 1-2’ sections that would work with ST. In my kitchen, I have 4 separate sections that are controlled by a single dumb switch. the RGB controls would be nice, but I’m not really looking to 4 separate sets of plugs, power supplies and light bars. Any suggestions?

First things first: what country are you in? The device selection does vary somewhat.

The following might be helpful. It describes the two basic approaches you can take with smartthings and discusses a number of different individual devices.

ST-compatible RGBW LED Strip Controller Reviews (2020)

Thanks for the links. I will review a bit later. I’m in the us and would prefer something that is hardwired, as I think my existing ones are.

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I replaced my fluorescent lights with LED lights that had higher lumens output than the tubes installed prior. I believe it was about 900 lumens per light, and there are 3 sections. I replaced the switch with a dimmer as I have motion sensors that turn the light on and off and the dimmers makes it more graceful. Also, at night the lights turn on at a low dim setting, while they come full on during the day.

I then installed one individual led strip per section and one long one pointed upwards to light up the ceiling. At first they were all Hue but I am nearly done converting them to LiFX led strips. My goal was to have the brightest possible light output, and since I adopted LiFX for the rest of the house, I am getting rid of all Hue lights in my house.

The led strips are installed inside a double width aluminum channel so I can have double the led strip length, and therefore double the light output. The channels are attached under the cabinets using 3M Dual Lock (plastic velcro?) for easy maintenance/removal. I opted for 4 controllers as it allows me to set 4 different colors and it also guarantees the maximum light output for the strip. There is another thread that gets into details on this (Hue related) but the summary is that concatenating 10m of strip is not the same as having say 5 sections of 2m, because of power limitations related to the power supply, the electronics, and the voltage drop along the strip.

I purchased an enclosed 24V 6.25A power supply to power all 4 strips, and made all the connections inside a box installed inside the cabinet over my cooktop. I get power from the range hood outlet.

Last, if my LED strips are on, the white LED lights under the cabinets turn off and do not get activated by motion.

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i have led puck lights attached to a 120 to 12v transformer and controlled by an Eaton in wall zwave dimmer. However, since your existing setup is hardwired you’ll need to go with 120v led kits. They come in many sizes and varieties and sold on Amazon, Lowes and Home Depot ( if you’re in the US)

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And therein lies the challenge. I looked at all of the other links and as far as I can tell, there is only one of these brands (two models) that has an integral power supply and controller that is hardwired (RGBgenie). As far as I can tell, all of the others need a power supply, controller and in my case 2-3’ of attachable LED strip light. This creates a problem as I only have 2-3 " depth to work with under the cabinet. All of these sperate components would need to be mounted and 120 VAC connections enclosed. Am I missing something or are there no other alternatives, to what be a fairly common arrangement? I’ve also considered getting one larger power supply and replacing the switch and powering the 12-24VDC input ones this way- but I doubt this is allowed by code.

I used a brick style (completely sealed) 24V 6.25A power supply that is plugged into the range hood receptacle. I know NEC says the range hood has to be a on a dedicated 20A circuit but I did not read anything on not being allowed to plug anything else into the same outlet. I did replace the single 20A outlet with a dual 20A outlet, and it that violates code, it is super easy to restore if the need were ever to arise.

After the power supply, all the wiring is low voltage so safer and easier to do. Plus there are fewer requirements from a code perspective.

My undercabinet depth is 1 inch and I have hardwired white LED lights plus the aluminum channel holding the two rows of LiFX RGBW led strips. The LiFX controller for each cabinet is under the cabinet attached with the same velcro (see amazon link below) I used for the channels. The 24V power cable runs in the space between cabinets up to the top, and enters the cabinet over the range hood via small holes I made. All wiring is completely out of view. The 24V DC connections are all inside a plastic box secured inside the cabinet. The 24V power supply is plugged into the box via a panel mating connector I installed.

Thanks everyone for the input. My project is nearing completion and it is turning out well, but definitely glad I researched this a lot before I committed to it. I probably could have bought a lame single color LED strip for less and been done with it. More effort, upfront planning and materials procurement, but , I wanted smart control, better color lighting and better efficiency…

Unlike the case above, there really was no way to run power from range hood, short of drilling holes through cabinets, which I did not want to do. So below are some considerations for those of you going down this route and I have what I think is a fairly common existing system (linear fluorescent strips mounted along the wall with a wall mounted switch). I did the smart driver, dumb LED strip approach:

  1. Removal of the existing linear fluorescent fixtures is a bit of a challenge, but Youtube had videos on the piece to wrestle free, then it is fairly easy to remove. Finding the 120VAC line in wire took a bit to troubleshooting as well- as it was not the obvious one.

  2. Part of the challenge is to determine how to deal with the way the existing lights are wired, which in my case, and I think is common is essentially Romex sticking out of the wall with large holes with no junction box. The cheap, easy and I think code compliant solution was 4X4 junction boxes. This hid the driver, and all wiring and covered most of the holes. For the power supply enclosure I bought a enclosure meant to separate 120 VAC from 24 VDC- this is the right way to do it and meets code. For other LED solutions, these boxes are $25 each, mine was roughly $4 each (the power supply enclosure about $20).

  3. I originally though of having full power supply/ drivers at each location (I had 4 separate Romex stub outs), but I realized, I’d still need power line splices, I could buy one efficient power supply (VI), and by code use the existing Romex to feed power to 3 of the 4 locations, and use drivers at each location. This reduced cost, gave me more control, and increased efficiency. I had one “dead” corner that I powered with one driver and actually fed two strips- more efficient, less cost and better lighting.

  4. Decide your approach for strip lighting: I opted with 24 VDC with RGB+W. Definitely a few decisions to make based upon driver, light strip and length of runs (mine are short). I ended up using the Zooz driver, but had been tempted to use the RGBgenie power supply if I’d done the combo power supply/driver. I opted for the extra white LED for additional light output.

  5. I opted for pre-made strips with channel and a diffuser- more costly but well worth it), but nice to not have to cut the aluminum channel and solder dozens of connections and it looks better than strip taped to the cabinet. Mounted them with 3M tape as the plastic clamps would have been hard to install and subject to breaking.

  6. As recommended, most of my LEDs are now near the front of the cabinet, instead of in the back. The one exception is the dead corner, where the geography necessitate mounting them mid way out. But now that corner has light in it…

  7. Programming- the color coordination smart app works well- but only for the color portion of the solution. I had to set a scene to manually turn on/off the white only LEDs. At first it was confusing as to why the colors were washed out, until I found these “children” and manually turned them off.

  8. Results- original power was roughly 90 W, reduced to roughly 35 W with better lighting, mood colors, and much better control.

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