As we get close to finishing the kitchen, we hit our budget. I will post the beginning to end of that, once everything is complete. One thing we really wanted was under cabinet lighting. Once the backsplash went in, I started to look at what was available. Was there anything out there that we could wire without having to go through the walls? Yes with the kitchen gutted we had a chance to run more wires, but we were already moving enough electrical that I had to put a stop somewhere. Now is the time to get crafty.
I found a company called Inspired LED which had a lot of great reviews on Amazon and made a plethora of different LED lighting kits. I thought to myself okay we have 2 sets of cabinets. The sink is splitting the cabinets. But to hide wiring we can’t cross the sink. I don’t mind having two switches, especially for really low wattage LED lighting. I ordered the Cut and Connect Series Kit: Normal Bright Warm White-12M DIY Kit and was excited thinking of the possibilities. As you can see from the image above the end result is clean, no wires in site, no wires in the cabinet, and a great spread of light on the quartz surface.
The meat and potatoes of the Cut and Connect Series Kit: Normal Bright Warm White-12M DIY Kit are the following:
- Spool of cut to length LED lighting tape
- On/Off switch
- Solderless Tiger Paw LED Connector for LED Flexible Strips, 3.5mm x 1.3mm DC Connector, Pair
- Cord from connector to switch
I can’t be the only one who is so excited to open the shipping box. Plugging the spool in made my day! The light color matches our Cree LED – 9.5 Watt – BR30 – 2700K Warm White Bulbs.
The eventual install was really easy. Literally this took me 20 minutes to mount the first set. I took a rough measurement to span all of the cabinets, made a 90 degree bend in the tape and got the complete length. From there I drilled out small holes under the cabinet through the cabinet lips. I then double checked my measurements and placement, and cut along the copper line of the tape to make the final connection into the plug connector. A hole was drilled through the cabinet and then through the refrigerator cabinet where I placed the first plug into the receptacle. Easy enough and completely hidden.
One thing that LED lighting ends up creating are dots on a shiny counter. With nice new shiny white quartz counters, this effect is noticeable. Nothing horrible, but I wanted to see what options are out there to make this disappear. One option by the manufacturer was to mount the LED tape to the lip of the cabinet and face the LED lights towards the backsplash. This works and make the dots almost completely disappear. But as you can see from the pictures below the under cabinet lighting suffers. Pictures follow without the overhead lights on. Also the lip mounted is only along the main cabinet area and not to the right. But its obvious to see how the backsplash and counter are lit between the different mounting methods.
The above picture shows the LED tape mounted to the lip. The light isn’t as great as the counter comes away from the backsplash. This is obviously better than nothing.
The above picture shows the LED tape mounted underneath the cabinet about 3″ away from the lip pointed down towards the counter. I prefer this as there is much more light. Say I am cutting on a cutting board, the dot effect won’t appear on a piece of wood or plastic, but there will be much more light.
I am going to play with diffuser film or mylar to see how that can possibly cut down on the dot effect and spread the LED light more evenly. I am also going to order the remote dimmer switches so I can control both sets of cabinets on two separate plugs on one remote control. After emailing Inspired LED, they mentioned ordering direct that they will program the remotes for me before shipping out. On the to-do list is setting up the pantry with the same lights but use their magnetic switch, so when the door opens, the lights come on like magic.
The kit seems high quality, is reasonably priced, and their customer support is very fast through emails. I highly recommend checking out the Cut and Connect Series Kit: Normal Bright Warm White-12M DIY Kit.