A Review Of LED UnderCabinet Lighting

Steve Sheinkopf  |  January 23, 2012  |  3 Min. Read

LED Lighting  |  LED Light Bulbs  |  Under Cabinet Lighting

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This post is a sequel to last weeks LED vs Xenon post. We added another display, so let's compare the different LED undercabinet lights. First, the benefits of LED are 40,000 hour lamp life, 90% efficiency and no heat emission. No heat means your peanut butter and chocolate will not melt in the cabinet above the light itself.

Some technical lighting answers (there is a video below).

Dimming LED: Some LEDs do dim, but most existing dimmers can not be used. LED uses so few watts that traditional dimmers cannot detect the bulb. Also, most magnetic dimmers need the wattage load to be at least 50% of the transformer capacity. Thus, a 60 watt transformer can only work at 30 watts or greater. Most LED undercabinet lights are 10 watts maximum.

24 Volt: The LED tape uses a different voltage, so it can be run across 60 feet without affecting the quality of the light, especially at the end. 

A review of Kelvin temperature (this is important)

Kelvin Temperature: Kelvin is a color rendering or quality of light scale. 2500 degrees Kelvin is incandescent. An incandescent renders a warm, yellowish light. Older fluorescent lighting renders at 5000 degrees Kelvin and renders a harsh white light like the sun.

Halogen and low voltage are considered "white" lights at 2900-3100 degrees Kelvin, but only white compared to incandescent. Our showroom is all "white" LEDs on the appliance side as the light really emphasizes the stainless steel.

The Lights

First Cabinet:

  • Top Left: Juno UPL30 Pro LED: 9.5 watts 52 lumens 3000 Kelvin
  • Middle left: CSL Mach 120 LED: 10 watts 340 lumens 2900 Kelvin

Second cabinet:

  • Jesco High output tape: 3.5 watts per foot (7 watts) 3000 Kelvin
  • Jesco Low output tape: 1.5 watts per foot (3 watts) 2700 Kelvin


I like the tape, because you don't see it. With the tape, you need to buy a LED driver at $170, but the per foot cost is cheap at $30 per foot. Big tip: You must see LED before you buy the product as the light quality really differs.

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

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