LED under cabinet lightsLight your kitchen counters for pennies a month by using a new solution, ie. LED under cabinet lights that are easy to install and save you money at the same time. In our specific situation, we were doing some do it yourself work in the kitchen replacing existing fluorescent bulbs, the tube variety, when we noticed that the plastic holder for the lights had become brittle, cracked and fell apart in our hands. In fact I even got a bit of an electrical shock when I accidentally touched the now bare connectors. It was time to change the entire installation with something new and we opted for an LED under cabinet lights solution.

Are LED under cabinet lights ready for prime time?

There are some barriers to using LED lights. First the cost is still high, but if you live in the right area, there are some financial incentives in terms of coupons available to use towards the purchase of LED lights. Check for available coupons before you make your purchase. Secondly these LED’s use so little power, they pay for themselves relatively rapidly, especially if these lights are left on a longish time in your home which ours are. They also come in various colors so you may want to check this out before buying.

LED under cabinet lights brighten  our kitchen!

We put two LED under cabinet lights beneath each cabinet, for four in total. We could have used 20 watt Xenon under cabinet lights. That would mean whenever we have the under cabinet lights on we’d be using 80 watts – a not insignificant amount of power. Since we love to cook, and spend hours in our kitchen each day, that could add up to a reasonable amount of electricity consumption by these Xenon bulbs – about 120 kWh a year, or around $20 in electricity costs, based on our leaving them on for 4 hours a day. Our LED under cabinet lights, in contrast, use a mere 2 watts each – one tenth the power consumption of Xenon lights or other halogen puck lights – and cost us under $2 a year to run.

The LED lights we purchased are daisy chained together and the final one is plugged into a regular electrical outlet. Our existing fluorescent lights were hard wired which is not to code today, so we had to install a properly grounded electrical outlet and plug the new LED lights into it. Fortunately the plug and the actual LED bar are hidden by the cabinets that provide for this sort of thing.

We are very happy with the quality of the light and leave these lights on almost all day long. They do not generate any heat what so ever so there is no worry about over heating either.

Upgrading to LED’s

We have decided that when our current crop of fluorescent bulbs finally stop working(they do last a long time), we will switch gradually to LED lights. In addition we also installed a new LED chandelier over the kitchen table. The only caution here is that if you want to dim these lights, you must purchase a special dimmer switch that is suitable for use with LED lights.

All told, I spent about $90¬† for four 4-light kits. Certainly more than Xenon would cost, however these lights don’t get nearly as hot as Xenon under cabinet lights.¬† There will be less heat damage to my cabinetry, and less heat produced indoors during hot weather (which can affect air conditioning costs).