I decided to renew my kitchen. We removed everything, only the pure walls remained I found a guy who made and installed the furniture. When he asked me about my plans regarding built-in lighting, I said I wanted to do it myself. This was my first 'significant' LED project, and I found the result much more than satisfying. The only thing I would do differently is the connection of the swith, which is really ugly in my case. :) But otherwise the LED strips provide more than enough light, so we are really happy with the result.
Step 1: The Materials
What you need for the build:
- 5M outdoor LED strip. I used a strip with 5x5 mm LEDs, 60 of them in each meter. This is a standard, and cheap version. Irecommend cold white, for nicer food colors.
- Universal Laptop power supply - I chose the 12V 5A 60W version, but the most important is that it supports 12V. So no further power conversion is needed, as 12V is the voltage of the strips too
- A few LED strip connectorsSome 2x1mm cable, to connect the switch and the LED strip, and also to connect the two sides of the kitchen under the window. So one switch can control the light on both side of my kitchen. :)
You are supposed to have basic knowledge about electronics, some welding skills, and some planning ahead, to make sure that your power switch will be better placed than mine. You need about 2 hours for the project.
Step 2: The Power Source and the Switch
I planned ahead with the power outlet, that is hidden in one of the upper cabinets. This is used to provide the 230V for the Power supply. The PSU is under constant power, the switch is only controlling the 12V end. This way I do not have to worry about a potential injury, beause the voltage is only 12VDC, that can not really cause any damage. The switch is just a regular flat switch, that can be replaced with any type of press or tilt switch, as the voltage is very low.
Step 3: The Results
The lights are invisible, due to being only 2-3 mm high. The PSU and the LED's aren't under heavy load, so they just become hand-warm, the temperatures are really low. Another good point.
The power consumption is 21W for the 4 meters of LED that I applied. The strips have a self adhesive background, so no tool is needed for putting them into position.
The lights are very powerful, you can perfectly read, cook and do the washing up at the LEDs. We love the cold white lights, the food looks really fresh and colorful under it. Interesting, that there is hardly and shadow on the surface, because there are so many tiny light sources. My wife loves it too, and you know: Happy wife - happy life. :)
I hope you liked my project. If you did, please vote on me in the "First time author" contest.