LED Under Cupboard Kitchen Lighting




Introduction: LED Under Cupboard Kitchen Lighting

About: I build therefore I am.


Just thought I would share this with the world, one more little project I did around the house.
This was something I did a while back when I refitted the kitchen. I tend to use ambient lighting rather than main lights in rooms, although when you are in the kitchen this tends to be a bit inadequate at times.

I used to have the low profile T3 phosphorous lights under the cupboards but with the new kitchen came new ideas :)  Besides, strip lights either tend to flicker or make an annoying buzzing noise after time, I had already replaced a couple of them when I started looking for an alternative.

Anyway, as there is nothing directly under any of the cupboards that would produce large amounts of steam I decided to use the non-waterproof type of LED tape.
Mainly for two reasons, the first being that I could easily cut it and solder my wires on, unlike the waterproof version I tried before that had a coat of some soft resin stuff on that made it rather hard to solder to.
And second, possibly the most important reason is that it is one heck of a lot cheaper than the waterproof version! Oh, and is easier to replace if anything goes a bit Pete Tongue ;) you simply cut the bad bit out and replace it.

I installed two 2.5A 12V switch mode transformers above the cupboards so they were out of the way and would not be subject to water. These were run from the old cables that used to feed the mains voltage lights that were removed from the old kitchen.
As I was ripping out the old units I had the opportunity to run cables around and under the base units, then simply cut them into the plaster before I tiled the wall, as they are low voltage I didn’t worry too much about mechanical protection. (like cable capping, conduit etc)

Also, as I did not have cupboards above my sink I ran a strip of LED’s under the lip of the window sill. This worked better than I could have imagined, although when you make a drink you can’t see inside the cup. Can’t have everything though!

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    4 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I like the effects you ended up with here! Do you have any part/model number for the materials you used? In the first picture, does the strip have any exposed wiring that a person could touch and get a shock? I'd like to do a setup like this, but exposed current would likely get the no-no from my wife!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I bought the LED strips from eBay, there are a few to choose from, I had the cool white as I think they are a "cleaner" light. The warm white looks more yellow.
    On the strips themselves the voltage never goes above 12V DC, I would advise looking at where you want to fit them and if they are near water choose the waterproof version of the strips. They are a couple of £ more but in some cases it is worth it!
    Search for 5M LED strip and sift through the options.

    I used closed frame metal case PSUs to run the lights but you can get a 4A switch mode PSU from eBay for around £10, this should be enough for most applications.
    The only thing with the waterproof srtips is that it is a little harder to solder onto, you have to remove all of the gell, clean the terminals and solder away. Then re seal it with either the proper kits or plain old silicone.

    Kind regards



    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I am using a strip made by HitLights that produces a warm light and is 5 meters long: SMD3528-120LED.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I did look at strips that had been designed for fitting under cupboards but the cost goes through the roof! I just did a search on eBay for "5m LED strip" and it returned 11,740 results, pity these were not around when I did my front steps!