Top positive review
139 people found this helpful
Bright, versatile, straightforward to install
on December 3, 2010
I've been looking for under-cabinet lights for a while, but can't believe the prices and impracticality of the options available in my local lighting store. Also, most of what I can buy locally has to be hard-wired in, which would involve engaging an electrician: more expense. So, on the strength of the Amazon reviews, I bought these lights, which I am fairly pleased with.
The pack comes with 10 strips each containing 21 LEDs. You can chain up to 6 LED strips together off one plug. So I put together a set of 6 (3 either side of my stove) and a set of 4 (on a different lot of cabinets). They have really improved the lighting situation in our kitchen.
Things I like:
* They are very bright but use little electricity; hence, they don't feel hot. I also find the light quality fine.
* They are "plug and play". It took me about 10 seconds to work out how to use them.
* There are lots of connector cords and cable tidies, so you can connect the LED strips in a whole variety of configurations.
* As well as the plugs that plug into wall sockets, they come with small on/off switches that can be mounted inconspicuously wherever you want. So you can leave them plugged in, and turn them on and off using the hidden switches.
* You don't need to use screws to mount anything: the LED strips, the switch units and the cable tidies all come with highly sticky pads on the back, so they just stick to the bottom of the cabinets. I guess I may need to use the (provided) screws if the pad stickiness diminishes over time, but for the time being, everything seems stuck fast.
* I didn't need to drill any holes: the lights, cables and on/off switches are hidden behind the lower edges of my kitchen cabinets. If I was a lot shorter -- say 5' 2" or less -- maybe I'd see more of the cables and strips, and want to drill some holes to hide the cables.
Things I would improve if I could:
* The product description on the Amazon site. Maybe it's better now, but at the time of my purchase, I found it hard to work out exactly what was in the pack: the only way was really to look at the picture. If it's still confusing, maybe this will help -- I got the following in my pack:
- 10 plastic strips; each measures about 9" long by 0.5" wide, has 21 LEDs mounted on it in a staggered pattern, and has a female cable socket at either end.
- 2 switch units; each has 2 female sockets mounted on one of the long sides
- 2 plug units; each has a long cable ending in a male socket, so you can plug it into an LED strip or a switch unit.
- Enough cables / cords to chain the LED strips together, and for connecting to the switch. Each cable has a small male plug on either end; this plugs into a female socket on the end of the LED strip, or into a female socket on the switch unit. After setting my lights up I had several cords left over.
- About 20 small plastic clips for tidying the cords
- A pack of screws in case you want to screw the strips to your cabinets rather than simply stick them using the sticky pads provided
* Cord tidying. The pack comes with many cords for connecting the different strips. There are two cord lengths, long (about 3') and very long (about 5'). Since I was mounting the LED strips about 3" apart, this left a heck of a lot of cord to hide. You are provided with some translucent plastic cord clips, which (like the LED strips) stick to the undersides of your cabinets. However, winding spare cord back and forth between a pair of these is not ideal: I'd rather have the option of some much shorter cords
* The way the cables plug into the LED strips. The male socket on the end of each cable is rigid and about an inch long, so once you have cables plugged into both ends of an LED strip, the whole thing measures about 11" long, and you need a bit more space for the cable to bend round. This meant I could not put two in a line under my 22" wide cabinets. Instead, I ended up putting them in a zig-zag pattern. In an ideal world, the male socket on the cable would be shorter.
My tips for installing them:
* Use masking tape or blutack to experiment with the positioning of the LED strips before sticking them on permanently with the sticky pads, because sometimes what you think will look good does not. Leave them stuck up for at least 24hr, so that you can see what they look like at dusk, at night, in early morning and in daytime. Also try them out with all your kitchen lights off, and with different combinations of lights turned on. When I did this, I found that in one configuration I had too much glare reflecting off the work surface with the LED lights and the over-sink lights turned on, so I moved the LED lights until the glare disappeared.
* Work out how you're going to tidy the cables before sticking anything up permanently. I managed to tidy some of mine by pushing them into the gap between two cupboards; this meant I didn't need to use cable tidies for these LED strips.
* Connect the cables to the LED strips before sticking the LED strips up permanently. If you don't do this, you risk not leaving enough room to plug in a cable, and it's very difficult to unstick an LED strip if you have pressed it into place firmly firmly. I learned this the hard way!
In summary, I would buy these again. LED lights are the way of the future!