New LED Under Cabinet Lights from DEKOR

Looking to add task lighting to your kitchen? Considering new under cabinet lights?  Then have a look at the new LED  under cabinet lights from DEKOR.  I have long been interested in DEKOR as a producer of  ”high quality, high value” LED lighting products, most notably their outdoor LED recessed lights.

DEKOR makes these small LED recessed down lights and stair lights that add warmth and atmosphere to any deck but can be used pretty much anywhere you want to add accent lighting indoors or out. Best of all they come with this crazy 10 year warranty and are ( ladylike fist pump ) made in the USA.

But I digress.

DEKOR seems to be expanding it’s line of indoor LED lighting products with these new LED under cabinet lights.  They are supposed to address a number of issues encountered with LED under cabinet lighting.  According to Duane McCall, DEKOR’s owner/designer and former NASA engineer (!):

“Good under cabinet lights are hard to come by … I didn’t realize this until I went to redo my
own kitchen … if they were any good they cost a lot of money, but still had design drawbacks,
and were difficult to install. Why?”
(From PRWeb)

So he decided to design his own … after all, ah, it’s not like it’s rocket science right?

The video below gives a tour of the product by Mr. McCall, it demonstrates the ease of installation, the energy savings, and sheer versatility of the product. “The pinnacle of LED quality.”

But how good are they really?

Let’s see how they stack up versus what the experts recommend:

How to select residential LED Undercabinet Lighting by the Lighting Research Center

Consumer Reports on Cabinet Lighting / Task Lighting

Light Quantity & Quality

According to Illuminating Engineering Society you need a minimum of 600 lux for chopping and dicing – wouldn’t want to lose a finger. These lights exceed that level so are SAFER than most of what is found on the market.

Back in the dark ages ( 2008 ) Consumer Reports reported that:

Light-emitting diodes, the newest choice, were the most energy efficient undercabinet lighting by far. Their low-profile housings tend to be relatively discreet. But most of the LEDs we tested still produce narrow beams of light, like a spotlight, rather than the even, wide beams best for task lighting. Plus the new technology can be pricey. Except for the $180 American Lighting 021-0001, the LEDs produced a bluish light that can change the colors of some items underneath it. (Learn more about LED lights.)

NONE of that applies to this new DEKOR product.

The light distribution is even and covers your entire countertop, including your backsplash due to a wide angle for light distribution. They’ve got rid of hospots issues on reflective countertops as each LED light bar has 54 SMD LEDs placed close together.

The lights are a nice color with a CCT (3200 K) in the recommended range, a warm white light similar to incandescent lighting. Ah incandescent lighting … enjoy it while you still can.

The lights are reliable and long lasting with a 5 year warranty. It’s not the famous DEKOR 10 year warranty but still pretty good. And the price is right with one LED light bar coming in at under $35.00 and a 4 light bar kit complete with mounting brackets and LED power supply lists for just under $180.00.

Modular Design & Easy Installation

What I love about these lights is their modularity. They have simple “plug and play” connectors. A variety of accessory connectors and mounting hardware is available so you can create the custom kitchen lighting design you want and that fits your kitchen. As much as I love home improvement, I’m not all that mechanically gifted so easy hookup makes it doable for me. It’s low voltage so it’s safe to play with the lights and connectors when the power is live. The DIY video shows a bunch of splicing being done but my understanding is the LED under cabinet light kit comes with a plug and play transformer / power supply too now … so ignore that last bit in the video below.

Parting Thoughts

If you want a finished installation, you should consider getting an add on switch or dimmer to better control your lights, especially if your transformer / power supply is in an inaccessible location otherwise they’ll be on continually on. A dimmer is a must if you also want to be use the lights for mood lighting / safety lighting for your kitchen.

The other thing is the connecting cords may be a little long between lights, you will have to tape them up, I would suggest installing closer along the lip under your cabinet for better hiding. Duct tape and hanging wires under kitchen counters look tacky and will be no doubt visible when the lights are on due to the ( cough ) wide viewing angle.

All in all a nice lighting package, a really cool product, decently priced in the context of its quality.

For more information, check out DEKOR’s new LED Under Cabinet Light.

Worth reading: Ebuild’s 2009 Most Valuable Products

Check out Ebuild’s 2009 jury selected MVP or Most Valuable Products.  It’s all about innovation and energy efficiency this year.

I really like the Karbon kitchen faucet, great for those who like intriguing design and exactness and efficiency in your dishwashing or food preparation methodology.

Designed with multiple, moveable joints, the faucet allows you to position and lock water flow exactly where you need it. You can extend the faucet fully to fill large pots, lower it into the sink for food preparation and cleanup, fold it compactly out of the way when not in use, or position it anywhere in between.

Products range from energy-saving roofing and solar water heaters to “haute couture for your shower”. Check it out.

Movable electrical power outlets: Eubiq is unique

Eubiq in the Kitchen

Eubiq (“electricity ubiquitous”) brings you something unique for your home: the movable electrical power outlet. Meet the Eubiq Power Track System, a sleek, elegantly designed electrical power outlet alternative that lets you “add, remove and reposition power outlets anytime anywhere – by just a simple twist”.

The Eubiq Power System gives you more convenience, flexibility, and choice. It eliminates the need for snaking electrical extension cords and having to move furniture to get to electrical power outlets. The system is available as 110V or 230V and in 2 prong, 3 prong or high capacity electrical outlets versions.

Eubiq Power Track System Power Point Steps

The electrical outlets (“power points”) are mounted on a track as shown above and right. Power points can be positioned anywhere on the track. You simply twist and pull to remove and push / twist to insert elsewhere. Power points are independent of each other. You can also add extra power points to an existing track. Special adapters are needed to actually plug in; adapters are available for Britain, Germany, India, Australia and Japan. The product will be available in North America once it gets UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approval later this year.

The Eubiq Power System is child safe. The track is designed to prevent the electrical parts from being touched. Stick your finger in, nothing happens. The power points have a “patented Grounded Sentry Shutter system that prevents users from touching the live wire parts”. The system has received ASTA BEAB Safety and Quality Product Certification in the UK as well as KTL Safety and Quality Product Certification; more safety certifications are sure to follow.

The Eubiq Power Track System will be available in various lengths and should retail for about $30 / ft. Each track system comes with 3 power points or electrical outlets.

Props: Sci Fi Tech Blog via Cool Gadgets.

Check out the Eubiq demo & website for more information. All photos are from Eubiq’s website.

Innovative leveller sytem stabilizes wobbly and unsafe ladders

Base Mate Professional Ladder Stabilizer

The Base Mate Professional Ladder Stabilizer is a “revolutionary” solution to unstable and unsafe ladders for both do-it-yourselfers and home improvement professionals.

The Basemate Ladder Leveller … is an ingenious arc of hardened steel that cuts the risk of falls by allowing ladders to remain stable on uneven ground.

Opposing locks on each side of the arc replace the feet of a standard ladder. As the locks are released, the arc slides over until its rubber treads are firmly on the ground while the ladder stays plumb.
- Vancouver Sun

It looks easier to use than traditional ladder levellers. To see just how easy, watch the video available at the Base Mate website. You lean your ladder, tap-release the lock with your foot, and start climbing. Pretty cool!

The Base Mate Professional Ladder Stabilizer has been tested, used and now endorsed by Mike Holmes who calls it “the smartest foot system of any ladder leveler on the market”.

Some Specs & Features:

  • wider base which gives added support / stability to extension ladders
  • strong enough for the heaviest construction ladders
  • exceeds Grade 1 CDN and type 1A USA ladder requirements by 20%
  • made of hardened steel
  • insured by Lloyds of London
  • patented triple action locking system with one foot operation
  • installation to most fiberglass, aluminum and wood extension ladders (12” to 20” rung width)
  • weight tested to 1,200 pounds

Check it out at the Base Mate website. The Base Mate Professional Ladder Stabilizer is available in Canada and the UK. Hopefully US distribution will be coming soon; the distributor plans to launch in the US after finding success in other markets.

Note: The system was originally developed in 2001 by home improvement contractor Martin Dennis (Surrey’s Precision Gutters). It received the “most innovative product” award at the Canadian Hardware and Building Materials Show the same year but hasn’t been professionally marketed until recently. Just goes to show you that brilliant ideas do not go out of style.

Ikea as the Mother of Invention

Came across an interesting blog the other day – ikeahacker. The challenge: take existing Ikea furniture, components or accessories and make them into something new. Each blog post features a new Ikea “hack”, either by the author or other Ikea fans.

The blog was started in

may 2006, i did a google search on ikea hacks and saw that there were so many wonderful ideas floating in the www. how great it would be if i could find them all in one place, i thought.
jules, the ikeahacker

Before: unassuming hemnes daybed

So he did. Projects range from the simple – transforming a roll of Ikea rationell drawer mat into a set of modern contemporary placemats and coasters to the complex.

After: cozy banquette for 2

Ikeahacker recently published its top ten and awards for 2006. The nominees ranged from using akurum kitchen wall cabinets to make a terrific sideboard to making sliding wardrobe doors into an ultra cool room divider.

Voted the best Ikea hack of 2006? The hemnes daybed turned banquette … wherein a mild-mannered daybed (above) is transformed into a cozy dining area for two (right).

Sometimes the hacks are about just making dodgy Ikea products actually work … there’s even a forum where you can ask other hackers for help. If you have a tip on “how to finally stop flimsy forby stools from wobbling”, ikeahacker would love to hear from you.

Keep your secrets safe

Electrical Outlet Secret Safe from Spyville

A new twist on home security, recently featured on Good Morning America. Hide your valuables in plain sight with a line of cool “secret safes” from Spyville.

Disguise your “family jewels” or other valuables as innocuous household products or items. A can of Dr. Pepper, a jar of peanut butter. A decorative candle. An electric outlet in the wall. All can be more than they appear … if you order from Spyville. According to the site …,

All of our hidden safes are made from actual name brand products. They look and feel real!

Prices range from about $20 to $50. Neato!

Other fab home security stuff you can buy: full video security systems, VCRs and DVRs, nanny cams.

They also sell things one hopes wouldn’t be needed in your neighbourhood – bug detectors, voice changers, night vision goggles. I think though you have to supply your own foil headgear …

Robot Vacuum needs you less than you need it

The Electrolux Trilobite is a small robot that vacuums your home automatically … allowing you to “live your life while it thoroughly vacuums your home”.

Eluctrolux Trilobite Robot Vacuum

I’d heard about these things but never from a brand name vacuum manufacturer. Prototyped in 1997 and presented on a BBC program “Tomorrow’s World”, it’s finally coming to stores in 2007. I don’t think they’ve been working on it for the last 10 years, more like it’s being “reborn”. People are more receptive to the “robot vacuum” idea now and the technology is more advanced.

What do I mean by advanced? The batteries are more environmentally friendly. It has a flexible drive wheel suspension, four motors, and an LCD Display. You don’t need to put magnetic strips around the room anymore. It has much improved ultrasound navigation (sonar!) and will not bump into objects. If that’s not enough, it also docks and recharges itself when necessary (after about an hour).

You may need to add a couple of magnetic strips at doorways if you want to keep the vacuum cleaner in a confined space but this baby is smart enough to not know not to fall down the stairs and break itself; it has a built in infrared stair sensor.

Strictly from the household point of view, it has 3 cleaning programs – normal, quick, and spot vacuuming.

Is there a catch? Why yes, you still have to dump the dust box when it’s full. Otherwise it pretty much takes care of itself.

What about that other catch? Ah yes the price. About $1800 (cribcandy).

I found it odd that the Trilobite is named after a type of fossil, since it uses all this high-tech gadgetry and all. The explanation from the manufacturer:

The trilobite was a type of arthropod that vacuumed the ocean beds for small animals and particles about 250-560 million years ago. Its back was hard, and the trilobite is perhaps the best known of the fossils seen in walls, steps and flooring made of stone. This animal has lent its name and its shape to the new Trilobite vacuum cleaner.

You can see some less pricey (and probably less feature-packed) robot vacuums at the robot shop.

Let your cellphone be your butler

Ding dong. “Who’s there?”. If you’re in the shower or the basement, they’ll never hear you. If you’re in the garden, you won’t here them.

Waleli's GSM Doorbell

Enter the GSM (Global Standard for Mobile) Doorbell. This creative application of wireless technology allows you to answer the door remotely, even if you aren’t home.

How does it work? When a visitor presses your doorbell, your cellphone rings. When you answer, you can talk to your visitor directly and unlock the door by entering a PIN from your cell if need be.

This is a good for all kinds of situations. Forgot your keys? Phone home (using your cell of course) and let yourself in. Kids home early from school and don’t have keys? No need to leave work, you can just let them in. Big one for me because I like to order online – courier arrives needing a signature and you’re not there (always!)? Talk to him directly to make arrangements.

The GSM Doorbell also works as a regular doorbell when needed.

The product is being actively marketed to home security specialists and property developers as it is often integrated with electronic door systems. Currently available in Europe, Waleli hopes to go global with the product in the near future.

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