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?”
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:
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.
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.