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.

How to quit procrastinating on that kitchen remodel

Do you want a more attractive kitchen? Do you go to the trouble of window shopping for a new kitchen, collecting numerous samples & brochures, but never seem to quite “get there”? Here is some insight into your potential “procrastination”:

“I don’t think you are describing procrastination so much as a form of paralysis caused by fear of making the wrong decisions,” says David Gray, owner of Kitchen Cabinet Expo in Rancho Cordova.

“A kitchen remodel is a major undertaking. When you consider all the choices, time, effort and money involved, it is not hard to understand why many people feel overwhelmed. I think the solution is to find the right professionals you can trust to listen to your needs and help you make the right choices, provide a good experience and do a good job,” he says.

Find more insights and answers to your remodeling jitters at the Sacramento Bee.

Product Recall: BonJour Professional Culinary Torches by Meyer

Bonjour butane culinary torches recalled

4,400 Bonjour Professional Culinary Torches are bing voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer, Meyer corporation. The cooking torches are a fire hazard, as there is a fuel leak problem in the torch assembly near the nozzle.

From the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission press release:

Description: This recall involves the BonJour® Professional Culinary Torch sold alone and as part of the BonJour® Bain Marie Set. The torch is 7.5 inches high and has a visible fuel gauge. The base is black, and the handle is either black or brown. The torch assembly is silver-colored with the word “BonJour” printed on the side.

Four consumer complaints have been filed but no injuries or property damage has resulted so far. Consumers are advised to stop using these torches immediately and contact Meyer for a full refund.

How to contact Meyer: Call 1 (800) 226-6568 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday. I wasn’t able to find recall information on the Meyer website.

The toughest material for kitchen countertops?

Limestone? Concrete? Granite? Corian? Tile? Laminate? Marble?

The answer none of the above. The toughest, most resilient and stain resistant counter top material is Quartz.

… the fastest-growing countertop surface. Also known as engineered stone, quartz outperformed even granite in our tests, especially in stain resistance. The latest examples also mimic granite, marble, and other natural stone better than before … While you’ll pay about the same for quartz as you will for granite (about $45 to $90 per square foot, installed), you’ll never have to reseal this engineered stone like the real stuff.

More countertop insights at the Consumer Reports Home & Yard blog.

Product Recall: Thermador Brand Built-In Ovens Fire Hazard

Thermador Built-In Oven

BSH Home Appliances and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of 42000 Thermador Built-In Ovens Friday. Consumers are advised to not use the oven’s self-cleaning mode and contact BSH Home Appliances to schedule an inspection. Repair, if needed, will be at no charge to the consumer.

Incidents/Injuries: BSH Home Appliances has received ten reports of incidents including one which resulted in a fire that caused extensive property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Thermador® Brand built-in single ovens and combination models which have a conventional oven and a microwave. The model numbers of the single ovens are C271B, C301B, SEC271B and SEC301B. The model numbers of the combination models are SEM272B, SEM302B, SEMW272B and SEMW302B. The ovens have date codes between FD8403 and FD8701. The model number and date code can be found on the underside of the control panel.

For more details, see the Consumer Product Safety Commission press release.

Read Thermador’s safety notice about the matter. For enquiries, call BSH Home Appliances at 1-800-701-5230 between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

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