Cool Easy Under Cabinet Lighting


The other day I was making Bender’s Finger Food for a halloween party we were going to and noticed it was kind of dark on the counter in the kitchen. Our kitchen has quite a bit of light. A big overhead florescent light and 4 in ceiling lights. This works fine most of the time, but they are all kind of behind you when you are working at the counter. I really noticed it when evaluating the relative merits of various edible blood concoctions.

Looking for a solution, I remember these cuttable strips of SM LEDs I’d seen. Searched around Amazon and found these ABI Warm White Flexible LED Strip Light with AC Adapter. 5 Meters long and they came with the adapter so you could plug them in. All for $15 with shipping.

Got them this evening and decided to go ahead and start installing them. First thing was power. We’ve got quite a few outlets under our cabinets, but if we were going to take one up all the time for the lights, I decided to permanently mount a power strip under the cabinet. This would not only give us a place to plug in the lights, but 6 more outlets. Plus it could be hidden up under there. I took the adapter that came with the lights and used a piece of velcro tape to attach it to the underside of the cabinet. A little packing tape to keep cords from falling down and we’ve power ready.

The reviewers all liked the lights. Everyone said the lights say they were bright, so I didn’t get the double density version. I knew as soon as I hooked them up to test the power they were right. These things can light up a space.

There was one issue with the lights though, mentioned by some of the reviewers. You can’t turn them 90 degrees. Really you can’t make any kind of turn with them. Think of them as tape, because that’s what they are, they just have lights on the non-sticky side. You can’t make tape turn at an angle. If you want a turn you’d cut the tape and run another piece the other direction. But since there is power running down these tape lights, you can’t do that.

light_stripYou can cut the lightstrip. It’s expected and there are guidelines and everything. You can buy little 90 degree connectors, but that seemed a little ridiculous, given the next to each cut mark are little dots for you to solder on to. A few minutes with my soldering gun and I’d connected two pieces with red and black wires. These wired will twist and turn to your hearts content.
Here’s what the solder points look like on a small left over piece of strip.

Back in the kitchen I peeled off the backing and stuck the lights up.

It is amazing.

A beautiful soft light flows down on the counter top from a hidden source above. Like angels are trapped in little glass jars and forced to shine just to light up my cooking.

Or something.


PS. I promise to tell you about Bender’s Finger Food and post pictures of me as Fry from Futurama.