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How to position under cabinet lights properly?

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  • Jan 13th, 2010 8:02 pm
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Deal Addict
May 14, 2009
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How to position under cabinet lights properly?

I'm trying to determine how many pieces of Xenon Zee-Line I'll need and what lengths. I'm not sure what is standard for how far away from the edge of the cabinet and front of the cabinet these should be placed. There is no valence installed yet so I'll have to leave enough room for the cabinet guy to screw it in. But apart from that:

a) how far over from the edge
b) how far back set from the front of the cabinet

should the lights be placed?

The Zee-Line are like shallow boxes of lights:

http://www.alicoindustries.com/details.cfm?id=1014

I have an L-shaped configuration in one section so I'm trying to get the right lengths to deal with the change in direction properly.

Thanks.
11 replies
Member
May 17, 2006
485 posts
24 upvotes
Toronto
Likely depends on the beam pattern of those lights - ours came with a diagram to help position them correctly. In our case they were were pretty much flush with the piece that the valance was attached to (about 2" from the edge). I got the biggest lengths that would fit... just try and make sure the bulbs across the fixtures are as evenly spaced as possible.
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 14, 2009
4042 posts
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vdub07 wrote:
Jan 12th, 2010 8:47 pm
Likely depends on the beam pattern of those lights - ours came with a diagram to help position them correctly. In our case they were were pretty much flush with the piece that the valance was attached to (about 2" from the edge). I got the biggest lengths that would fit... just try and make sure the bulbs across the fixtures are as evenly spaced as possible.
Okay, the 2" back from the edge is what I'm looking for. Depending on how far back I place one row, it'll change the length required for the attaching piece of the "L". It'll make a small difference, I know but if I buy a piece that's too long then I'm SOL.
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Oct 26, 2008
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Use painters tape to hold them up and adjust accordingly before you screw them in permanently.
Member
Nov 4, 2008
411 posts
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Toronto
What's the hurry? Why not wait until you have the valance in, and then use the painters tape method suggested above.
Sr. Member
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Dec 23, 2007
568 posts
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Winnipeg
Heres some though and probably not to many people think of for upper cabinet lighting.

I was basicly thinking the same thing you are with lighting. I put in all new cabinets,countertops,valance,crown molding and flooring and needed some lighting to pull off the finished look. Well to make a long story short basicly on the top of the cabinets i found the best even lighting and i must say really cheap in price was christmas lights... yes white string led christmas lights :D

Heres the benefits i found next to other lighting:

-Cost$$$ = Cheap
-they come in many different shades of white (warm,soft,pure,bright white)
-LED's so they last a super long time
-use next to nothing for energy (like 5w for 100leds)
-dont get hot to the touch
-plug in as many strings you want for a brighter light (i used two strings of 35 leds for a total of 70)
-can be dimmable
-Cost$$$ = Cheap (Have to included this one again, other lighting would of set me back $200+)
-Even disperse of light and no hotspots. Just a nice glow
-easy to install (I mounted mine on 1x2 wood boards and used a staple gun to attach the wires to the wood. Then once everything is in place you can put them up ontop of the cabinets.)

Only downside is this may not work for undercaibnet lighting, altho i think it might and am going to try soon hehe
[OP]
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May 14, 2009
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I figure that its easier to have the electrician install the lights first and then put in the valence around them. This way the electrician doesn't have to work around the valance and risk scratching it.

There's no way I'm using Christmas lights as under cabinet lighting.
Sr. Member
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Dec 23, 2007
568 posts
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Winnipeg
amz155 wrote:
Jan 13th, 2010 7:22 pm
I figure that its easier to have the electrician install the lights first and then put in the valence around them. This way the electrician doesn't have to work around the valance and risk scratching it.

There's no way I'm using Christmas lights as under cabinet lighting.
Heh. yes, under the cabinets this may not work. It was just for above.
[OP]
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May 14, 2009
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Si98 wrote:
Jan 13th, 2010 8:10 am
Use painters tape to hold them up and adjust accordingly before you screw them in permanently.
But I need to know where to position them BEFORE I buy them so that I know what lengths to buy.

-------------A----------
| -----------------
| |
|B |
| |
| |


Depending on where I place the strips under the run of A cabinets (i.e. how far back from the front of the cabinet), the length needed for the run of B cabinets will change.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
6157 posts
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lak8 wrote:
Jan 13th, 2010 7:25 pm
Heh. yes, under the cabinets this may not work. It was just for above.
OMG and I was considering adding uppers but thought it was too late....Hm...you have me intrigued. :lol:
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Oct 26, 2008
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amz155 wrote:
Jan 13th, 2010 7:26 pm
But I need to know where to position them BEFORE I buy them so that I know what lengths to buy.

-------------A----------
| -----------------
| |
|B |
| |
| |


Depending on where I place the strips under the run of A cabinets (i.e. how far back from the front of the cabinet), the length needed for the run of B cabinets will change.
Will the valance be continuous from A to B or is there a break somewhere for the rangehood?
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 14, 2009
4042 posts
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Si98 wrote:
Jan 13th, 2010 7:41 pm
Will the valance be continuous from A to B or is there a break somewhere for the rangehood?
The valence in this section is continuous. The stove is located to right of the A section. Then to the right of the stove is another single cabinet but that is easy to calculate.

We did a mock up just now and figured the lights will be set back 2" from the valence at the front and in 2 " from the side. I'll just make sure that the place we are getting them from accepts returns.
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