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Author Topic: Undercabinet Lighting  (Read 1088 times)
usbusin
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« on: April 13, 2010, 10:30:06 AM »

For my under-cabinet lighting I presently have Trucklite brand two tube fluorescent lighting.  They are the 18" long bulbs F15T8; 15 watts each. 

The bulbs don't last very long and the ballasts also need to be replaced often.  We use our rig about 6-7 months each year so they get a lot of use.

What different type of under-cabinet lighting is everyone using?  LED's, xenon, halogen or what? 

Thanks for your suggestions.
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Gary D

USBUSIN was our 1960 PD4104 for 16 years Ustruckin' is our 2001 Freightliner truck conversion
JackConrad
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2010, 11:25:32 AM »

We use the "Hockey Puck" type with Xenon bulbs.  We tried LED replacement bulbs but were not happy with the light output.  Jack
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2010, 11:41:54 AM »

Same as Jack!
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Ace Rossi
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2010, 12:40:27 PM »

I too, have the hockey pucks.  They originally came with halogen bulbs.  They make xenon bulbs that are a direct replacement for the halogens, and they are supposed to run cooler, so I decided to give them a try.  In a side-by-side comparison in two of my fixtures, I really couldn't sense much of a difference in brightness or heat between the two (same wattage).

Elsewhere in my bus, I have also messed around with white LED lighting. It has been several years since I installed it, and at the time, commercially available LED lighting was pretty darn expensive.  So I took the path of building my own.  In one location, I gutted a small fluorescent fixture and breadboarded a panel with 18 discrete white LEDs soldered in place.  The result still isn't as bright as I would like, but it sure is energy efficient.

But if I were looking to install something today, I would definitely re-explore the LED options. I noticed some under cabinet units that were on display at my local "big box hardware store" and was impressed.  The newer units are brighter, less expensive, and a warmer color.
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usbusin
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2010, 01:26:34 PM »

Thanks guys for the info.  I appreciate it.

For the hockey puck lighting did you use individual pucks or did you use a multiple light fixture?  I have a dual-light fixture (two 20watt bulbs) in the house that has a 120v ac to 12v dc transformer.  How about just removing the transformer and wiring 12v dc direct?  Any problems with this?
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Gary D

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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2010, 02:09:20 PM »

... How about just removing the transformer and wiring 12v dc direct?  Any problems with this?

Did that with four sets of reading lights.  Clipped out the 120v ac to 12vdc wall wort transformer and wired direct to the house 12vdc system.  No problems yet.

As for the choice between 12v halogen and 12v LED, my bench testing gave the LED poor marks for illumination.  OK ... adequate for just killing darkness, but certainly not fun for old eyes to read newsprint.  The advantage of the LED lighting under cabinets is very low power comsumption when boondocking.  My attempt to have it both ways resulted in two sets of undercabinet lights. One string of LED puck lights and one string of halogens.  They are switched separately.  Does not look bad since I have an apron around the cabinets that hides the light pucks unless you get down low to look up.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2010, 02:50:40 PM »

.at lowes they have under cabinet led lights about 3 1/2 inches round under 10 dollar each .If any thing they are too bright.they will not work on a dimmer..3 yrs now and no problem..
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Ray D
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2010, 07:03:17 PM »

I got rid of the xenon bulbs because of the heat, the ones I had just plain got hot.

Ray D
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2010, 05:18:21 AM »

For the hockey puck lighting did you use individual pucks or did you use a multiple light fixture?  I have a dual-light fixture (two 20watt bulbs) in the house that has a 120v ac to 12v dc transformer.  How about just removing the transformer and wiring 12v dc direct?  Any problems with this?

There is no problem with bypassing the transformer and wiring the 12VDC direct.  At one point, I was contemplating installing a set of pucks and getting a bit creative with the wiring.  Essentially there would be three switch positions: "OFF", "AC", and "DC". The AC position would be used when I had the generator running or pole power.  I would utilize the small transformer tucked away in some hidden location.  In the DC switch position, I would draw power from the house batteries.  It all seemed do-able, but there wasn't reallt much justification to maintain the AC side of the circuit.
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2010, 06:32:29 AM »

The only advantage I see to maintaining the AC side is that it can be dimmed a lot easier.
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