Undercabinet lights, basement kitchen
February 20, 2011
This is pretty much a copy of what I did in the upstairs kitchen, but with more attention to detail because there’s no molding to hide behind. It’s a little heavy in its use of aluminum.
9 Power LEDs (these are Luxeon Rebels, on an Endor Star puck, mixed color temperature).
Dialight Microdriver 9.
Stiff thin (18-20 gauge) wire, cut to length.
Electrical tape, as necessary
Nail polish, to cover solder joints
Solder station or iron
Ruler or measuring tape
Pinch clamps (not shown)
Drill (3/32″) (not shown)
Screwdriver (not shown)
Nylon standoffs (3/4 OD x 13/64)
7/8 x #8 screws
Aluminum flat stock (8′ x 1/8″) (not shown)
18-gauge wire (black, single) (not shown)
18-gauge wire (orange*, single) (not shown)
18-gauge wire (white, twin) and plug (not shown)
(* not black, white, or green; should not look like house wiring)
Mark backs of pucks to A/B/C according to color temperature.
Measure distance between endpoints for lights. For example, 90 inches, equals 228.6 cm. Subtract a little bit for the width of a puck (227.6 cm), divide by 8 (8 wires between 9 pucks, giving 28.45). subtract width of a puck between solder pads (1cm) yielding 27.5, use that for wire length. Cut 9 wires, strip ends just enough to fit on the pads, and pre-tin all the ends.
Set up a jig to set wire against negative solder pad, and solder a wire to each puck.
Yielding 9 lollipops.
Use a block and clothespin to solder lollipops together, A-B-C- to get an even mix of colors, avoiding a twist between pucks. Finish by soldering “enough” orange wire to the + end of the top lollipop. Optionally solder black wire to the tail end of the last lollipop.
For initial testing purposes, wire up the power supply and plug it in. (Wire it first, plug it second, otherwise you might cook an LED.)
Arrange pucks on flat stuck, and clamp down to get endpoints right, and be sure pucks are flat.
Drill holes midway between pucks (roughly) for standoffs.
Mix up a small amount of quick epoxy.
Glue and clamp the first two pucks at one end.
Use two clamps per puck, you really want the epoxy to be thin.
If you run the LEDs, that will make a little heat which will help the epoxy set.
All lit. Do all the rest, a few at a time.
Glue the standoffs in place on the other side of the flat stock, over the holes, clamp while setting.
Clamp the assembled flat stock up to get the position right.
For pilot holes, use tape to get the depth right.
Screwed up. Use tape where necessary to keep wire from sagging.
Find an inconspicuous way to run the wires to the power supply.
Lit up, with nothing (yet) to keep the lights out of the eyes of short people
Using aluminum angle stock to block the shiny LEDs. Compare left side and right side.
On one side, minor glitches in the cabinet height hold the angle stock in pretty snug, just pushed in there.