ZI Electronics – Kitchen LEDification

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Background | Phase 1 – LED screw-ins | Phase 2 – Dioder | Phase 3 – Spot Lighting | Phase 4 – Remote control


Recently, I moved into a new apartment, and like many apartments, it has a kitchen. Overall, it is a pretty nice kitchen, but sadly, it does have a few fairly significant flaws.

Picasa Gallery

First, with the overhead lights low and in the center of the kitchen, I end up blocking the light emitting from them when working at the stove or the central areas of the counters. Lack of light is not something I appreciate while using sharp knives!

Next, there are two lights in the kitchen, an overhead lamp with two 40W bulbs on E12 bases, and a sink light designed for 4x 60W bulbs on E26/E27 bases. One would think that with 320W of electric lighting available in a moderately small kitchen, there should be no problem with illumination! Sadly, as mentioned above that is not fully the case.


The goals for this project are:


Phase 1 – Replace existing bulbs with LEDs – IN PROGRESS

I considered naming this phase 0, as there is little technical work going on, but it is a step with some considerations needed. Phase 1 is to replace the existing incandescent bulbs with LEDs. The over-sink lighting will be easy; the CREE 60W cool white bulbs are awesome for kitchen work, and at a price that can't be touched by other LEDs on the market. Likely, I will utilize the 40W model

The overhead lights, on the other hand, are going to be more challenging with their E12 bases. IKEA has some offerings in that area, may need to investigate, though IKEA is not renowned for its quality, merely its price points.

Phase 2 – Install under-cabinet RGB LED strips – IN PROGRESS

Practically speaking, this should be Phase 3, but I already have the IKEA Dioder pieces needed to make this happen, so this will be another somewhat easy phase. The Dioder strips are plenty bright, and when set to white, can be used for task lighting, otherwise they make for a good, low power ambient light.

Phase 3 – Install under-cabinet spot LEDs – IN PLANNING

For when more light is needed, I plan to fit one or two 1W white LEDs under each cabinet, that can be turned on/off per-cabinet.

Phase 4 – Remote control everything – IN PLANNING

With all these LEDs, it could easily get tiring to turn them all on and off individually; the current plan has the potential for either 8 to 10 different lighting zones for the under-cabinet LEDs.