When we got our new kitchen fitted i was looking to get down lighters installed under the cabinets, but after quite a bit of looking around i soon decided that they would use a lot of power so started looking into LEDs.
Ebay was naturally cheaper than most websites as the kits come in bulk from China. You do need to be slightly careful here as some of the cheaper kits might not include a power unit (Similar to a laptop charger) buying these alone can be around £10-£20, or be located in China, so if your in a hurry check that the item is located in the UK. and the LED kit i bought only cost £27 delivered.
There are also other things to look into what type of LED 5050 or 3528, a 5050 LED chip is bigger than a 3528 LED and also in theory 3 times brighter each 5050 LED will use around 0.24w.
I found that using two 5 RGB meter strips running all three colours of 5050 LEDs to create white used around 72watts of power and running a solid color IE Green or Red would use around 34watts. On standby the power consumed by the adaptor was around 1.2watt
The main issue i had was that i wanted to run 2 5metre kits from one control box but i needed to run at least 3 metres of cable around the ceiling to get to the other side before the LEDs started, now while this doesn’t seem like a big deal i wasn’t sure whether the voltage would drop or if the box could handle the distance.
I stared with the cupboards on the oven side of the kitchen as this is where i was getting power from, all the controls are sat on top of the right hand unit.
I ran some 4 core flat cable down the back on the unit which allowed me to connect the bottom row of LEDs up using a connect which i soldered cable to cable and the used the laptop strip push crimp connector to connect to the strip of LED’s. I then ran a cable from the end of the bottom row down a channel and under the work top and along the side of the left hand wall to start the top LED’s for the left hand cupboard. To get to the bottom LED’s i just fed a cable to them, soldered cable to cable connection and used the same connection as the right hand side. the only difference here is that the bottom row only needs connecting at one end.
The next part was the bit i was worried about running along where the wall meets the ceiling to the other side of the kitchen. I used an electrical connection block after the first strip of LED’s where the cable goes down the wall to join in the new extension cable to feed the other side of the kitchen. But before i ran the cable i tested the LED strip in its full 5m length (I bought 2 kits) and the 10 metres of cable knowing if its worked at its longest length then halving it it would be fine. If it didn’t work then I’d need to address this later.
There are about 20 other shades on the control which is pretty cool.
The ones on the right where very hard o get right and would often not work due to how they connected on to the LED strip.
Although the ones on the left require you to be slightly more careful when soldering they worked a lot better at connecting all 3 colour channels.
Everything i bought came from eBay.
Common issues with 5050 LED’s
Heres some issues i ran into
I’m missing a colour
If you’ve cut and reconnected your LEDs, then its a connection problem at the end of the last working LED Strip.
If none of the LED’s work fiddle around with the connection to the last strip you might see them flicker.