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Low Voltage Under Cabinet Lighting

Jan 16, 2008
Both cabinet and under cabinet lighting require an emphasis on task and function with sensitivity to aesthetic and design. Contractors often run into the dilemma of having to accommodate both demands for clients on a tight budge. Optimal aesthetics may require leaving the lights on for longer periods of time - thus running up electric bills. Certain commercial environments such as company break rooms may need the lights left on throughout the day - thus tempting owners to use cheap fixtures to meet needs better met by custom low voltage cabinet lighting fixtures with transformers.

Contractors may feel pressured in these circumstances to cave in to popular demand for generic fluorescent, rope lighting or low voltage puck lights. This is seldom the best solution, and it does not work well for building repeat business.

Contractors can overcome these dilemmas and win more bids by proposing low voltage under cabinet lighting strips that are custom to exact client requirements. These display cabinet lighting strips combine optimal lumens output with maximum energy savings. Strips with smaller magnetic transformers also make for easy installation and concealment, and they offer a significant added value to LED accent lighting we will examine in a moment.

Through a partnership with linear strip light manufacturers like Phantom Lighting, you can pass on direct savings to your clients, and you can also accommodate them with user friendliness and a wide variety of lamping and color temperature options that can make low voltage under cabinet light installations a source of premier illumination at only a fraction of standard lighting costs.

For example, 12v incandescent festoons provide bright, cost effective sources of light in a variety of commercial environments. Companies are always concerned about the bottom line. Many will specifically request that contractors install fluorescent under cabinet lights in break rooms and work areas because they believe this offers them the most cost-competitive option.

You may want to point out to these clients that low voltage linear lighting fitted with incandescent festoons produce equivalent levels of light that are more amenable to human eyes. Upgrading the break room for employee comfort offers both a more relaxed atmosphere and an opportunity for employees to save money themselves by dining in rather than eating out. This also helps reduce employee tardiness by encouraging them to remain in the building during lunch hour.

Incandescent festoons fitted to low voltage under cabinet lights will also make residential kitchens look exceptionally well lit and more comfortable. The key to winning bids on under cabinet low voltage kitchen lighting is to propose a design that minimizes reflective glare. Fluorescents throw light forward, so your clients will probably not want to deal with forward light and reflected light combined. If they raise concerns about cost, point out the power saving benefits of a low voltage puck or low voltage and under cabinet Phantom strip.

Puck lights work best when there are no reflective metal surfaces directly under the cabinet. Phantom low voltage lamps actually point back toward the wall and direct light away from any highly reflective, large appliance positioned directly beneath them. They also come with dimmer switches that allow the end-user direct control over lighting intensity. Often, you can reduce a great deal of glare simply by lower lighting levels.

However, no matter what anyone does, a certain amount of glare is unavoidable, so a final selling point you can mention about 12v home LED lighting strips is their smaller size and ease of concealment. Pucks are clearly visible from a number of angles of incident, whereas custom strip lights are almost impossible to spot unless someone is looking for them.

For residential and commercial clients with high-end, custom counter tops such as granite or marble, consider recommending xenon low voltage lamps fitted to under cabinet lighting strips. Xenon's ambient, golden aura has proven ideal for bringing out the richness of depth these exclusive materials are known for. Xenon is a warmer temperature that works best with warmer designs. It is rapidly gaining popularity in commercial arenas such as hotels and office buildings, where xenon linear strips can add a special ambiance to curio cabinets, bookshelf, and collectible displays in front foyers and lobbies.

Also, consider mentioning to your clients the benefits of LED energy saving under cabinet lighting any time they voice immediate concerns about electrical costs. LED bulbs on any lighting system will require only 20% the electricity required by incandescent and xenon bulbs. When you subsequently install LED replacement festoons on a low voltage, 12v under cabinet light fixture, the power savings are further multiplied to the client's maximum advantage.

Some of the newer, proprietary magnetic transformers are engineered to operate on an AC network and do not require DC power inverters to operate, and many LED lamp manufacturers like Phantom lighting can create a lumens output of up to 50 lumens, making them an aesthetic and functional replacement for incandescents as well as an aesthetic equivalent.
About the Author
Phantom Lighting manufactures six series of custom, low voltage linear strips ideal for 12V under cabinet lighting in virtually all commercial and residential arenas. Visit http://www.phantomlighting.com/12_volt_under_cabinet_lights.htm and http://www.phantomlighting.com for more information.
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