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Installing LED strip Cove lighting?

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Forum topic by CharlesA posted 06-28-2016 11:15 PM 956 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CharlesA

3025 posts in 1265 days


06-28-2016 11:15 PM

I decided to install led strip cove lighting in our bedroom—long story.

Anyway, I can pretty easily install the cove, but I am working on the LED lighting. I found some pretty straightforward instructions at Family Handyman and I was all ready to get going.

FH recommended LEDlightingworld.com. I went through their estimator (the guy I talked to clearly didn’t want to work it out over the phone). Their estimate for 48 feet of lighting (12 foot walls), was $218 for the lights and $228 for two transformers plus a dimmer switch. This was more than I was expecting.

Am I just naive and this is what it costs?

If I have two transformers, can I wire them from the same dimmer switch?

Am I crazy?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson


18 replies so far

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2635 posts in 2576 days


#1 posted 06-28-2016 11:43 PM

I bought some strings of warm white LED lights at Wal-Mart for for 98¢ each after xmas. I plan to string them in series (low current draw allows 45 strings of 13.5’ each). That’s enough to run the length of the ridge beam of the vaulted ceiling in the living room 4 times- 2 up and 2 back. I have to build or rent a scaffold- it’s a little over 15’ up. Maybe you are getting much better LEDs, I dunno. But at 98¢ apiece, I can replace them any time (except for the scaffold part). I’ll buy more after xmas this year to light up my bedroom. We have bulbs in the ceiling fan, and I like indirect light a TON better. It’s going to take me some time also to pull the wires for the switch, and I’ll have to buy a switch and so forth that will more than double what I spent on the LEDs.

Depending on those transformers’ current draw, I would expect that you could. A cheap light switch will switch 15A as a minimum. Maybe the dimming feature of the LEDs you are choosing makes them more expensive?

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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CharlesA

3025 posts in 1265 days


#2 posted 06-28-2016 11:58 PM

The dimming option is non-negotiable since I won’t know exactly how bright they are before installing and my wife is particular about the light—that’s why I’m installing them in the first place.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 953 days


#3 posted 06-29-2016 12:11 AM

That seems a bit much

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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rustfever

716 posts in 2777 days


#4 posted 06-29-2016 01:51 AM

time to employee a professional electrician. He will know and will only do it correctly.

-- Rustfever, Central California

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RobS888

1987 posts in 1312 days


#5 posted 06-29-2016 04:28 AM

lee valley has some that look good:http://www.leevalley.com/US/hardware/page.aspx?cat=3,70322&p=70323. I think the 18 led/foot is what you might need.

We have a 16 foot RGB led strip over our fire place (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0040FJ27S/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1) it makes a lot of light and is on the lowest setting.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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Dustin

144 posts in 208 days


#6 posted 06-29-2016 11:57 AM

Charles,
That seems kind of high to me. Coming fromt he reef aquarium hobby, that’s the kind of price I’d expect to pay for some high quality color controlled Cree’s, or something of that type/quality. Anyhow, I got curious and looked some of this up…stuff I’ve found is overpriced because it’s over-engineered. The strips they sell at the BORG have 18 LEDs/ft!
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, I did find this:

https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/single-color-led-strip-kits/under-cabinet-led-lighting-kit-complete-led-light-strip-kit-for-kitchen-counter-lighting/1426/

It looks like the whole kit (lights, dimmer, power supply) and runs about $100/16.5ft, and the strips break apart into 3 segments. Seems like three of these would suit your needs, and save you about 30% in the process.

And let us know what you decide on and how it looks! Big fan of both LEDs and cove/accent lighting.

-Dustin

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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CharlesA

3025 posts in 1265 days


#7 posted 06-29-2016 07:30 PM

I’ve been trying to get my head around an apples to apples comparison. My sense is that transformers and switches vary in pricing, but if you look at 60 led/meter strips, for instance, pricing is pretty much the same. The cheaper ones from Lee Valley, for instance, are 20 led/meter, and I would save a lot of $’s, but their 60 led/meter strips are almost the same price as ledworld. I need to figure out what I can live with.

Thanks to everyone and I’d welcome any more input.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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CharlesA

3025 posts in 1265 days


#8 posted 06-29-2016 10:25 PM

I think I have a solution.

I was going for the type of LED strip lighting that can be cut (so it easily fit to size), was bright, and dimmable. That looks to be $400+. Instead, I will get standard LED rope lighting from HD and get as close to the length as possible. If the brightness is off, then I’ll return them. If it looks good, I’ll just have an on/off switch, but will be ready to go.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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jbay

819 posts in 366 days


#9 posted 06-30-2016 12:10 AM

Before you cut/buy 48” and decide to return it,
Why don’t you start with just a foot or two to see how bright it is?

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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woodbutcherbynight

2457 posts in 1876 days


#10 posted 06-30-2016 03:42 AM

I have been playing with LED light strips last few years. Bought them on amazon in 3meter strips that can be cut every 3 lights and are clearly marked. Some can be dimmed, and they sell such dimmers, others cannot. For power sources you can get a 30 watt power supply for under 20. I put some up in 9 feet lengths x 3 strips in the laundry room and expected to be able to see and be happy. You can read under those lights with ease and see the back of the dryer and read as well. Buy a 3meter strip and a small power source and make a mock up, you will be surprised.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3025 posts in 1265 days


#11 posted 06-30-2016 01:10 PM



I have been playing with LED light strips last few years. Bought them on amazon in 3meter strips that can be cut every 3 lights and are clearly marked. Some can be dimmed, and they sell such dimmers, others cannot. For power sources you can get a 30 watt power supply for under 20. I put some up in 9 feet lengths x 3 strips in the laundry room and expected to be able to see and be happy. You can read under those lights with ease and see the back of the dryer and read as well. Buy a 3meter strip and a small power source and make a mock up, you will be surprised.

- woodbutcherbynight

which ones do you buy off of Amazon?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2635 posts in 2576 days


#12 posted 07-01-2016 11:03 PM

I remember now that I bought a string of LEDs from CostCo that have a remote. Dimmable, and you can change the colors. Don’t see them at my local CostCo; a lot of their stuff comes and goes. It works great under the counter where we have the coffee maker set up. I seem to recall it was in the neighborhood of $30.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View isotope's profile

isotope

146 posts in 1091 days


#13 posted 07-02-2016 12:26 AM

I’ve purchased LED strips from LightingEver.com and have been very happy with them.

From what I have read and learned, there some basic things that might impact your decisions. For the most part, LED strips that run off of 12V will have a maximum length of ~5 meters/16 ft. They can not really be longer, because the voltage drop along the length would cause the lights at the end of the strip to emit less light. For your 48’, you would be looking at 3 – 4 strips. You would need either multiple transformers, or one bigger one and then run all the strips in parallel. Most of the ones I have seen, the dimmer is a remote control. You would not want to have to use 3 remotes, so essentially you would want to pursue the 1 transformer option. I don’t know anything about dimmer switches for strips that run on 12V.

You can get LED strips that run off of 120V and these can be up to 50 meters/160 feet long. Most of these are not dimmable. However, I did find one which is in fact dimmable, via a remote control ($156 for 50 meters). I do not know if this could be compatible with a standard dimmer switch. Might be worth calling them to find out.

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copcarcollector

254 posts in 1584 days


#14 posted 07-02-2016 12:39 AM

I have purchased LED strip lighting at a local store, and also on Amazon. I don’t really recall the pricing, but I can tell you about the install issue I had. Both of my installs are where the LEDs themselves are facing straight down. In both applications, I had to use epoxy to hold the strips to the surface they were mounted to, otherwise gravity took over and the strips fell off… (Despite the adhesive backed strips)

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TopamaxSurvivor

17676 posts in 3143 days


#15 posted 07-03-2016 03:33 AM

You need to be sure your dimmer and LED strip are compatible. Nothing is simple in dimmers anymore ;-( You need web access to change light bulbs these days ;-(

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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