Nowadays, LED strip lights have become trendy in the office and retail spaces as much as in people's homes. No matter your industry, there are always different lighting trends that you need to be aware of. Lighting is extremely important in commercial spaces, helping build the atmosphere.
LED strip lights come in a range of colors, and they also come in a range of temperatures. If you’re interested in under counter lights, you can find strips in various styles to support different goals. For instance, if you choose warm lighting, your business can be more inviting and calming. Companies that use a lot of cool lighting encourage alertness and focus.
Whatever your intention, learn how to place LED strip lights to get the effects you want for your business.
What Factors Affect Your Under Counter Lights Options?
Before investing in LED lighting, think about the project at hand. When choosing under counter lights, determine how the brightness and color temperature will affect your business’s aesthetic.
First, consider the material and depth of the counters. You have to be able to attach the lights beneath the counter. Likewise, you want the lights to be bright enough to illuminate the entirety of the counter.
Next, think about your overall goal for LED lighting. Do you want to cast a white glow around your products or are you looking to enhance your counters with a colorful shine? Your shop or facility’s general atmosphere determines the LED strip lights you need. Before shopping for lights, try to picture the accent lighting in your business and what you want it to look like. If you’re unsure of your overall goal, look for lighting inspiration to understand how the different options available might benefit your business.
What Types of LED Lighting Are Available?
When you first start shopping for LED lights, you may feel overwhelmed. There is such a wide range available that you may not know where to start. LED strip lighting is one of the more popular options for commercial applications. While any strip lighting can increase the illumination under your counters, there are various options and features available to consider:
- Single color
- High density
- Standard density
Indoor vs Outdoor
Lights may be rated for indoor or outdoor use. Strips for indoor use are rated below IP65 and should generally not be exposed to water. You do not typically need waterproof or weatherproof lighting for indoor lights. However, waterproof LED strip lights may be the optimal choice for bathroom or kitchen use where exposure to moisture may be common.
When choosing outdoor strips, look for ratings IP65 and above. If you have outdoor displays, outdoor lights will be more beneficial to your business.
To determine what strips to purchase, consider the length and brightness necessary. In most cases, the number of LEDs per length will tell you the brightness of the strips. Seek out lights with the highest number of LEDs per unit for a brighter result.
Every year, LED technology becomes more advanced and the capabilities of light strips become brighter and better than before. Different levels of lumens will determine the brightness. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily want the brightest possible strips when you install under counter lights, as they can become overwhelming to the eyes.
LED strip lights come in various color options. You choose between single color options, RGB strips and RGBW strips.
If you don’t care to change the color of your LED lighting, then choosing a single color may be an ideal option.
The color and shade capabilities of the strip depend on the correlated color temperature and color-rendering index. The correlated color temperature indicates the tone and hue of the white light. Our 2700K is a soft-white or amber hue. Our 3000K is a warm-white or a yellowish hue. Our 4100K is a neutral white or daylight hue, and our 5000K is a cool white or bluish hue.
The CRI measures how well the light source reveals the actual color of objects in the room. For instance, if you want to show off the natural color of a product, you want lights with a closer CRI to 100. High CRI strips can emphasize the true colors of jewelry, food and art.
RGB strips have red, green and blue lights included. They can create various colors, including white (but not a true white with a kelvin rating). Many people use RGB strips when they want to control a selection of different-colored lights. RGBW strips are similar, except they have separate white chips. RGBW strips create a more natural-looking white color.
How To Install LED Lights Under Your Countertops
Once you decide on under counter lights, it's time to start figuring out how you will install the lighting. If you’ve never worked with LED strips before or never had a commercial project, it helps to have a guide to install the strips properly, with minimal mistakes.
Plan Out Your Project
Before you begin, make a plan for the project. Think about the different areas of the counter where you want to place the lighting. If you plan to add shelf lighting or any other LED strips throughout the building, you need to have an idea in advance to estimate how many you need. Knowing the project’s plans helps you make appropriate choices. For instance, you can trim some lights and use connectors to obtain the proper length. You may also have to use connectors to handle sharp turns if you have corners.
Use a measuring tape to figure out the length and depth of your counters. When deciding where to place the lights, there are a couple of rules to follow. If you want task lighting, put the lights close to the middle front edge. However, if you wish to set up accent lighting, put them towards the back of the counter.
Choose a Power Supply and Control System
There are different control systems to choose for your LED lights. For example, if you want to be able to dim or brighten the lighting, you need a dimmer switch. Dimmers allow you to save money on energy because you do not have your lights running 24-7 at full brightness. When it comes to the control system, you can choose between dimmers, smartphone controllers, or the controllers that come with the lights.
Next, figure out the power supply you need. When you’re calculating the power usage of your strip lighting, the rule of thumb is to use only 80% of the maximum wattage rating. Using less power than this rating leaves room to keep it cool enough to compensate for excess heat, which can decrease the unit’s lifespan. This process, called derating, is simple; divide your total estimated strip wattage by 0.8. That number indicates the minimum wattage of the power supply you’ll need
Install the Lighting
Before installing the under counter lights, determine whether you want to connect them through soldering or connectors. To connect through soldering, you need a solder iron and solder. If you know how to solder, you can cut the strips and reconnect them.
Connectors are separate pieces that allow you to connect the LED strips to the power supply, controllers, and each other. Different connectors can be used with different types of strip lights. You can easily remove them and connect them to different strips when using connectors.
Most strip lights have adhesive on the back for you to apply them to your counters easily. Before installing your lights, wipe down and dry the counters. Then peel the protective cover from the adhesive back and place the lights.
You can use aluminum extrusions under your cabinets to avoid changing the light's angle or make the setup look more professional. Aluminum mounts can also serve as a heat sink so that your lights do not become too warm. Cooler lights last longer.
Once the lights are installed, turn them on and enjoy your hard work.
Create Your Ideal Under Counter Lights Setup With HitLights
When it comes to trending décor, LED strip lights are not going anywhere, and for good reason. Using LED lighting gives you the power to be as creative as you want to. With color-changing lighting, you don’t have to be stuck with a single hue. Likewise, dimmers allow you to be in control of the aesthetic that you prefer. In addition, most strip lights are easy to remove because of their adhesive backing. Nothing is permanent, but it looks professional enough that no one can tell.
Choosing under counter lights for your business can create an appealing ambiance and highlight your products. When deciding which LED light strips to use in your business, consider your specific needs. Light strips come in various colors, lengths, wattage and more.
At HitLights, we want to match you with the appropriate lighting solution for your company. Contact us if you have any questions about your next project. We will check out your blueprints and help you plan which strips would be ideal for your company.