Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Q&A on LED Undercabinet lights

At 02:25 PM 8/29/2006, you wrote:
I am looking for under-the-cabinet kitchen task lighting via LEDs.
Do you sell such?
If not, can you direct me to a proper source.
Thank you very much.

I do not sell product, just curiosity, knowledge and talent.
Permlight makes LED undercabinet fixtures.
You can buy them on the web, which means they will not be shown in any stores.
I don't think they are quite ready for prime time.
The concern is that they are sizing the fixtures to conform with Title 24 (California's Energy Code), to be interchangeable with fluorescents, without regard for the amount of LIGHT they produce for the comparable amount of wattage.
LEDs are assembled with arrays of tiny lights to make a lamp (light bulb).
I think they need to have enough LEDs in the array to produce a comparable amount of light.
Otherwise we designers need to put more fixtures up to get an adequate amount of light on the surfaces in a kitchen or bath.
I am still using fluorescents myself, though I am monitoring LEDs with great interest.
Randall Whitehead, the lighting designer in SF who inspired most of my interest in lighting, is using the downlights on some projects. http://www.randallwhitehead.com/
Nancy McCoy, another well known Bay Area lighting designer is currently not using them and, like me, waiting for further improvements.
She thinks they will be usable in a year or two.
Permlight has a new showroom in Martinez, CA...just opened last week. http://www.permlight.com/
Another maker is RSA (Cooper). http://www.rsalighting.com/common/CLProducts.cfm?brand=RSA&group=&category=LED%20%2F%20Linear
Other manufacturers in my file are Cree, LumiLeds, Nichia, Osram, Seoul Semiconductor.