Hard-Wired Remote-Controlled Under-Cabinet Lighting
May 25, 2016 7:42 AM   Subscribe

I have 4 sets of cabinets in my kitchen with under-cabinet lighting, and each light is controlled by its own switch (on the light). We rarely turn them on because you have to walk all around the kitchen. Are there lights I can replace them with that are hard-wired and can all be turned on from a single location, without running new electrical to connect them to a new in-wall switch?
posted by chriswarren to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You could get something like this and some LED strip lights plus a 12 volt power supply .
posted by Uncle at 7:53 AM on May 25, 2016

There are just starting to be remote-controlled LED lights out there. One of them is the "Philips Hue," which has a LED tape light that seems like it would work well under a cabinet.

This is not a particularly cheap solution - the tape light is $90, you need a bridge to control the lights ($60) and, if you wanted a physical switch, you'd need to get something like this ($25).
posted by Betelgeuse at 7:56 AM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have the above-mentioned LED tape light, and it's awesome. You can adjust brightness and colors,

Although I already had the Bridge and an Amazon Echo, so the price point wasn't as shocking for me.
posted by kuanes at 8:06 AM on May 25, 2016

Betelgeuse beat me to it.

We have the Philips Hue strips under our cabinets.

This is not a particularly cheap solution

True, but that same bridge (ours is in another room) allows you to control smart bulbs in lamps and ceiling fixtures throughout the house. I love the system, but YMMV.
posted by whoiam at 8:07 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have some Hue bulbs already and considered the LED tape light, but the problem is that each of my 4 cabinets is separated from each other, so I think I'd have to get 4 of them.

I know the LED tape light can be trimmed to the needed length, but unfortunately you don't appear to be able to use connect the trimmed bit to a new power converter. If that was possible I could probably use 2 of the tape lights, each cut in half, and I'd be willing to do that. But going to $360 is a bit too much right now.
posted by chriswarren at 8:18 AM on May 25, 2016

Alternatively, assuming that the lights are plugged into outlets and the power switches stay toggled, you could get remote controlled A/C adapters. Amazon sells three packs of them on a regular basis for under $20 for ones with RF interfaces - I believe you can just add another adapter to get up to four.
posted by Candleman at 8:22 AM on May 25, 2016

Ikea does under cabinet lights that can be paired with a single wireless button to turn them on and off.
posted by pharm at 8:32 AM on May 25, 2016

To clarify - the lights are hardwired and the switches are on each light's casing. There are no outlets available. The electrical cable runs from behind the tile backsplash and in to the power converter for each light.
posted by chriswarren at 8:40 AM on May 25, 2016

I would determine how many breakers control those lights. One? Two? It will make a difference as to how you might combine the wiring.
posted by jtexman1 at 8:45 AM on May 25, 2016

We just redid our kitchen, and the electrician ran a series of under-cabinet ED strips, using 110 power, to a wall switch. (Actually they are split into two groups, one switch per group, but still.) The units also have a switch, but he permanently turned them to "on" and then wired them up in series. Sometimes we turn them off by accident and then...there is dissatisfaction and blame for a time.

But if you are firm on not running new wires, then maybe...a Clapper?

The damn remotes & bases & transformers are so expensive that the cost of the electrical work is still almost the same!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:20 AM on May 25, 2016

What you're looking for is an in-line remote switch relay. You can install this device in-line between the tile wall and the light (one for each light). Then, sync one remote switch with all 4 relays to switch them all on/off in sync. Here are two that would probably work, but you'd have to check:

- Z-Wave In-Wall On/Off Module
- SkylinkHome MR-318 Remote Controllable Wireless Lighting Wire-In On/Off Module

Those are designed to be mounted inside an electrical box. If you just have a wire coming out of a tile wall, perhaps you could install these relays inside a surface-mount electrical box hidden under the cabinet.
posted by reeddavid at 11:34 AM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

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