Mechanical Design
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Mechanical Design of the Under-Cabinet Lights


The Luxeon Star LEDs (emitter mounted on an aluminum substrate) were mounted to the 1-1/2 x 1/8th inch aluminum bars where the bar was first coated with adhesive polyethylene tape. The aluminum substrate of the LEDs is not electrically neutral and needs to be insulated from the carrier. The controller was attached to the bar and the LEDs were prewired to the controller. The electrical feed to this assembly consists of two wires for the 12 VDC power and one wire for the control signal (see later).

All wires are daisy-chained from one cabinet to the next by drilling small lateral holes between the cabinets. The DC feed comes from a power supply in the basement and the control wire is connected to a box with the electronics. The latter is partially hidden behind a valance over the sink.

There is not much to say about mounting the light strips to the bottom of the cabinet floors. The acrylic panels rest against added cleats that provide a recess of 1/8th inch. Flexible magnetic strips were glued to both the cleats ad the perimeter of the panels.

If you noticed that no mention of a power switch was made, you are right; there is none. Instead, the lights are controlled by some circuitry having the following features:

An occupancy sensor turns on the lights to full brightness. 20 minutes after no movement is detected in the kitchen, the lights are dimmed to a lower brightness. After one hour without detecting an occupant, the lights turn off.

Control Box


The electronics for controlling the lights are mounted in a utility box. The three jacks are used for the DC power feed and for the outout to the LED controllers,

The other side of the control box shows the motion detector. The box will be mounted (upside down from the photo) behind a wooden valance over the kitchen sink. The motion detector will ‘see’ the kitchen just below the valance.

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