Last month I did a fair amount of boondocking
and discovered how quickly the old incandescent lights
in my 1989 Bigfoot
can drain the battery
. A couple nights were well below freezing and I really needed the juice for the furnace
blower to stay warm. So the past few weeks I started looking into LED lighting
to replace some of the incandescent fixtures.
In the past when I looked into LEDs, they were all too high in color temperature for my taste. Too "white" and too harsh, and, in spite of that, not bright enough (not enough lumens), so I dismissed them entirely. But with my new-found need to occasionally boondock, I decided to look into them again.
Among the several fixtures I wanted to update was the single-lamp fixture in the galley under the overhead cabinet. I never did like that light
. Too much light
in one spot directly below the fixture, and not enough over the sink or on the right side of the counter above the fridge
. I wanted the light
more spread out across the width of the counter from the range to the right edge of the counter.
On a visit to Ikea here in So Cal, I stumbled on a LED wardrobe strip light that intrigued me. It has a fairly warm color temperature (rated by Ikea at 2,700K) and the light in the store display seemed pretty bright. It is available in three different lengths; 17, 26, and 36-inch. The 36-inch model would be ideal to cover the 40-inches across the counter. The light assembly is called the Striberg model. Here is the link:
STRIBERG LED light strip - IKEA
It is a 12-volt light so I simply discarded the transformer and hard-wired it directly in place of the original Jensen 12-volt incandescent fixture. I ran a piece of plastic wire race from the fixture to the original hole where the wire drops out of the overhead cabinet to clean it up a bit.
I'm really happy with this light. I love the light it gives off both in color and intensity. Mounted flush under the cabinet, some of the light is directed to the back wall and there is a dark spot on the front edge of the counter. But the room lights
fill this in pretty well and thus far, it's a non-issue. If it starts to bother me I can shim the fixture on the inside edge to point the light in a more downward direction but with the room lights
on, the shadow is not as bad as it appears in the photo.
The only thing I really don't like is the switch. It's a tiny slide switch that is impossible to see once the light is mounted and difficult to operate by feel. These lights are meant to operate inside a wardrobe with a magnetic reed switch on the door turning them on and off. But after a couple nights, I got the hang of the switch just fine. If it turns out to be a problem, I'll just add a rocker switch to the wire race and tap it straight into the power supply wire and just leave the mini slide switch on all the time.
Anyway, just wanted to share this light with the community in case someone is looking to do something similar.