Sunday, February 7, 2016

Z-Wave Controlled Kitchen Cabinet LED Lighting

We recently remodeled our kitchen and as part of the process needed new under cabinet lighting.  Our house already has quite a bit of Z-Wave automation so I wanted it to be controllable from Z-Wave which also made it so I didn't need to figure out how to install a new light switch to control it.  Finally, the cabinet above the microwave has a power outlet in it where I could plug the lighting in.

What I used:
1x 12v waterproof LED Lighting Strip from Amazon
1x 12v DC Power Supply (15ft uses 2amp, so I got a 5amp) from Amazon
1x Fibaro RGBW LED Controller (I'm not going to use the RGB functionality) from Amazon
1x 10 pack of pigtails from Amazon
1x 66ft of electrical wire from Amazon

Note: I used waterproof strips because I wanted to be able to wipe them down if they got greasy, the non-waterproof strips wouldn't make that easy.

First, a picture of the complete kitchen w/ the undercabinet LED lights turned on:

The first thing I did was remove the microwave and verify that I could squeeze electrical wire in the gap between the cabinet and the microwave.  Then I proceeded to drill holes in the bottom of the cabinet above the microwave, and in the bottom of the cabinets where the lights would go, as well as the sides (to sneak behind the microwave) and fish the electrical wire from the lower cabinet up behind the microwave and in to the upper cabinet.  I soldered pigtails on to each end of the electrical wire making the cords the right length.

With the wire run (the piece of missing drywall was removed by a previous owner or the builder).

 Finally, I had to mount the LED lighting to the cabinetry.  The first time I relied on the double sided sticky tape on the lighting but that started falling off within a day.  I settled on using silicon caulk to attach the LED strips.  In the places the lighting was falling down I applied caulk to the bottom of the cabinet and then pressed the LED strips in to it, and finally used packing tape to hold it tight until the caulk dried.  It didn't all stick 100% but nothing has fallen in the last 3 months so I'd say it's probably good enough, but it's not perfect.  I'm not really sure what I would do different next time.  Probably use more tape while the caulk dries.  I didn't take any pictures while I was installing it, this is what it looks like today (several months later).

Wiring the lighting to the Fibaro was very simple.  I connected two pigtails to the W screw, 3 pigtails to the 12v screw, and one pigtail to the GND screw.  I did all of this directly to the terminals on the Fibaro so no soldering was required here.  Crude wiring diagram:

And what it looks like installed:

Then I got to the Z-Wave / SmartThings side of things.  Originally I wanted to control the lights by a remote so I purchased an Aeon Labs Minimote and set button 1 to 100%, 2 to 75%, 3 to 0%, and 4 to 40%.  This worked well but I quickly realized I could have them turn on/off automatically when the kitchen lights turn on/off (there's a 30-60 second delay which is manageable).   So I used the Smart Lighting app to set the cabinet lights to 100% when the kitchen lights turn on, and 40% when the lights are off because we've fond it's nice to have them on a low level as a "night light" so to speak, so we rarely turn them off.  This has worked very well and we no longer use the remote (we've yet to find the 30-60s delay a problem).

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