kitchen remodel lighting advice

Just wondering if anyone wished to offer advice on hardware for kitchen redo.
We are re-doing the kitchen so I can run all the new wire I want as required for the best solution
Ill have 5 separate circuits.
1 General lighting - dimmable
2 under counter on/off
3 accent cabinet lights on/off
4 Sink work light on/off
5 breakfast area lighting

All 110 voltage. Scenes would control all circuits.
Questions:
what’s the best way to get dimming If I don’t want to use a dimming switch?
Same question for on/off, what’s the best way to turn on/off the non-dimmable switches if I don’t want 4 extra z-wave wall switches?
I’d like to just have one multi-scene controller switch (maybe one of the Leviton ones) and one other z-wave switch for the breakfast area. I see no reason to have a bank of z-wave switches.
Any thoughts?

Hello.

In order to individually control each ‘zone’ of lighting, you will need a Z wave switch for each zone.

You have stated that you don’t want a bank of Z-wave switches, correct? The only real way to accomplish that, is to do what I did when I remodeled my kitchen last year:

For my under cabinet lights and bar lighting (breakfast area), I used plug in on/off switches from Leviton. They are both hidden inside of cabinets, and the lights they control are plugged into them. The bar lighting is 12v low voltage, so it is not dimmable. The under cabinet lighting is florescent, so the same thing applies.

I have one Leviton Vizia RF dimmer switch for the main kitchen lighting, and a Cooper RF 5 button scene controller as the main control for the kitchen area’s scenes. I just bought another Leviton wall switch for my sink work area, and that will be added over the weekend. So, I’ll have a total of 4 zones controlled by the Cooper RF scene controller switch.

Hope this helps.

I did a similar thing to control under cabinet lighting, but I added outlets above the cabinets for the under cabinet lighting and ran the electrical cords in space between cabinets up to outlets. I installed the outlets close to the top of the cabinets so you cannot see them from anywhere in the kitchen. I have 4 separate outlets to control the lighting all separate and 2 dimmable switches to control remaining lighting.

@Chimpware: You did almost exactly what I did for my undercounter lights! I just didn’t think it was worth explaining. :slight_smile:

I installed a receptacle above one of the cabinets, and that’s where the undercounter lights’ appliance controller is. It can’t be seen due to the crown molding above the cabinets.

I just replaced the three 12v halogen bulbs in my "bar lights’ (kitchen countertop bar) with some REALLY nice 12v LED fixtures. They’re extremely bright, but only use 4 watts each, memory serve. I am currently evaluating a couple of LED solutions to replace the florescent undercounter lighting as well. Of course, I’ll never re-coup all of the money I am spending on the LED’s, but it’s a really amazing technology, so it’s hard to resist! :slight_smile:

-Robert

Here’s my cheap Ikea solution for under counter LED lights:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50119407

Most likely not very code compliant, but not bad for 50 bucks plus the cost of the hobby box!

When set to white, they are bright enough to work with, when set to one of the other six colors then they give a nice ambiance and have a nice reflection from the counter and the back splash.

They

I also used LED lighting from GE, but cannot change the colors. That’s pretty cool. Now you need to work on getting Vera to control the colors.

I thought about that but then I only ever change it from white really when we have guests and they notice them and ask about it. I think I remember seeing there is a company that sells something similar that can be changed via serial or IR.

I did the same thing by using a combination of wall switches, lamp modules, appliance modules, and outlet modules. I also use a 4-scene controller with one load controlled. I have a combination of halogen and LEDs, but the LEDs are really not ready for the mass market. LEDs with even so-so color temperature, high light output, and dimmability are extremely expensive.

If I were to start over like you are doing, I would put everything on wall switches, in spite of the aesthetic impact of the bank of switches. When Vera freezes, or you have a dongle problem like I’m having right now, you’ll be happy you have direct control of everything that doesn’t rely on a Z-wave system. I would also include a 2- or 4-scene controller.

Because my Vera is frozen right now, I’m really glad I have a couple of my kitchen circuits on wall switches. While the scene controller still controls the other modules without Vera being operational, they aren’t quite as responsive or reliable as the direct switches and dimmers.

[quote=“TheGadgetGuy, post:4, topic:166463”]@Chimpware: You did almost exactly what I did for my undercounter lights! I just didn’t think it was worth explaining. :slight_smile:

I installed a receptacle above one of the cabinets, and that’s where the undercounter lights’ appliance controller is. It can’t be seen due to the crown molding above the cabinets.

I just replaced the three 12v halogen bulbs in my "bar lights’ (kitchen countertop bar) with some REALLY nice 12v LED fixtures. They’re extremely bright, but only use 4 watts each, memory serve. I am currently evaluating a couple of LED solutions to replace the florescent undercounter lighting as well. Of course, I’ll never re-coup all of the money I am spending on the LED’s, but it’s a really amazing technology, so it’s hard to resist! :slight_smile:

-Robert[/quote]

I did exactly what Chimpware and TheGadgetGuy did. I had the builder install outlets above my cabinets. They wanted a fortune for under the cabinets! I then ran wire into a low profile outlet box mounted under the cabinets. Installed led lighting from lowes. The outlets are controlled by leviton switches. Works great and you can only see a bit of the low profile outlet boxes under the cabinets.

  • Garrett

thanks all!

Anyone ever paired a Leviton Vizia VRCZ4-MR 4 button zone controller with GE dimmers?
GE 45606 Z-Wave Technology 2-Way Dimmer Switch http://www.amazon.com/45606-Z-Wave-Technology-Dimmer-Switch/dp/B0013V3C4Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1283297079&sr=8-2

The only problem you may have is the LED’s on the leviton may not sync correctly all the time.

The other option for a more professional approach to your kitchen is to use switches and dimmers instead of moduals and install them in the pantry or closet. Then use the leviton or Cooper multi button scene control to program what you desire.

[quote=“markbannister, post:10, topic:166463”]thanks all!

Anyone ever paired a Leviton Vizia VRCZ4-MR 4 button zone controller with GE dimmers?
GE 45606 Z-Wave Technology 2-Way Dimmer Switch http://www.amazon.com/45606-Z-Wave-Technology-Dimmer-Switch/dp/B0013V3C4Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1283297079&sr=8-2[/quote]

Mark,

I have one of those switches, but have not yet used it.

Whatever switches or modules you buy, make sure they are scene capable. Very important. That way, the screen controller can directly turn them on and off, without using Vera as the go-between.

If I were wiring a new kitchen, I’d still wire it with all the “traditional” light switches, but increase the Box size to incorporate the Scene Controller for any automation purposes.

You never know when this stuff will go out of date, and a more conventional path would be better. This is consistent with what @CMRancho is saying below.

Basically… have a plan, and a backup plan, don’t rely upon your current HA Controller to do everything forever…

That said, I’d also run Cat6/5e wiring, along with speaker wire, to make the area more “amenable” to automation in general, not just the lighting needs. You never know when you’d like an IP TV, or Media Control panel down in the Kitchen, esp given how much time is spent there.

Whatever switches or modules you buy, make sure they are scene capable. Very important. That way, the screen controller can directly turn them on and off, without using Vera as the go-between.

Agreed. I use all Leviton stuff, the Scene controllers are an “added Benefit” and not the primary/sole means to turn on/off lights (etc).

OK, this is more like I was looking for. Where do I get dimmers I can control with Z-wave?

Depending on the number of lights for general kitchen lighting, I would consider splitting those into two switch legs. You want options when you are setting up scenes and you may want a scene that only lights the kitchen with half the general task lights, dimmed, maybe when you are watching a movie in an adjacent room.

That is how my kitchen was setup when I got the house and I am noticing the value now when setting up scenes with Z-Wave. The added cost would be almost nothing and would just open up options. The thing that makes lighting scenes effective and interesting is having multiple sources of light controlled separately.

OK, this is more like I was looking for. Where do I get dimmers I can control with Z-wave?
[/quote]

I assume this was a facetious question, but just in case it wasn’t, LMGTFY - http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=z-wave+dimmer&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

I assume this was a facetious question, but just in case it wasn’t, LMGTFY - http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=z-wave+dimmer&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
[/quote]

:slight_smile: well not really. I meant dimmers that are not also wall switches.

Plugin module dimmers?

http://www.asihome.com/ASIshop/product_info.php?products_id=42

Low profile plug in module gives you a z-wave controlled dimming outlet. Can be set on top of your cabinets out of sight. Scene Controller can activate it if you only want the scene controller as a wall plate AND no access to the faceplate switch.

If your under-cabs don’t need dimming, use just the GE z wave outlet ordered through Amazon for $20 and install it in a box on top (or inside) of your cabinets.

If you want to dim your cabinet LED lighting you will need a 12 volt DC dimmer that mounts in a standard light switch box. Example: http://www.theledlight.com/dimmers.html
I have not seen any z-wave DC dimmers so far. I turn my lighting on/off with a z-wave plug outlet and manually dim the LED lighting strips when needed. I find it convenient to adjust the brightness so I have full brightness when working in the kitchen then dial it down for a night light. Unless your LED lights are labeled “AC voltage Dimmable” I wouldn’t suggest trying a Z-wave dimmer on them.