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Undercabinet lighting - Xenon vs LED. How much can LEDs be dimmed?

Undercabinet lighting - Xenon vs LED. How much can LEDs be dimmed?


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Old 07-18-12, 07:57 AM
J
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Undercabinet lighting - Xenon vs LED. How much can LEDs be dimmed?

Currently remodeling my kitchen... should my under cabinet lighting be Xenon or LED?

I have researched and I think I am going to go with Pegasus brand. I also looked at Kichler, NSL and CSL - Pegasus seems to get good reviews and is priced very well. I was originally going to go with Xenon but have since considered LED. If LEDs are the better choice, I dont mind paying more money for them because I know it will come back in saved energy. So cost isnt really a concern when choosing between Xenon and LED.
Here are my concerns...

Xenon heat - how bad it is? I know the halogens give off a lot of heat and Xenons arent that bad. But how bad is Xenon? For people that have them, what are your thoughts?

Dimmability - It sounds like Xenon are much better for dimming. They say the LEDs I am looking at are dimmable, but you should have at least 40 Watts in total. In my case I will have just over 40 Watts in total.

Dimmer switch - Everything I have read says that Xenons must be dimmed with a ELV dimmer and LEDs must be dimmed with a special LED dimmer. However Pegasus claims both their Xenon and LEDs can be dimmed with standard incandescent dimmers. (???)

Color - What gives off a better color - Xenon or LED?

Any opinions are welcome, both of the brands I have mentioned or the Xenon vs LED questions.
 
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Old 07-18-12, 09:36 AM
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Xenons do get quite hot. Hot enough that you do not want to touch them when they are on. If they are on for a couple hours I can feel the wood in the cabinet above getting warm. On the plus side they are considerably brighter than the LED's I have seen. So, for actual work or task lighting I prefer them. If you mainly want mood or accent lighting under the cabinet then I'd go with LED's.

I think Xenons provide a better, more balanced color. That said there are many different LED's and they are available in different colors. I have noticed a few instances where LED's cause certain objects to take on a slightly odd hue. A Xenon is putting out the full spectrum of light while LED's have a couple spikes at certain wavelengths. Those spikes may be in the "cool" or "warm" color temp area so you see that color but with the other wavelengths being minimal. I don't think it's terribly important unless you are doing something where color fidelity is critical.

I have dimmed halogens and xenons and I seem to get the best bulb life when running them at full power. I had read that when halogens are used some of the filament gets burned off. When dimmed the material gets deposited on the inside of the glass but when at full power (hot!) the material remains gaseous and is re-deposited on the filament. I don't know if the same holds true for xenons.
 
 

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