New Video – Kitchen Smart Lighting: Ideas, Considerations & What I’m Planning To Do

This video explores adding smart lighting within your kitchen, looking generally at what you need to consider and different ideas based on other people’s kitchen smart lighting projects. I also touch on what I’m planning on doing for my own kitchen’s smart lighting:

Video Transcript

Hello YouTube, I’m Tristan from Smart Home Point. So today is a rare treat, I’m actually in Bill Gates’ kitchen. He’s invited me in to add smart lighting throughout it, and to make it more functional and more usable, and also a bit more exciting. I’m joking. Obviously it’s not Bill Gates’ kitchen. It’s my own, but nonetheless, I do want to add some smart lighting and smart switches to the kitchen to actually improve the functionality of it, but also have some nice ambient lighting when I decide as well.

So I wanted to film a series of videos and just talk through what smart lighting I’ve decided to have and why, and then show you me installing it, and then finally showing you the end product. Let’s get started.

The first consideration with smart lighting is the actual bulbs in your ceiling. And I’ve got a bunch of down lights or spotlights. And to be honest, I’ve spoken about it before on this channel, I don’t actually want to add smart lighting here, I don’t want to change them to, you know, GU10 smart down lights. The main reason is, I don’t actually need color bulbs here, I don’t even need to dim them. When I want more light, I add them all on, and they suit me fine. So actually, the lights in the ceiling overhead aren’t actually a good candidate for smart lighting for me. So I’m not gonna do anything with them.

Next up, some people add smart lighting around the actual ceiling line of their rooms. And that can work really nicely, but I think in this room, for me, that’s a bit overkill. I don’t need it, I don’t think it would benefit me, so that’s also not something that I’m gonna do, to be honest. But it can create a nice effect.

But what some people do, and I’m gonna be doing it as well, is actually have lighting under your counters, under your kitchen cabinets, sorry. So here. I’ll just pop this down. One of the considerations you’ve gotta think about with actually adding light in under your counters is the best type of lighting to use. For example, a lot of the people use smart LED strips. They look really nice, but for me personally, I think they work best when you’ve actually got long ones of counters or cabinets, that are all of the same length. So in other words, all of the same height, but unfortunately I have a constant break in my cabinets. So if I was to add LED strips, I’d have to have one there, which would be around 60 centimeters. I’d have to have one there, which is just 40 centimeters. This wouldn’t really make sense, it’s actually a boiler unit, but it wouldn’t really make sense to have a LED strip there. And of course, it’s at a different height. And then I got this which is 60 centimeters, or 80 centimeters, and again, I could have an LED strip there, but it would end up quite a lot of waste.

Because I’d end up having to cut quite a lot of different LED strips, and because a lot of the cabinets are different height, it would look a bit silly in my opinion. But what I’m gonna do instead is actually have under cabinet wedge lighting, or triangle lighting, as they’re called. I’ll put a picture on the screen now, and what they actually do is, they’re at an angle, and they cast light down onto the worktop, so if you’re doing something there, it’ll cast light down to there. And the same over there as well, which’ll be really good for chopping and food preparation. Now, I’ve looked around a lot and I can’t actually find smart versions of these particular lights. But again, as per the ceiling light, I don’t actually think I need smart bulbs for this particular use case because if I’m gonna be chopping food, I don’t actually care about setting the brightness down to 10%, and I also don’t want to set the color to bright pink. I simply want one color, and I want to see what I’m doing better.

So what I’m actually gonna do instead is I’ve got this normal wall switch, which basically goes to an outdoor light over there. This already has a neutral in, I’ll put a picture up on the screen now. So it’s actually got a neutral light already, it’s got all the cabling I need to basically turn this into a two-way or a two-gang light switch. And then what I’ll do, I’ll run a cable from there, into my first light here, and then I’d go over and put another light here. And finally, I’ll put another light here. So that the individual lights won’t actually be smart. But the switch that controls the lights over here will be smart. And that will work quite nicely, because if I want to chop food, then I can actually just say … Turn on my switch, and all the lights will come on. So that will work quite nicely for me.

The next thing that’s fairly common in a kitchen is if you’ve got some sort of kitchen island, some people put smart LED strips around that kitchen island, under the counter level, and that can work really nicely. Obviously in my case, I don’t have that. And it wouldn’t really make sense for me to have LED strips along the countertop line here. I don’t think that would make sense. So I won’t do that, but I will do, is actually add LED strips, go in, all the way along the bottom here. It’ll be a nice bit of mood lighting or ambient lighting, and if I ever have my feet done, I can see them really nicely with the extra lighting that they’ll provide.

So I’ve got a nice long run along there. I’ve then got a gap for the dishwasher, and then I’ve got a smaller gap there around 60 centimeter gap there, which means I’ll need to cut my LED light strips. Or, have two separate ones, one which will run along there, which is around 3.1 meters. And, if I can get by with just three meters there, and then one that’s there which is 60 centimeters, so I either have two separate LED strips, maybe an extension over there, or I literally have one single long LED strip, and I use something like Litcessory’s adapters and connectors to actually make sure it’s all one long big LED strip. But I’ll talk about that now.

Okay, so for the light strip configuration that you’ve just seen, if I went with Philips Hue, I have two main options open to me.

My first option is I can buy purely Philips Hue kits so I could have a base kit and an extension, on the right hand side, and then another base kit on the left hand side. Whilst this works fairly well, it would end up costing me around 160 pound, because the two base kits are 70 pound each, and then the extension kit is 20 pound. And I end up with two separate light strips showing up in my Hue and my Alexa apps. And whilst I can group them as a zone, it’s still not ideal to have this.

The other option open to me is I can buy a Hue base kit, and an extension kit, which will take care of the right hand side, then I can buy another extension kit for the left hand side. I can then, and obviously at that point, that’s only cost me 70 pound plus 40 pound for the extension kit, so it’ll only cost me 110 pound. It’s a bit cheaper. At that point then I can use Litcessory connectors to actually connect the extension kit on the left hand side to the same Philips Hue controller. That’ll then be in one single cohesive run of light strip, it’ll show up as one single thing in the Hue app, and it will work a lot better, but the downside of this is you can see on the Litcessory blog that explains how you can do this, is I ended up needing to buy three different connectors and splitters for, to actually make this work. Each splitter on Amazon UK cost me around 16 pound. I can’t order these splitters and connectors direct from Litcessory, ’cause as far as I’m aware, they only ship to America.

So once I’ve bought all three of these connectors, I ended up spending 158 pound, with this particular option. So that’s not ideal either. So what I’ll do in my next video, which you can see up here in a second.

In my next video I’m actually gonna talk through a few different other options for light strips that I can use instead of Philips Hue, which might work out better. So that video will be the second video in my kitchen smart lighting series. I will then do three more videos. You can see them on the screen here as well if you want to jump to them.

I hope you found this video useful. If you did, please click the thumbs up button, and don’t forget to subscribe. Thank you.

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

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