Clippings by blubird

 Sort by: Last Updated Post Date Post Title Forum Name 

My UCL install

posted by: gpraceman on 06.21.2013 at 08:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

There is a little bit of a lul in our kitchen install due to a granite snafu, so I thought that I would get the UCL installed. I think that it turned out pretty well and they seem plenty bright to me. Total cost was $161 using Armacost brand LED strips from Home Depot.

 photo DSC03906_zpsde8c9875.jpg

 photo DSC03913_zps0619fea3.jpg

Needed parts were:

+ 30W power supply (Home Depot)
+ 12ft LED tape (Home Depot)
+ Snap connectors for the LED tape (Home Depot)
+ 18 gauge CL2 rated speaker wire (Monoprice)
+ Wire connectors (Home Depot)
+ Terminal strip and jumpers (Radio Shack)
+ 3/4" wide aluminum flat bars (Home Depot)

I could have done without the aluminum bars, but it made mounting easier. The 12ft of LEDs was perfect for our needs, as I had just a little left over. If we wanted to, we could have added a dimmer between the power supply and the LED strips, but we like our lights bright and likely would never dim them.

Here's basically, how I installed them:

1) Cut the LED tape so there is a maximum number of LED's to fit under the cabinet, but leaving a bit of space for snap connectors on the ends.
2) Cut the aluminum bar a bit shorter than the LED strip, so the snap connectors can fit over the tape ends.
3) Peel off the LED tape backing and press onto the bar.
4) Attach pieces of heavy duty double sided tape to the back of the bar. For the longer runs, I used 3 pieces of double sided tape and just two for the shorter runs.
5) Using a 3/4" wide wood strip as a spacer, adhere the bar under the cabinet.
6) Attach the snap on connector to the end of the tape.
7) Use mini self adhesive wire clips to tidy up the wires.

The spacer makes placement easier and puts the LED's about 1-1/4" from the front edge of the cabinet frame. That distance works out well, as there is no shadow of the front edge being cast onto the counter. To make sure that polarity of the strips would not be an issue, all strips where mounted so the writing on the strips were all in the same orientation with respect to the front edge of the cabinet.

Before the cabinets went in, I installed an outlet above one cabinet, controlled by a switch. It is hidden by the crown molding. Plugged into that is the 30W power supply. The output side is connected to a terminal strip which allows connection of the two LED runs. Speaker wire runs behind the wall and to the bottom of the upper cabinets flanking our window.

 photo DSC03903_zpseec1a759.jpg

The two upper cabinets flanking the window were notched around the speaker wires. That is the only modification of the cabinets that was required in this whole install. Bullet connectors attach the speaker wire to the first LED strip in the run.

 photo DSC03910_zpsf4cfff7b.jpg

Snap connectors for the LED tape daisy chain the strips together. Once the light rail is installed, any wire hanging down a bit will be hidden.

 photo DSC03911_zps51ff5185.jpg

Though, after bending over backwards to mount these strips, I may need to get DW to give me a good back massage.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Fri, Jun 21, 13 at 20:55


clipped on: 06.21.2013 at 11:24 pm    last updated on: 06.21.2013 at 11:24 pm

RE: Give me the bad news... (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: blubird on 04.16.2010 at 04:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here's another blank plan, hopefully clearer this time. ;-)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It's going to be a one-person kitchen - my husband hasn't yet found the dishwasher or sink, we've been here almost 9 years. He recently discovered the toaster, which has been sitting on the counter all these years.

The issue is that >>can<< I place an island so that it doesn't become an obstacle? The clearances from the sink to proposed island (see earlier posting) would be about 40", from the fridge (which sticks out 34.5" with the handles) would be about 38". The clearance from the range to the island would be close to 52", but I hesitate in getting closer because then it probably would a) be a barrier island (thanks, Buehl!) and b) if the fridge needed to be pulled out for repair (it's an LG- been there, done that) I need the clear space in front of it.

I have been in kitchens with the 38" to 40" clearance and that's not a problem. I just wanted some feedback to determine if I'm just looking for an island for an island's sake, or am I gaining anything by getting one? I might even be losing counter space with the island as compared to a peninsula.

Also, you'll note that there's only 21" between the peninsula and the chairs when they're pushed in. I generally sit in the chair right where the arrow is pointing. It's really difficult to get around the table to clear it off if there are people sitting there. I would push the island towards the right (as shown in my potential island layout) just to gain a drop more room, but I'm not sure if that even gives me enough 'circulating room'.

This is not easy, but thanks for your help.



clipped on: 04.17.2010 at 09:09 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2010 at 09:09 pm

Give me the bad news...

posted by: blubird on 04.15.2010 at 10:22 pm in Kitchens Forum I've been lurking and posting for a very long time and now it appears it's my turn to do the kitchen.

I'm taking out a 30 year old functional kitchen, but the cabs are really getting very tired looking. A neighbor just put in a fabulous kitchen, without ever getting TKO - she happened to luck out with a custom cabinet maker - frameless, no less, and she now is the proud owner of a marvelous kitchen with an island. However, her kitchen appears to be about 1 foot longer than mine. The kitchens in these developments are all the same to start with - they all have a peninsula, but I was hoping to put in an island to improve flow.

Here are my layout pictures. The first picture is the room as empty. I am not moving any walls. The doorway on the right is a main traffic route to and from the garage and office space. The door to the dining room I was considering making a little wider to the left. The dashed line on the right represents the end of the 'kitchen' space; a 9'2" wide seating area is to the left, but I have roller chairs and with the chairs pushed in I only have 21" behind them to the current peninsula. I have a gas line on the 97" wall, but there's another room behind that wall so there's nowhere to go.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Here's a picture of almost the current kitchen - I was playing with the fridge wall - where the roll-out cab is shown I have a pantry closet the same size. Instead of a lazy susan cab I have a blind corner cabinet retrofitted with and ikea half-moon susan which works wonderfully well and I'm not averse to doing the same with the new kitchen. The top peninsula cab is accessible from the eating area.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

and here's a play layout with an island:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

My concern is that while I can probably squeeze an island between the window and fridge wall, I don't know if I have enough room for circulation around an island with the tables and chairs where they are.

Please help put me out of my misery...



clipped on: 04.17.2010 at 09:07 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2010 at 09:08 pm

The best hummus I've ever had

posted by: shaun on 02.11.2010 at 08:41 pm in Cooking Forum

I went out to dinner last night to a Greek place nearby. They served chunky hummus with warm pita bread sprinkled with what looked like Parmesan cheese.

This hummus - was absolutely the best I've ever had in my life.

Today I emailed the restaurant asking for their recipe. The chef wrote me back and I'm in shock at how simple this recipe is.

I made some tonight and it tastes just as good as what I ate at the restaurant!


2 cups of Chick peas, rinsed & drained well
1/8 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic
Pinch of salt & pepper
In mixing bowl... combine all ingredients and "smash" with a wooden spoon or with a hand mixer "slow speed" until a "chunky" texture.

*note* I used my potato masher.


clipped on: 02.15.2010 at 01:23 am    last updated on: 02.15.2010 at 01:23 am

RE: The best hummus I've ever had (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: pfmastin on 02.12.2010 at 09:48 pm in Cooking Forum

I will definitely try your hummus sounds great. This is a fairly simple one from a blog called Smitten Kitchen. It's also very good!

Smashed Chickpea Salad
Inspired by wichcraft

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons pitted, halved and very thinly sliced black olives
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Zest and juice from half a lemon (if youve got one of those sad, juiceless lemons, use both sides for juice)
Couple good pinches of salt
A few grinds of black pepper
A few glugs of olive oil (the original is quite oily, like bread-soaking oily, I went a little lighter. Both ways are delicious)

Mix everything but the olive oil in a small to midsize bowl. Very lightly smash the chickpea mixture with the back of a fork or a potato masher. Youre not looking for a hummus-like puree but something closer to a coarse chop with a few smaller bits to hold it together. Add the glugs of olive oil, mix it lightly and enjoy.

This is also awesome as a sandwich on toasted bread, and it needs nothing else on it. But, if you want to doll it up, here are some ideas: A slice of roasted red pepper (as they do at wichcraft), watercress (ditto), a slice of pickled garlicky red pepper (our way). We schmeared the bread with a tahini dressing, which was just tahini, lemon juice and a minced garlic clove thinned with water, but if youve got some harissa, I bet that would also be delicious.


clipped on: 02.15.2010 at 01:23 am    last updated on: 02.15.2010 at 01:23 am