LED’s have been around for a while now, first as the displays in electronic devices and now in lighting. They use a fraction of the electricity of incandescent bulbs, give off almost no heat, and last far longer. While many people are aware of the LED replacement bulbs, you may not have seen LED tape, which has many uses in architecture.
Left: A custom light fixture made from LED tape in a Klus extrusion.
Right: led tapes have a variety of intensity and color temperature.
Available as small as ¼” wide, these tapes can be used for cove lighting, under cabinets, on stairs, and built into custom light fixtures. They come in a range of brightness (lumen output) and color temperature (warm, cool) depending on the location. Self-adhesive tapes can be applied directly to surfaces, or they can be housed in a variety of aluminum extrusions that conceal the tape and provide a diffusing lense. The extrusions cost range from $4-$8.00 per foot, depending on the shape. The tape ranges from $5-$12.00 per foot depending on brightness (number of LED chips per inch). These lights also require a power supply that converts line (house) voltage to low voltage. These range from $30-$100 depending on how many feet of tape they are powering. A typical kitchen under-cabinet installation including tape, extrusions, and power supply costs about $350.00. Not only will they last for many years, the fixtures are essentially invisible.
Left: A Klus extrusion 1/2″ wide recessed into a cabinet
Right: An inexpensive LED trim designed to fit existing recessed light housings