What is tape lighting with channels anyway? It’s a solution that combines form and function in a very unique way. Whether you have a blueprint for your home to be, or you want to update and upgrade, tape lighting with channels is worth exploring. Anything in your space can be enhanced by it. From kitchen cabinets and pantries to the shelving in your great room, tape lighting with channels has a very special versatility. It can highlight architectural beauty, serve as essential task lighting and be part of a perfect layered lighting scheme.
Planning is Priority One
Tape lighting must be integrated into your electrical system, making planning a critical piece of the installation pie. Map it out and make it fun. Here’s how:
- Because it’s lower in voltage than some other light sources, you’ll need to make sure you have the electrical components (like a power supply or driver) to accommodate it.
- Tape lighting loves tape measures – make sure you know the lengths you’ll need for different spaces. The amount of tape you use will guide the wattage capacity of your power supply.
- Think about switch options. Do you want a standard wall switch or a dimmer?
Before starting a project, ensure you have all the necessary compatible components following these five steps:
1. Select Tape
Kichler® Tape Lighting adds drama in a distinctive way. By incorporating channels, they hide the light source so only the effect is visible. Tape is designed for easy installation – the underside features a high-tack adhesive, meaning no additional screws or hardware are required to set the tape in place.
8T Series - The 8T Series of Commercial Grade LED Tape Light is designed to integrate with our connector accessory system to simplify and speed up even the most complicated tape light design installations. The tape features a double layer of copper that works together to support increased run lengths with less voltage drop. Connections are also simplified as the eight unique connector accessories easily push into place, and are designed to take the guesswork out of tape polarity.
6T Series 24V LED - Discover unlimited design possibilities that let you choose from multiple color temperatures, ideal LED light output and more. The 6T Series features 3M™ Adhesive Backing for secure placement and is perfect for large areas like kitchen cabinets and decorative spaces.
4T Series 12V LED - A cost-effective dry location tape that can be cut to 2-inch increments, making it ideal for short runs and smaller spaces like smaller cabinets and shelves.
2. Select Power Supply
Whether you choose to hardwire your system or plug it in to an existing outlet, Kichler® power supplies deliver consistent, reliable energy, helping to maintain the life of the lighting fixtures.
- Direct Wire Dimmable Power Supplies. All Kichler® Direct Wire Dimmable power supplies include wiring compartments, so no additional NEMA enclosure required. We offer an array of options to accomodate varying project needs. Lower Watt: Economical driver ideal for smaller, direct wire, low voltage system projects like kitchen islands. CL and ELV dimmer compatible. Higher Watt: Ideal for larger direct wire projects like full kitchens that combine multiple products together. CL and ELV dimmer compatible.
- LED Driver + Dimmer. By integrating the driver with the dimmer switch, this one product can convert 120V AC to either 12V or 24V DC, as well as dim from 100% to 1%.
3. Select Supply Leads and/or Interconnects
Connecting your low voltage system together requires the right supply leads and interconnect accessories. These allow you to link your tape to another run, to low voltage wire or to the power supply.
- Splice Box. Intended to streamline and splice multiple wires for low voltage connections only.
- Interconnects. Used to connect two sections of tape light together or for making tight turns.
4. Select Wire
Low voltage, in-wall rated wire comes in many forms that work together to create a versatile lighting system. General purpose wire in common areas can connect to another floor utilizing riser or plenum wire. Plenum-rated wire can be used throughout drop ceilings where ventilation requires higher standards.
In-Wall NEC Rated Wire Types and Applications:
- CM - Communications general purpose cable is best suited for common areas – the open areas in which we live and work. So, when looking for in-wall wire for cabinet-to-cabinet, hanging shelf or other non-plenum or non-riser (vertical between floors) installations, this option works well.
- CMP - Communications plenum cable offers a flame retardant coating that makes the product suitable for spaces above dropped ceilings or below raised floors that are used for heating ventilation or air conditioning.
- CL3P - Class 3 plenum cable allows the wire to take on higher levels of voltage (300V) than Class 2 (150V). This plenum-rated product is suitable for spaces above dropped ceilings or below raised floors that are used for heating ventilation or air conditioning.
Low Volatage Wire - Class 2 Rated:
The best choice outside of the wall: 24 AWG. This low voltage wire works perfectly for any Class 2 wiring project, since the 24 AWG wire is durable enough to be soldered when you choose not to use connectors. It’s also the best option for Kichler® ultra-high output tape.
5. Select Accessories
Channels: Making Every Space Tape Lighting Territory
Channels are the things that give tape lighting its exceptional versatility. All of a sudden, walls, floors, stairs, ceilings and even closets and corridors are tape lighting territory. You can diffuse or disperse light with different lenses too, which is always a nice option. Know what else channels do? They enhance the durability of tape lighting! There’s a lot to like about channels.
When and where can channels be installed?
During the drywall stage of a project. Or, channels can be surface-mounted. As always, planning is key. You’ll want to make sure you match the depth of the channel to the substrate.
Kichler TE Standard Series - Elevate your kitchen and shelving projects. With simple mounting clips, varying depths for desired light diffusion and snap-in lenses, these channels provide a polished look with simple installation. This series is available a la carte or in kit form for easy ordering.
Kichler TE Enhanced Series - Aluminum extruded tape channels that are a step up, with most wide enough to accommodate multiple strips of LED Tape Lighting. The 30-degree angled channel doubles as a 60-degree channel when rotated for expanded installation options. This series will transform your lighting effect from task or accent to ambient.
Kichler TE Pro Series - These channels will inspire you to design with light. Create eye-catching lighting effects like wall washes, crown ceiling lighting, or durable in-floor designs. Integrate lighting with purpose along corridors and steps, or even closet rods. Or, use the channels to create sleek lighting fixtures like linear sconces and pendants. Metal end caps are offered in this series to assure a polished look.
Consider a Lighting Professional
Tape lighting and channel installations can be tricky. If you need help, an authorized Kichler Lighting showroom or nearby electrical distributor can connect you with a certified lighting professional. Kichler partners can also connect with our Advanced Product Solutions team for technical questions.
The Tape Lighting with Channels final word? Create a lighting legacy. It’s not as hard as you might think and we are always here to help.
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